International Mother Language Day, 21st FebruaryToday is International Mother Language Day. UNESCO, in 1999, declared 21st February as Mother Language Day as a mark of respect to the martyrs of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) who sacrificed their lives to protect their language. A proposal in this connection by the Bangladesh government with a view to save languages from becoming extinct was accepted by UNESCO. The theme of the day for this year is “Fostering multilingualism for inclusion in education and society". India is home to more than 19500 mother languages and we need to speak, write and popularise these languages so that they don't fade away as time passes.