Confusion in the State over ‘Mother Tongue Day’ has compounded thanks to the Official Languages Commission’s decision earlier this week to observe May 14 as official language day. This is aimed at commemorating the day on which the Official Languages Act came into force 47 years ago.
It was by this piece of legislation that Telugu was made the official language of Andhra Pradesh, a State formed out of composite Madras State based on language spoken by people in this area.
Interestingly, the Act was amended a few years ago to declare Urdu as the second official language in 15 districts where it was spoken by large number of people.
Confusion, however, arose as Mother Tongue Day is already being celebrated on two different dates. One of them is February 21, the day notified by UNESCO as ‘International Mother Tongue Day’. August 29 is also being observed as Mother Tongue Day to mark the birth anniversary of Gidugu Venkata Ramamurthy Pantulu who revolutionised Telugu by launching a literary movement to popularise its colloquial form to ensure better understanding by common people. If one is to go by Commission’s decision, Mother Tongue Day will be celebrated for the third time on May 14. Sources said the Commission was influenced by the fact that official language day is being celebrated at national level on that date with focus on Hindi.