“Subhadip, this is Roy”, the conversation started like this on 6th of February 2016. This was when RJ Roy called me to confirm the availability of Oxford Bookstore, Kolkata for the International Mother Language Day commemoration. A quick call back and forth and the venue gets finalized, within a couple of hours Social Bong joins as the social media partner and Anon Productions joins as the videography partner. It was just like a jigsaw puzzle fitting in its place automatically.
RJ Roy along with Patra Bharati, Radio One, Kobita Club and On The Rox Magazine were the other partners for this event.
Luckily for me that is Indian Vagabond became the photography partner for the event, I really looked forward to covering this event as this would be a first of a kind for me.
This is unknown to many people and most who know confuse 21st February with International Language Day, actually, this day is known as International Mother Language Day after United Nations established a resolution on it in the year 1999.
The roots of this celebration, however, goes back to the year 1952 when in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) a group of students from University of Dhaka, Jagannath University and Dhaka Medical College were demonstrating to install Bengali as one of the national languages of the country. The security forces fired on the protesting students and this resulted in the death of some of the students.
This became the foundation of the commemoration and soon the world over people started celebrating their own language. Since me being from Kolkata and moreover being a Bengali this day becomes much significant for me to celebrate actually.
The day finally arrived that is 21st of February 2016, being a Sunday I expected a low turnout but I was wrong, the place was full much before the scheduled time of 2 PM. Anish Deb, Tridib Chattopadhyay, Surojit Chatterjee, Ranjan Bandopadhyay and Riddhi Bandopadhyay were some of the eminent panellists for the day.
It was a real fun afternoon with some meaningful discussion, debate, and self-introspection. In between representatives from Kobita Club entertained the audience with some poetry written by the members themselves. And of course, when we have RJ Roy we will sure to have word games with Shobdobaji.
So in this blog Indian Vagabond will take you through the event with photographs.