It was first announced by UNESCO on November 17, 1999 that February 21 would be observed as International Mother Language Day every year to promote the preservation and protection of all languages. It is really interesting to find a motherly connection with these two dates with the life of The Mother (Born Mirra Alfassa in Paris in 1878) as February 21 is her birthday and November 17, 1973 is the day she died in Pondicherry. Is it mere coincidence? Now, let us recall another such handshake between Sri Aurobindo’s birthday and India’s Independence Day.
In his message on the day of India’s Independence, Sri Aurobindo said, “August 15th is my own birthday and it is naturally gratifying to me that it should have assumed this vast significance. I take this coincidence, not as a fortuitous accident, but as a sanction and seal of the Divine Force that guides my steps on the work I began life, the beginning of its full fruition”.
Sanction and seal of the Divine Force must have been behind all the languages of the world. We need to protect them for our own survival. It is unfortunate that thousands of languages are under the threat of extinction. Most of them are spoken by tribal people. Their extinction would lead to the loss of a storehouse of information on tropical medicines and herbs available only in these languages. We are going to become almost an alien in our Mother Earth if we thus lose valuable information about her treasures.