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Celebrate 22 December as ‘Dogri Day’: Balwant Thakur

Eminent playwright, theatre director and the former cultural diplomat of India Balwant Thakur today appealed to all the lovers of Dogri language and culture to celebrate 22nd December as ‘Dogri Day’. He was addressing a pre-event hosted by Natrang in celebration of the inclusion of Dogri in the 8th schedule of the constitution of India. Speaking further Balwant Thakur said that twenty years back on 22nd of December, 2003 in a major milestone, Dogri was recognized as the official language of India. Instead of terming it as ‘Dogri Maanta Divas’ this day should be celebrated and rejoiced with full fun and fare as ‘Dogri Day’ all over. Let this day be celebrated as a wake-up call for governments, politicians, and the institutions who have been failing in recognizing the value and importance of a mother tongue which is the ultimate identity of community, race or culture. 

On the occasion while underlining the contribution of Natrang in promoting and projecting Dogri language and culture he said that let the world know that it was Natrang which took Dogri to international heights. Through its selfless efforts of 40 years, Natrang brought laurels for Dogri by taking it to ‘Frankfurt International Theatre Festival’, ‘Theatre Olympics’, ‘Commonwealth Games-2010’ and ‘Festival of India in Russia’. Fact remains that Dogri became the first regional language of India to reach to the ‘Frankfurt International Theatre Festival’ Germany in 2009. This is also the occasion to let people know about such rarest accomplishments of Dogri language and culture. At the same time this is also the harsh reality that younger generations are not speaking Dogri which Balwant Thakur termed as the biggest tragedy of the times. Vested interests have always inculcated inferiority complex amongst the younger generations. Few schools have also contributed rigorously in cementing this complex of inferiority. Nowhere on this earth people take pride in distancing from their language and culture barring our own region. 

The celebration of ‘Dogri Day’ may also be utilized as an opportune moment to sensitize younger generations, prompting them to take pride in their language and culture. Citing a popular phrase ‘To kill a culture, destroy its language’ he added that this is what is happening in Jammu region. “This is the high time to think and act promptly” he concluded.

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