International Mother Language Day: Take Action for Hany Babu

On 21 February each year, PEN International joins worldwide observations of International Mother Language Day, which celebrates the importance of linguistic diversity around world.

On that day, the organization highlights the case of a writer who is at risk because of their peaceful promotion of multilingualism and greater linguistic rights protections.

This year, PEN International calls for the release of linguistics scholar and activist Hany Babu (India), who has been unjustly detained by the Indian authorities as part of the government’s wider crackdown on dissidents and advocates for the rights of marginalised communities in India.

In 2011, PEN International proclaimed its Girona Manifesto for Linguistic Rights stating, among other points, that «Respect for all languages and cultures is fundamental to the process of constructing and maintaining dialogue and peace in the world» and that «Every linguistic community has the right for its language to be used as an official language in its territory.»