Regional languages should be given due importance: Mamata



West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, here on Wednesday, said the Centre must accord due importance to regional languages and mother tongue if there has to be a united India.

She was speaking at the public meeting organised by the DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) to mark first death anniversary of former Chief Minister and DMK chief M. Karunanidhi.

Praising Karunanidhi as a great leader and who fought for federalism, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader said, "We are Indian. But we have our mother tongue and identity." 

Recalling leaders, like Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and B.R. Ambedkar, the Bengal Chief Minister said they fought for the people and she too "can fight and is not afraid". "We can fight any atrocity. We can sacrifice our lives, but not the Tamil land or the Bengal land," Banerjee said.

Referring to the absence of former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, who was also invited to the meeting, Banerjee said his whereabouts were not known.

Referring to the Narendra Modi government's decision to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution that conferred special status to J&K, the TMC leader said, political parties must take into confidence the people of a state about whom a decision had to be taken.

On Karunanidhi, she said she vividly remembered the television image of him being physically lifted from his home at midnight several years back. Karunanidhi fought for the poor, downtrodden, farmers and minorities, she added.

Earlier, Banerjee unveiled a statue of Karunanidhi at the DMK party organ Murasoli's office here. IANS