Events & Observances Current Affairs - 2019

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9 August: International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is globally observed every 9 August with aim to promote and protect rights of indigenous population. Observance of this day seeks to recognize the contributions and achievements of indigenous people to improve world issues such as environmental protection.

2019 Theme: ‘Indigenous Languages’. It is dedicated to languages of indigenous peoples’ in view of 2019 being marked as International Year of Indigenous Languages by United Nations (UN). It seeks to draw attention to critical loss of indigenous languages and urgent need to preserve, promote and revitalize them at both national and international levels.

Why it is important of preserve Indigenous Languages?

The large majority of languages spoken by indigenous peoples are in danger. It is estimated that, every 2 weeks, one indigenous language disappears, placing at risk respective indigenous cultures and knowledge systems.  In response to threats to various indigenous languages, UN General Assembly (UNGA) had adopted Resolution (A/RES/71/178) on ‘Rights of Indigenous Peoples’, proclaiming 2019 as International Year of Indigenous Languages.

Background

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was pronounced by UNGA by adopting resolution 49/214 in December 1994.

Why August 9? This date marks the day on which 1st meeting of UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights was held in 1982.

Indigenous people: It is estimated that there around 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. They make up less than 5% of the world’s population, but account for 15% of the poorest, making them most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of people in world.. They speak overwhelming majority of the world’s estimated 7,000 languages and represent 5,000 different cultures. These people are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. They have retained their unique social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of dominant societies in which they live. Indigenous peoples from around the world, despite having cultural differences, are facing common problems related to protection of their rights as distinct peoples and existence.

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8 August: India observes 77th anniversary of Quit India movement

Every year 8 August is celebrated in India as August Kranti Din, in which tribute is paid to revolutionaries who sacrificed their lives in freedom struggle against rule. Also teachings given by Father of the Nation (Bapu), Mahatma Gandhi are remembered.

8 August 2019 is being observed as 77th anniversary of August Kranti Din, which is considered as one of important milestones in history of freedom struggle of our country.

August Kranti Din

Why 8 August? Every year 8 August is remembered as a conch shell of last battle for independence in Indian history. On this day in 1942, foundation of Quit India Movement, run by Mahatma Gandhi was laid, after which whole of India united against British and British rule had to kneel down. Since Independence, 8 August is known as Revolution Day and ground in Bombay where it was started by hoisting flag is known as Kranti Maidan.

77 years of Quit India Movement (or August Movement): When British did not fulfill their promise to liberate India even after taking help from India in 2nd world war and when Cripps Mission (March 1942) also failed, then On August 8, 1942 Mahatma Gandhi gave a clarion call to end the British rule and launched the Quit India Movement (or Bharat Chodo Andolan). The proposal for this movement was passed in Bombay session of All India Congress Committee on 08 August which paved way for a mass movement to attain independence. As Quit India Movement was launched in month of August, it is also known as August Movement or August Kranti.

On 8th August 1942, as a precursor to India’s independence, Quit India Movement was launched at Mumbai’s historic Gowalia Tank Maidan, now popularly known as August Kranti Maidan. Also Gandhiji gave the call to Do or Die in his Quit India speech delivered at Gowalia Tank Maida, which inspired thousands of party workers but also created a frenzy among British who rushed to imprison entire Congress leadership.

Only then Gandhiji was imprisoned at Aga Khan Palace in Pune and almost all leaders were arrested. In such a situation, young leader Aruna Asif Ali hoisted Quit India movement by hoisting tricolor at Gwalia Tank Ground in Mumbai on 9 August.

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