The Vice President M Venkiah Naidu today asserted that there should not be imposition of any language, while maintaining that there must not be opposition to any language at the same time.
The Vice President said ‘languages must unite us in the cause for inclusive and sustainable development and must not end up as tools to divide us. There should be no imposition of any language nor should there be opposition to any language”
Inaugurating the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) in Mysuru, the Vice President said language should become a catalyst for inclusive development. He said that the promotion of one language was not tantamount to undermining or opposing other languages.
Naidu said that in a democracy, especially in a knowledge economy like India. ‘We must not foster the tendency to discriminate between people based upon their ability or inability to speak a particular language,’ he added.
Emphasizing the importance of protecting and conserving India’s unique and rich linguistic heritage, he said it was extremely disheartening to learn that 196 languages of our country are classified as endangered. ‘We may have to ensure that this number doesn’t increase. We have to protect and preserve our languages and the best and only way is to constantly use them,’ he added.
Naidu described protecting and preserving Indian languages as true nationalism and patriotism. He said ‘languages are the life blood of identity and play a significant role in strengthening bonds among people.’
Calling for multi-pronged approach to preserve and develop Indian languages, the Vice President said that it was time to rethink and reinvent the entire language education in our country. “We must start by making the mother tongue the medium of instruction in schools at least at the primary level or up to 8th grade,” he added.
Referring to studies, which established that teaching of mother tongue at the initial stages of education gives impetus to the growth of mind and thought and makes children more creative and logical, Naidu called for usage of native languages at home, in the community, in meetings and in administration.