Language preservation and development must take the shape of a people’s movement: VP

New Delhi, Sept 28: The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today said that language preservation and development cannot be the task of government alone and added thatit has to take the form of people’s movement. ‘Community participation is essential for preserving and protecting languages’, he added.

He was addressing the gathering at the 28th Saraswati Samman presentation ceremony organized by the KK Birla Foundation in New Delhi today.

He lauded the KK Birla Foundation for creating a framework to adjudge the creative output in literature of different languages of our vast country to honour the most deserving.

Stating that promotion of Indian languages was a cause that was close to his heart, the Vice President said that language is the lifeline of a culture. ‘We must make every effort to preserve, promote and propagate languages. When a language dies, there will be a loss of cultural identity, traditions and customs associated with that language’, he added.

Observing that language preservation and development needs a multi-pronged approach, Shri Naidu advocated the need for people to speak in their mother tongue at all times except where it becomes necessary to communicate in another language.

The Vice President opined that promotion of mother tongue should begin at the primary school level. He advised all state governments to make mother tongue mandatory during primary education.

He also emphasized that the respective local languages should be used extensively by state administrations across the country for improving efficiency and delivery of services. ‘The best way to preserve or promote any language is to use it extensively in everyday life’, the Vice President said.

Speaking of the Parliament’s initiatives to promote regional languages, the Vice President said that Rajya Sabha members can now speak in any of the 22 scheduled languages in the Parliament and put forth their points of view. And added that simultaneous translation is provided and members can effectively communicate their thoughts in any of those languages.

Shri Naidu suggested the harnessing of the power of technology to preserve and promote our languages and culture. He called for the creation of more and more online dictionaries, encyclopedias, glossaries, research articles and searchable databases in all Indian languages.  ‘Old manuscripts should be electronically stored for easy retrieval’, he said.

He urged more and more people should to write poetry, stories, novels and dramas in their native languages. ‘There is an urgent need to accord a sense of dignity and a sense of pride to those who speak, write and communicate in their native languages’, he said.

He also said that there is an urgent need to develop adequate material in dialects and folk literature of all our states and added that language learning is a catalyst for inclusive development as well.

Opining that reading good poetry, literature and writings will not only kindle new thoughts but also provide us withhumour, happiness and soul-fulfilling emotions, the Vice President congratulated Dr. K. Siva Reddy who won the ‘Saraswati Samman’ for his Telugu poetry collection ‘Pakkaki Ottigilite’.

Shri Naidu said that Dr. K. Siva Reddy is one of the major poets of not only Telugu but also of Indian Literature and he has become a trend setter with his prolific writing and effortlessly experimenting with themes and forms.

The Vice President said that Dr. Siva Reddy had a whole range of poetic expression, echoing themes ranging from Marxism to Humanism and added that the poet has been a champion of the oppressed and suppressed people.

Smt. Shobhana Bhartia, President, K.K. Birla Foundation, Shri Priyavrat Bhartia, President’s Nominee, K.K. Birla Foundation and others were present on the occasion.

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