The Vice President of India 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.Shri 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.Shri 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, Shri Naiducalled for usage of native languages at home, in the community, in meetings and in administration.‘We must accord a sense of dignity and pride to those who speak, write and communicate in these languages,’ he added. The Vice President also advised every state government to medium of instruction in mother tongue mandatory up to 5th or 8th grade. He also wanted the state governments to link employment with the native language up to a certain level. “Every officer must be familiar with the local language’, he added and suggested that the sign boards on shops, establishments and other institutions must be represented in local language and any other language of choice.Observing that India was linguistic a treasure trove, a nation widely acknowledged for its extraordinary linguistic and cultural diversity, the Vice President said that the plurality and co-existence of multiple languages add colour and vitality to our country and makes it unique.
‘Our languages are a repository of our collective knowledge and wisdom which we have amassed over the course of the long journey of our vibrant civilization,’ he added. The Vice President visited the Center of Excellence for Studies in Classical Telugu and enquired about the research undertaken by them in connection with promoting and preserving the classical language.He also visited an exhibition displaying the activities of Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) including reviving old languages, developing tools for better understanding and research of primitive and indigenous languages.On the occasion of Golden Jubilee Celebrations of CIIL, Shri Naidu laid the foundation stones for three regional language centres to be setup at Bhubaneswar, Patiala and Solan. The Vice President launched a journal of Classical Telugu and released the book- Telugu Siri.The Vice President also felicitated the founder director of CIIL, Prof D P Pattanayak.Shri PratapSimha, Member of Parliament, Mysore, Shri. The Mayor of Mysore, Smt. PushpalathaJagannath, Sanjay Kr Sinha, Joint Secretary, Ministry of HRD, and the Director CIIL Shri D.G. Rao were present.