We Need collaborative and innovative efforts to protect our Indian languages: Venkaiah Naidu

Venkaiah Naidu also lauded the efforts of the Ministry of Education for the initiative to protect endangered languages

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said that we need innovative and collaborative efforts to protect and rejuvenate Indian languages.

Stressing that preserving languages and ensuring their continuity is possible only through a people’s movement during the virtual conference organized by ‘Telugu Kootami’ on the protection of mother tongues, Naidu said, “People must come together in one voice and pool in efforts to pass on our heritage of language to our future generations.”

Touching upon various people-driven initiatives needed to preserve Indian languages, the Vice President highlighted the important role translation plays in enriching a language.

Venkaiah Naidu called for increased efforts in improving the quality and quantity of translations in Indian languages and advised making ancient literature more accessible and relatable to the youth in plain and spoken languages.

Venkaiah Naidu also called for compiling endangered and archaic words in a language from rural areas and various dialects in order to preserve them for posterity. “If one’s mother tongue is lost, one’s self-identity and self-esteem will eventually be lost. It would be possible to preserve various aspects of our heritage – music, dance, drama, customs, festivals, traditional knowledge – only by preserving our mother tongue,” said Naidu.

On the occasion, the Vice President lauded the recent initiative of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, who resolved a 21-year-old marital dispute in an amicable way, by allowing the woman to voice her concerns in her mother tongue, Telugu, when she expressed her difficulty to fluently speak in English. “This case underlines the need for the judicial system to allow people to voice their problems in their native languages in courts and also deliver judgments in the regional languages,” he said.

The Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also reiterated the importance of imparting education in the mother tongue up to the primary school level and according priority to the mother tongue in the administration.

He further appreciated the central government for bringing out a visionary National Education Policy (NEP), which lays emphasis on the use of mother tongue in our education system. “A holistic education, as NEP envisions, is only possible when our culture, language and traditions are integrated into our education system,” he added.

Venkaiah Naidu appreciated the recent decision of 14 engineering colleges in eight states to offer courses in various Indian languages from the new academic year and called for the gradual increase in the use of Indian languages in technical courses.

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also lauded the efforts of the Ministry of Education for the initiative to protect endangered languages through the Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages (SPPEL).

Referring to various best practices in the world in preserving mother tongue, the Vice President called upon language enthusiasts, linguists, teachers, parents and the media to take insights from such countries. “These countries – like France, Germany and Japan, while using their native tongue in various advanced disciplines like engineering, medicine and law, have proved themselves strong vis-a-vis English-speaking countries in every field,” he said while adding that improving scientific and technical terminology in Indian languages in order to facilitate wider reach.

Naidu further called for encouraging children to learn as many languages as possible, beginning with a strong foundation in one’s own mother tongue. 

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