New Delhi: Many visiting foreign leaders, despite knowing English, speak in their mother tongue during their discussions with top Indian dignitaries to convey a message of self-respect.
Disclosing this here while Inaugurating an online webinar on “Knowledge Creation: Mother Tongue” organized by the Department of Telugu, University of Hyderabad and the Telugu Academy on Wednesday, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu referred to a survey of countries impacted greatly by globalization, which showed that nations which accorded importance to mother tongue were among the top 50.
“It should be noted that about 90 per cent of the top 40-50 countries in the Global Innovation Index are those in which education was imparted in their respective mother tongues,” he said.
Naidu further pointed that about 90 per cent of the Nobel Laureates (barring Nobel Peace prize recipients) up to 2017 were those who completed their education in their respective mother tongues, and hence it was also not correct to think that modern research could be conducted only if one was proficient in English.
Calling for imparting education in the mother tongue up to primary school, he stressed that a language would gain popularity only through widespread usage. He said it was a fallacy to think that progress could be achieved only if education was pursued in English. “Research has shown that those who are proficient in their mother tongue can learn other languages with equal ease,” he added.
While stressing the need for giving a special thrust to the respective official language by every state government, Naidu called for protecting and promoting various Indian languages through the use of mother tongue in different fields from education to administration.
“Language is the lifeline of a civilization. It denotes the identity, culture and traditions of the people. It plays an important role in preserving music, dance, customs, festivals, traditional knowledge and heritage,” he said and expressed the the need to develop the mother tongues to meet modern needs, by simplifying complex scientific and technical terms in Indian languages. The Vice President also advised researchers to find the endangered words and promote their use in day-to-day conversations, essays, and textbooks to revive decaying languages.
Asking the teachers and parents to encourage their children to speak in mother tongue at home and elsewhere, he said it should become the lingua franca for all educational, socio-economic and other activities. Naidu also wanted the media to promote the widespread use of native languages.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad, P. Appa Rao, Chairman of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Dr. Satish Reddy, Head of the Telugu Department, University of Hyderabad, Prof. Aruna Kumari, Chairman of Shanta Biotech, KL Varaprasad Reddy, Director of Telugu Academy, A. Satyanarayana Reddy and Chairman of Telangana State Official Language Commission, Devulapalli Prabhakar Rao were among those who participated in the online webinar.
– globalbihari bureau