Children learning English at the cost of vernacular languages: Javed Akhtar | bollywood | Hindustan Times
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Children learning English at the cost of vernacular languages: Javed Akhtar

The middle and the upper middle classes have ­abandoned the vernacular languages in preference to English, which has become a necessity now, Akhtar said at an event recently.

bollywood Updated: Jan 27, 2014 19:06 IST
Lyricist-script-writer-Javed-Akhtar-addressing-DSC-Jaipur-Literature-Festival-in-Jaipur-on-Thursday-Photo-UNI
Lyricist-script-writer-Javed-Akhtar-addressing-DSC-Jaipur-Literature-Festival-in-Jaipur-on-Thursday-Photo-UNI

Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar says that children nowadays are learning English at the "cost of vernacular ­languages".



The middle and the upper middle classes have ­abandoned the vernacular languages in preference to English, which has become a necessity now, Akhtar said at an event recently.



"It is a tragedy. The educational system, the globalisation and liberalization has ­corporatised the society,” he said.“English has become crucial to connect to the rest of the world. But what is happening is that ­children from the middle and the upper-middle classes are learning English at the cost of ­vernacular ­languages. So, where will they go?" he asked.



“The middle and upper middle classes have ­abdicated the vernacular languages, and these ­classes are mainly responsible for the literature and aesthetics of a language. The vernacular languages are now being given to the slum dwellers. It would be unfair to demand from the lower classes (who struggle for food) to make a contribution to the development of literature."



According to Akhtar, destroying a ­language is akin to causing death of history and tradition. “Language is a vessel that carries history, culture and tradition. You kill a language, you kill ­history, your culture, you kill tradition, and that is what is happening."



He ­contended that Urdu had suffered because of the two-nation theory that led to the partition of India in 1947.“Urdu, the language of nationalists, has been enveloped in a shroud, and that is unfair.”