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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Efforts should be made to promote Indian languages, says Venkaiah Naidu

Naidu was speaking at a ceremony where he presented the prestigious Saraswati Samman award,conferred by the KK Birla Foundation, to Telegu poet K Siva Reddy for his collection of poems titled Pakkaki Ottigilite (Turning Aside While Lying Down).

india Updated: Sep 29, 2019 00:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
All efforts should be made to preserve, promote and propagate Indian languages because, when a language dies, it leads to a loss of cultural identity, Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu said on Saturday.
All efforts should be made to preserve, promote and propagate Indian languages because, when a language dies, it leads to a loss of cultural identity, Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu said on Saturday. (PTI)
         

All efforts should be made to preserve, promote and propagate Indian languages because, when a language dies, it leads to a loss of cultural identity, Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu said on Saturday. He said language was the lifeline of culture, noting that India was home to many languages.

Naidu was speaking at a ceremony where he presented the prestigious Saraswati Samman award,conferred by the KK Birla Foundation, to Telegu poet K Siva Reddy for his collection of poems titled Pakkaki Ottigilite (Turning Aside While Lying Down).

The Vice President spoke of the need to revisit the education policy to ensure that teaching at the primary school level was in the mother tongue. Preservation of a language needs a multi- pronged approach, Naidu said, adding that he was not against the use of English; but articulation was better and more effective in the native language.

“Bhasha and bhavna {language and feeling} go together,” Naidu said.

He made a case for incorporating native languages in administrative functioning for greater efficiency and as a medium of instruction in schools. The vice president went on to say he had been stressing five things that must be remembered -- one’s mother, native place, mother tongue, motherland and guru.

“I am not against English. People should learn as many languages as possible, but there is something special and beautiful in every language,” he said.

Drawing from his own experience, Naidu said that although he participated in an anti-Hindi agitation during his college days, he realized the importance of the language when he moved to Delhi as a mainstream leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Naidu praised the KK Birla Foundation for promoting Indian languages and said he admired the concept on which the foundation was founded in 1991 to promote Indian art and culture. The Foundation’s promotion of Indian language was commendable, he said.

“Language preservation cannot be the job of the government alone, it needs people’s participation,” he said.

In his acceptance speech, Dr Reddy spoke about his life, the loss of his mother at an early age and how his upbringing in a middle-class family helped him forge a connection with nature.

“…To be born in a lower middle class agricultural family with all its debts is a kind of boon, because you will be able to smell inner fragrances of rural life, with its grit, fortitude and incorrigible hope,” said the recipient of the 28th Saraswati Samman.

He spoke about how his rural connections helped him identity himself with nature, which has become a part of his poetry. “Poetry taught me life and nature, are inseparable, reciprocal and complimentary,” he said.

Dr. Reddy’s Pakkaki Ottigilite, published in 2016, is an anthology of 104 poems in blank verse. It captures the responses of the poet over the years to social change, the evolution of his own self and his dynamic relationship with the world.

Shobhana Bhartia, president of the KK Birla Foundation, referred to the rigorous selection process for selecting the winner of the prestigious award that carries a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh and is given for outstanding literary work of an Indian citizen published during the last 10 years in any language listed in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.

She said the main objective of the Foundation was to promote Indian art, culture, literature and science and education as the late KK Birla had envisioned. She described the Saraswati Samman as the jewel in the crown of the Foundation.

Bhartia described Dr Reddy as a prolific writer whose prodigious works have garnered national and internal awards.

The awardee is picked by a jury known as the Chayan Parishad, or selection committee, which includes renowned scholars and writers and was headed by constitutional expert Subhash C Kashyap, a former secretary general of the Lok Sabha secretariat, after a three-tier selection process.

Past recipients of the Saraswati Samman include poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan, and writers Vijay Tendulkar, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi and Dr Indira Parthasarathy Ramanujar, among others.

To felicitate writers, the KK Birla Foundation has instituted three awards in the field of literature. Besides the Saraswati Samman, these are the Vyas Samman (for Hindi) and Bihari Puraskar (for Hindi and Rajasthani writers of Rajasthan).

First Published: Sep 28, 2019 23:37 IST

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