On International Mother Language Day, Naidu promotes linguistic diversity
As the world marks International Mother Language Day on Sunday, February 21, vice president and Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu urged everyone to promote the use of their mother tongues. He took to Twitter in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Kannada, Gujarati, Malayalam, Bengali, Telugu, Odia among other Indian languages to send his message on International Mother Language Day.
“My greetings on International #MotherLanguageDay. Linguistic diversity has always been one of the foundational pillars of our civilization. More than just a means of communication, our mother languages connect us with our heritage and define our socio-cultural identity,” he tweeted in English.
“We must promote the use of mother tongue in all spheres - from primary education to governance. We must encourage the creative expression of our thoughts and ideas in our own languages!” he added.
Naidu’s tweets come a day after he had written to the members of Parliament and urged them to contribute towards the promotion of Indian languages. The vice president described the first learned and spoken mother tongue as the 'soul of life' and made a passionate appeal to all MPs in a three-page letter. "I request you to be an active facilitator in promoting native languages in the large area you represent in the Parliament. Given your standing among the people you represent, your efforts could give a fillip to the promotion of Indian languages. I sincerely hope that you would agree with me on the need for preservation and promotion of all Indian languages and do whatever is possible to enrich them," he wrote in his letter.
Since 2000, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has led the world in celebrating languages with a view to promoting linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
“Every two weeks a language disappears taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage. At least 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered. Only a few hundred languages have genuinely been given a place in education systems and the public domain, and less than a hundred are used in the digital world. Multilingual and multicultural societies exist through their languages which transmit and preserve traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable way,” the UN has said.
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