New Delhi: The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that promotion and protection of ancient Indian languages was the need of the hour as they offer a window to our ancient civilisational values, knowledge and wisdom.
Addressing the gathering after conferring around 100 ‘President’s Certificate of Honour’ and ‘Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman’ Awards to scholars in Classical Languages, here today, Shri Naidu said “When a language dies, an entire culture dies. We simply cannot let that happen. Protecting our cultural heritage, including languages is our constitutionally mandated duty,” he asserted.
Observing that studies by experts estimate that almost 600 languages were on the verge of extinction and more than 250 languages have disappeared in the past 60 years, the Vice President that the modern Indian languages have ancient roots and are derived in some way from the classical languages. “If we don’t preserve and sustain this link, we lose a very precious key to the treasure house we have all inherited,” he warned.
Emphasizing that language preservation and development needed multi-pronged approach, Naidu said it should begin at the primary school level and continued to higher levels of education. “Functional literacy in at least one language should be ensured,” he added.
Urging people to start using their native languages at home, in the community, in meetings and in administration, the Vice President called for a national movement to protect and preserve the mother tongue. He asked the state governments, Centre, academicians and the school administrations to provide primary and higher education in mother tongue.