November 21, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Patiala: State governments will have to make consistent efforts to save the mother tongue of their people as they are badly suffering at the hands of both domestic imposition of Hindi and international languages, mainly English, which is slowly becoming the first choice of youngsters and their parents.
Dr DB Rao, Director, Central Institute for Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore, who was on a visit to Punjabi University’s Northern Regional Language Centre here, reportedly said people were losing grip on their mother tongue. It was the duty of the respective government to enforce mother tongue of students was taught in schools and ensure that the coming generations stayed in touch with it.
“As per the central government policy, the primary education should be in mother tongue but this is not being followed anywhere. When you send your wards to Hindi or English-medium schools, your mother tongue is definitely going to take a back seat,” Dr Rao adds.
Whilst putting the onus of deteriorating languages on state governments, Dr Rao said while the Union Government could only float suggestions on promoting languages, the actual task of their upkeep laid with the states. They should make its study mandatory till Class X so that students have complete command of their first language, media reports said.
But since the pro-hindutva Modi government came to power in 2014, the Union government itself is hell bend over imposing Hindi language in all spheres of life of an individual residing in the Indian Sub-continent. All this is being carried out at the cost of other regional languages in order to bring pseudo unity in terms of language in the country.
About the recent controversy in Punjab over display of the state language on top of signboards, Dr Rao said it was how one perceived it. If the idea was to cater to a respective state, the language used the most in the state could be placed on the top.
Throwing light on different regional centres being managed by the CIIL, Dr Rao said there were five centres, including the centre for southern languages at Mysore, Bhubaneswar (eastern languages), Pune (western languages), Guwahati (northeastern languages) and Patiala (northern languages). He informed that as many as four languages were being taught at the Patiala centre, which included Kashmiri, Dogri, Urdu and Punjabi, and the courses were revived after a gap of four years, reads a quote from a report published in an English vernacular.
“We are primarily concentrating on appointing regular teachers for these four languages apart from carrying out research and development activities. In higher education, textbooks to study languages other than the mother tongue are not available to us and our priority is to make the books available to students,” Dr Rao further said, notes The Tribune (TT).