Two-day seminar on ‘Languages of India and their place in the school system’ gets under way
“When we got freedom from the British, we forgot to get rid of the English hangover. Otherwise, why would we forget to use our State languages or our mother tongue,” lamented Jnanpith Award winner Chandrashekhar Kambar after inaugurating the two-day seminar on ‘Languages of India and their place in the school system’ here on Saturday.
The seminar, organised by the Kuvempu Bhasha Bharati Pradhikara, in association with the Central Sahitya Academy, at the Kannada Bhavan, will see language scholars, linguists and academicians from across India taking part in debates and discussions.
Mr. Kambar, who also spoke about the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Karnataka government could not impose mother tongue on linguistic minority for imparting primary education, said, “In the wake of hundreds of languages, including tongues from the interior tribal belts losing root in India, we need to address the issue with a strong national movement with people’s cooperation. I have, at www.change.org, appealed to the Prime Minister to bring in some constitutional changes to ensure the status of Indian languages and their use. I look forward to having 1 crore signatures.”
K.V. Narayana, chairperson, Kuvempu Bhasha Bharathi Pradhikara, said: “Any amount of significance given to the variety of verbal communication in India is not going to be enough for its survival.” He said the linguistic geography of India had changed so the ‘area’ had to be revisited and redefined. It was in 1911 that the last language survey was conducted. The Eighth Schedule of the Constitution included 22 languages and there were 600 languages spoken across the country. “Is this linguistic diversity being addressed in schools,” asked Mr. Narayana.
Debi Prasanna Patnaik, activist Ganesh N. Devi, N. Gopi of Hyderabad University and Krishnaswamy Nachimuthu of Tiruvarur made it clear that for Kannada to survive, it should be the responsibility of the government to ensure that the language entered the digital world in a scientific way.
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