Chennai: “Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage,” said Tamil Nadu Governor Shri Banwarilal Purohit while speaking at the International Mother Language Day and the Indian Cultural Festival celebration organised by Desiya Chinthanai Kazhagam, the state unit of the Prajna Pravah, on February 21. Quoting Nelson Mandela, ‘if you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head and if you talk to him in his mother tongue that goes to his hearts’ Shri Purohit said the promotion of mother tongues will encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education and will also develop awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions.
Tamil Nadu Governor Shri Banwari Lal Purohit and others at the function in Chennai
According to 2011 census, more than 19,500 languages/dialects are spoken in India as mother tongues. There are 22 languages which are called scheduled languages listed in the Constitution, out of them six— Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Odiya and Malayalam—are classical languages.
VIT founder and Chancellor Shri G Viswanathan said with 121 major languages, 19,500 languages/ dialects the three language formula accepted in 1968 should be implemented. He also insisted that Hindi-speaking states should learn modern languages preferably South Indian languages. He also emphasised that the Government of India should allocate more funds to education so that middle class and poor people are benefitted. State president of Desiya Chinthanai Kazhagam Shri Ma Ve Pasupathi appealed to devote more time to speak and contribute to mother language. Educationist Shri Va Ve Subramaniam stressed on using language as a ‘carrier’ and not as a barrier.