WARDHA: “Culture is conserved by language,” reiterating the quote of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, vice-president of India M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday recalled ‘nai talim’ proposed by Mahatma Gandhi in Wardha in 1937 that laid emphasis on making mother tongue as the medium of instruction in addition to free compulsory education and skill training to the students.

Naidu was addressing the silver jubilee celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University (MGIHU) in virtual mode on Tuesday. The vice-president also unveiled the statue of Dr BR Ambedkar and inaugurated Atal Bihari Vajpayee Bhavan and Chandrashekhar Azad Hostel on MGIHU premises.

“Our constituent assembly, after a long debate, accepted Hindi as the official language and also accorded constitutional status to other Indian languages in the Eighth Schedule,” said Naidu, adding “We are fortunate to have linguistic diversity in the country. Our linguistic diversity is our strength as our languages symbolise our cultural unity.”

The vice-president said for Mahatma Gandhi, the question of language was a question of national unity. He further observed that even after insisting on Hindi, Mahatma Gandhi understood the sensitivity of every citizen to his mother tongue. Gandhiji associated mother tongue with Swaraj and called for according due importance to it, he added.

Naidu said it is expected of a civilized society that its language should be gentle, cultured and creative. “Let us exercise our freedom of expression with the decency of language and the discipline of words,” he said. He appealed to the youth to rise above caste, creed, gender and region and work for strengthening the unity of the nation.

He also called Wardha the land of inspiration to the nation because it was witness to the life philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave. Praising the achievements of MGIHU, Naidu said the university has made available many famous works of Hindi literature online, helping the readers sitting in distant countries access authentic Hindi literature.

In this context, he wanted that the literature of other Indian languages should also be made available online with its Hindi translation. Describing our linguistic diversity as the strength of the country, the vice-president urged to strengthen this thread of unity in diversity and stressed on the need for enhanced dialogue between Indian languages.

He suggested language departments of universities to play important role in this regard. “There should be constant contact and intellectual dialogue between the language departments of the universities,” he said.

The vice-president also directed the university authorities to make available facilities to learn other Indian languages, so that Hindi students can also learn other Indian languages, as MGIHU is teaching foreign languages like French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese etc in Hindi medium.

Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment, Ramdas Athawale, Wardha MP Ramdas Tadas, vice-chancellor Prof Rajnish Kumar Shukla, BJP MLA Pankaj Bhoyar and others were present on the occasion, some virtually and some physically.

Source : https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/linguistic-diversity-is-our-strength-vp-venkaih-naidu/articleshow/88698112.cms