New Delhi: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday exhorted the use of mother language in administrative work, saying Indian languages can bring the administration closer to people and make governance more people-centric.
Highlighting the importance of preserving, protecting and promoting Indian languages, the Vice President sprang a surprise when he spoke in 22 languages at an event to mark International Mother Language Day here.
"The language of the people should be the language of administration. Freedom fighter Kakasaheb Kakelkar has said, "If the rule of the people is to run in India, it has to be run in the language of the people," he said while inaugurating an event to celebrate Mother Language Day, organised by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Ministry of Culture here.
Stating that language should become a catalyst for inclusive development and growth, Mr Naidu stressed the need to use local language in administration.
He suggested making knowledge of Indian languages mandatory for recruitment up to a certain level in government jobs.The Vice President urged all the citizens to take a pledge to promote mother tongue and also learn other languages.
Observing that more than 19,500 languages and dialects were spoken in India as mother tongues, he said the languages were a repository of collective knowledge and wisdom amassed over the course of the long journey of our vibrant civilisation.
Mr Naidu called for a national movement to promote Indian languages in a big way, saying "When we protect and promote mother tongues, we protect and promote linguistic and cultural diversity also."
Asserting that celebration of Matribhashas should not remain a one-day affair, he wanted all citizens to use their respective mother tongue on a daily basis as "only then the celebration of this kind will attain serious meaning."
He urged all the citizens to take a pledge to promote mother tongue and also learn other languages."If you do not use a language, you lose it. When a language declines, it takes with it an entire knowledge system," he warned.
The Vice President appreciated the HRD Ministry for organising the celebration of International Mother Language Day in one lakh schools across the country on February 21.
Earlier, upon his arrival, he was welcomed in 22 Indian languages by students dressed in traditional Indian attire representing the vibrant culture of different states.
HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', Minister of State (I/C) for Culture Prahlad Singh Patel and Minister of State for HRD Sanjay Dhotre were among those present, an official release here said.(UNI)