Surat: Erstwhile governments tried to “cripple” the country by not emphasising imparting education in native languages, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said here on Wednesday.
Addressing the All India Official Language Conference in Surat city on Hindi Day, Shah said the “linguistic inferiority” created by the British regarding the Rajbhasha Hindi and native Indian languages needs to be discarded.
“The previous governments worked to cripple the country by not emphasizing providing education in native languages but Prime Minister Narendra Modi started speaking in Hindi at world forums and he is heard more intensely than the leaders speaking in English,” Shah said.
He urged the youth to shed language-related inferiority and accept their mother tongue and Rajbhasha Hindi.
Shah appealed to parents to talk to their children in their mother tongue.
“Until our youth express their thoughts in their mother tongue, they cannot put forward their potential before society. The expression of one’s original thought cannot happen in a language other than one’s own,” Shah added.
He said Hindi is an inclusive language and called for strengthening native languages along with Hindi.
Shah said the British banned literary works in various Indian languages, including 264 poetry works in Hindi, 58 in Urdu, 19 in Tamil, 10 in Telugu, 22 each in Punjabi and Gujarati, 123 in Marathi, nine in Sindhi, 11 in Odiya, 24 in Bangla, and one in Kannada.
“This shows how Rajbhasha and native languages strengthened the freedom struggle which forced the British to ban them,” he said.
“We will have to frame policies from indigenous thinking emerging from the native languages rather than from thoughts arising out of foreign languages,” the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said.
The Union minister said the dictionary of Hindi needs to become “very large and detailed” to increase its acceptability in the country and abroad.
“A language does not become inferior by adopting words from other languages, rather its scope widens. We will have to make Hindi flexible. Unless we do so, we can’t make Hindi grow,” he said after inaugurating the first edition of “Hindi Shabd Sindhu,” a dictionary.
Shah said native languages and Hindi are the “lifeblood of our cultural fluency”.
“If we have to understand our history and the heart of literary creations of the last many generations, then we will have to learn ‘Rajbhasha’ and make our native languages strong,” he said.
Shah said every language is prosperous in its right. “It is India’s strength that the country enriched itself with different languages. These languages have taken care of the Indian culture, traditions, and literature, and also helped connect people with the root of the country,” the Union minister said.
Citing personal experience, Shah said children who study in their mother language can learn Hindi easily.
He said the new National Education Policy talks about providing school education in regional languages till class 5, and to be continued at least till class 8.
“High-quality education and published literature should be provided in native languages. Works are underway to translate the syllabus of 20 engineering colleges in ten states into native languages.
He said the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has translated the first semester of medical education into Hindi which will be taught from the next year.