Maatri Baasha Diwas observed in Chennai

Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage, said Governor Banwarilal Purohit speaking at the International Mother Language Day (Matribaasha Diwas) and Indian Cultural Festival celebration organized by Desiya Chinthanai Kazhagam (TN Unit of Pragyna Pravah) along with Vellore Institute of Technology, Chennai today. Maatribaasha Diwas is observed to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and promote multilingualism. Quoting Nelson Mandela, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his hearts”, Governor said all moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue. According to 2011 census, more than 19500 languages/ dialects are spoken in India as mother tongue. 

There are 22 languages which are called scheduled languages listed in the Constitution of India, out of them 6 languages are granted as classical languages on the basis of long literary history – namely Samskrit, Tamizh, Telugu, Kannada, Odiya and Malayalam. Samskrit must be propagated, he insisted. 

Praising the tamil literary works – Thirukural (maximum sense with minimum words) also the dictionary of ethics to all humanity, Sangam literature reminding the antiquity of language, tamil way of life, patronized and nurtured by Chola and Pallava kings, Alwars, Nayanmaars, Tholkaapiam, Pathu Paatu, post sangam literature Silapathikaram, contributions of musical poet – to name a few - Arunagirinathar, Appar, Tamil is like a limitless ocean and has an unique place in one’s heart. Language teaches to respect as nature and we are held together from the rich heritage and nowhere can we see the diversity. 

VIT founder – Chancellor Shri G Viswanathan in his speech said that with 121 major languages, 19500 languages/dialects and in such a diverse nation, the three language formula accepted in 1968 should be implemented. He also insisted Hindi speaking States should learn a modern language preferably South Indian language. He also emphasized that Government of India to allocate more finance on education so that middle class and poor people are benefitted. 

Maatribaasha Diwas was organized by Desiya Chinthanai Kazhagam along with VIT Chennai. State President DCK, Shri Ma Ve Pasupathi in his address, appealed to devote more time to speak and contribute to mother language. 

Shri Va Ve Subramaniam, Educationist in his speech appealed to use language as a carrier and not a barrier. 

The program began with lighting up of kuthuvillaku by dignitaries. Shri V Selvam, Vice President, VIT Chennai welcomed the gathering. Students of VIT showcased their linguistic talents and enthused the audience.

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