Preserving languages key to protecting cultural traditions: VP Venkaiah Naidu

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Hyderabad, Jul 3 (PTI) Highlighting the critical state of some languages, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday emphasized that preservation of languages is key to protecting cultural traditions.

Citing a UN report that one language in the world becomes extinct every two weeks, Naidu expressed concern that 196 Indian languages are currently endangered.

He called for concerted action to reverse this trend and hoped that all Indians would unite and move forward to preserve the country's languages.

'Language is the lifeline of any culture.While language strengthens culture, culture strengthens society,' he said.

Naidu was virtually addressing, from Hyderabad, the first anniversary celebrations of 'Antharjatiya Samskruthika Sammelanam-2021', hosted by Sri Samskruthika Kalasaradhi, a cultural organisation in Singapore.

Describing expatriate Indians as cultural ambassadors, he appreciated them for keeping Indian values and customs alive and said the country is proud of their role in spreading its ancient values.

Stressing the need to preserve languages of the country, he said the medium of education should be in mother tongue up to primary and secondary levels.

He advised gradually extending the use of mother tongue in technical education and stressed the need for using the local language in administration and the judiciary to be more accessible to people.

He urged everyone to be proud of their mother tongue and to speak in that language with their family members, in their community and on other occasions and called for a united effort to preserve and protect the country's mother tongues.

Observing that the definition of culture, according to UNESCO, encompasses not onlyartandliterature,butlifestyles,waysof livingtogether, valuesystems and traditions too, the Vice President said that Indian culture is unique in its humanist worldview and its approach towards nature.

He pointed out that conservation of nature is integral to Indian culture as evident from the worship of trees, rivers, wildlife and cattle.

'Similarly, Indian values view the world as one family and we must not forget the country's ancient philosophy of 'share and care',' he said.

COVID-19 has increased mental stress among people and practising spiritualism can relieve their tension, he said and appealed to religious and spiritual leaders to reach out to people and help them overcome the stress.

Noting that India is home to many languages and cultures, Naidu stressed that 'unity in diversity is what holds us all together.' He said diversity in language is the foundation of a great civilization and that India's civilisational values expressed themselves through its languages, music, arts, sports and festivals.

While it is important to preserve one's own language and tradition, it is equally important to respect the language and culture of others, the vice president said.

Shri Vijayendra Saraswathi, Kanchi Kamakoti Peethadhipati, former MP Maganti Murali Mohan, former Deputy Speaker of AP Assembly Mandali Buddhaprasad and others were present during the virtual event.PTI SJR BN BALA BN BALA

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