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Protect Indian languages, end preference to English, says RSS

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Decline in the use of Indian language words, use of words of foreign languages is a serious challenge, says top decision-making body of RSS.

New Delhi: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has voiced concern over what it says is the “decline in the use of Indian languages”, “the replacement of words with those from foreign languages”, and sought government intervention to “protect” local tongues.

“The decline in the practice and usage of Bharatiya languages, and the elimination of their words and replacement by words of foreign languages, are emerging as a serious challenge,” the RSS said Saturday in a statement issued on day two of the three-day meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS).

The ABPS is the highest decision-making and policy formulation body of the RSS. The second day of the annual meeting also saw Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi elected to his fourth term as ‘sarkaryawah’ or RSS general secretary.

Last year, similar worries about the alleged corruption of Hindi had led RSS affilate Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas, headed by former chief of the RSS’ education wing Vidya Bharati Dinanath Batra, to recommend that the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) remove certain English and Urdu/Arabic words, as well as a couplet by Ghalib, from textbooks on the subject. It was responding to an NCERT request for suggestions from the public on reviewing textbooks.

“Today, many languages and dialects have become extinct and several others are endangered,” the RSS said Saturday.

“The ABPS is of the opinion that the governments, other policy-makers and the society, including voluntary organisations, should endeavour to undertake all kinds of efforts to protect and promote various languages and dialects of the country,” it added.

To this end, the Sangh has demanded that primary education be in “the mother tongue or any other Bharatiya language”. “Teaching, study material and the option of appearing in the examinations for higher education in all faculties, including the technical and medical ones, should be available in Bharatiya languages too,” it said.

The RSS described as a “welcome initiative” the conduct of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medicine and Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exams “in Bharatiya languages”, adding, “The same option should be available for other entrance tests and competitive examinations still not being conducted in Bharatiya languages.”

The Sangh also called for an end to the “systemic preferential treatment” accorded to English.

“Preference should be given to Bharatiya languages in all governmental and judicial works. Bharatiya languages should be encouraged in governmental and non-governmental appointments, promotions and all kinds of functions instead of giving preference to English,” it added.

“The ABPS is in favour of learning various languages of the world to acquire diverse knowledge,” it said, “But in a multilingual country like Bharat, the ABPS considers it most necessary to protect and promote all the languages of Bharat as the carrier of our culture.”

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  1. HIndi itself is Foreign origin language coming from Islamic and Mughals occupation of India. Hindians are being very hippocratic by exempting Hindi but going against English.

    If they want to protect Indian languages, they should stop using and imposing and promoting the Mughal originated language Hindi.

  2. If we look 10 years into the future, its no more going to be English. With the rise of China and India, the whole world will be learning Indian languages and Mandarin. If we have to stay competitive its time that India teaches other foreign languages along with English. English be treated as a foreign language and children given the choose to choose between Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Zulu or whatever foreign language they wish to learn along with their mother tongue. That’s the way to go.

    • Good idea, perhaps you could start by speaking and writing in Zulu and Mandarin from hereon and set the example for us all.

  3. The real smart people know many languages – English, Hindi, mother tongue, at least 2 languages of neighbouring states, Marathi and Tamil because they make the best movies. Plus, mandatory Chinese + Spanish. That’s if you are serious about languages and communicating. The real petty, low IQ people get stuck with one language and limit children who can actually grasp several languages, to 1 or 2. Problem with RSS is it is limited. It is neither good at English or Hindi or any of their mother tongues. Not many are qualified to check on their Sanskrit – which will also be half baked. Don’t get caught in this debate. Bright indians will fight to learn more languages, not less.

  4. Are they ready to throw away their Hindi mania? Are they ready to stop Hindi imposition through surrogate means? Or is this also a cunning strategy to promote Hindi over the non-Hindi people by depleting their English skills?

  5. Mastery over English is the poor Indian child’s passport to a better future. She should learn it diligently from Class I. Some states have deprived generations of their young of upward mobility by keeping them away from English in the early years. They should be proficient in their mother tongue, but there need be no ideological aversion to English. Our socially most conservative leaders send their children to the finest convent schools and fly abroad for medical treatment.

    • How to learn English well? (Kindly share with as many people as you can)
      The following quote from a UNESCO worldwide study tells that: (UNESCO book Improvement in the Quality of Mother Tongue – Based Literacy and Learning, published in 2008, pp. 12) ‘What seems to be standing in our way is a set of myths about language and learning, and these myths must be revealed as such to open people’s eyes. One such myth is that the best way to learn a foreign language is to use it as a medium of instruction. (In fact, it is often more effective to learn additional languages as subjects of study.) Another is that to learn a foreign language you must start as early as possible. (Starting early might help learners to have a nice accent, but otherwise, the advantage goes to learners who have a well developed first language.) A third is that the home language gets in the way of learning a foreign language. (Building a strong foundation in the first language results in a better learning of additional languages.) Clearly, these myths are more false than true, yet they guide the way policymakers tend to think about how speakers of other languages must learn dominant or official languages.’ Even the British Council have emphasized time and again that the best way to learn English well is to study in mother tongue medium and learn English as a subject. My booklet titled ‘International Opinion on Language Issues: Mother Tongue is the Key to Education, Knowledge, Science and English Learning’ provides detailed information on the findings of worldwide research and expert opinion on language matters and the current international linguistic scene. This document is available in Punjabi (Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi), Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Maithili, Dogri, Nepali, Marathi, Kosali, Hindi and English at the website . One video on language issues is available in Hindi at: +91-9915709582

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