The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that promotion and protection of ancient Indian languages is the need of the hour as they offer a window to our ancient civilisational values, knowledge and wisdom. He also called for a national movement for promotion of each and every mother tongue.
The Vice President made these remarks while visiting the Central Institute of Classical Tamil (CICT) and International Institute of Tamil Studies (IITS), in Chennai today.
Shri Naidu praised the efforts put by the Center in translation of Thirukkural into all Indian languages and also in some foreign languages. He further called for translation of ancient and popular Tamil texts into Indian and foreign languages for the wider benefit of humanity.
He appreciated the good work done by both institutes in documenting and preserving objects that are related to or reflect the antiquity of the Tamils.
“Your contributions are significant because there is no such institution anywhere in the world that is fully committed for carrying out researches on the ancient Tamil society”, he said to the staff and officials of the CICT and IITS.
The Vice President expressed the need to Harness the power of technology to preserve & promote the rich heritage of Indian languages. “We must have many more technological tools for communication in local languages to serve the needs of all our people speaking different languages”, Shri Naidu stressed.
VP called for according a sense of dignity & a sense of pride to those who speak, write and communicate in Indian languages. He also urged people to use their mother tongue at home, in the community, in meetings and in administration.
Emphasizing that language preservation and development needed multi-pronged approach, Shri Naidu said it should begin at the primary school level and called for providing basic schooling in child’s mother tongue.
Saying that language was a vehicle of intergenerational transmission of culture, scientific knowledge and a worldview, the Vice President said that language evolves with human evolution and gets nourished by constant use.
The Vice President called for measures to encourage scholars to do research using the primary sources and unearth new nuggets of knowledge. ‘We must keep on adding to the knowledge and illuminate our present and future,’ he said.
Role of institutions such as Central Institute of Classical Tamil is very important in this. The institution and the researchers associated with the institution are doing a great service to the nation by preserving, protecting and promoting the beautiful language Tamil, he said.
The Central Institute of Classical Tamil (CICT) is an autonomous Institute of higher research functioning under the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India. It has been focusing exclusively on the researches relating to the classical phase of the Tamil language, i.e., from the early period to the 600 A.D.
The Vice President said that endeavours like these, will help in understanding the best of all cultures, societies and languages and brings people closer to one another.
During his visit to the International Institute of Tamil Studies, the Vice President went around the cultural centre with the permanent exhibition set up to recreate the history of Tamils unravelled by decades of research.
The exhibits are arranged in five galleries – the “Tholkappiar Arangam” displaying art forms, the “Thiruvalluvar Arangam” with exhibits of metalcraft/agriculture, education, medicine and weapons, the “Kapilar Arangam” with a collection of home tools/grinders and exhibits on temples and gods, the “Avvaiyar Arangam” with lifelike depictions of well-known events in the life of ancient kings and the “Ilango Adigal gallery” with exhibits on shipbuilding and sail-weaving.
The Vice President was very impressed by the full scale-models of the cities of Madurai and Srirangam highlighting the meticulous city-planning and temple-building artistry found in these cities.
“I recommend a visit to this unique institution to better understand the history of Tamils. I am sure every visitor will come with a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment”, Shri Naidu said.
Shri D. Jayakumar, Minister for Fisheries, Tamil Nadu, Shri K. Pandiarajan, Minister for Tamil Official Language & Tamil Culture, Shri P. Benjamin, Minister for Rural Industries, Govt. of Tamil Nadu and officials of the Centers were among the dignitaries who accompanied the Vice President on the visit.