Days after the International Mother Language Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that people in the country should speak their mother tongue with pride.
The Prime Minister highlighted that Tamil is one of the oldest languages in the world. He pointed out that, in 2019, Hindi was the third most spoken language in the world.
“It is our mother tongue; we should speak it with pride. And, our India is so rich in terms of languages that it just cannot be compared. The biggest beauty of our languages is that from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Kutch to Kohima, hundreds of languages, thousands of dialects which are different from each other but are mutually integrated…many languages – one expression. For centuries, our languages have been evolving whilst learning from each other and have been refining themselves, developing each other,” the Prime Minister said.
The International Mother Language Day was observed on February 21.
Addressing the 86th episode of the monthly radio program, Mann Ki Baat today, the Prime Minister said, “My dear countrymen, just a few days ago, we celebrated International Mother Language Day. Those who are learned can give a lot of academic input about where the word mother tongue came from, how it originated.” “I would emphasize about mother tongue that as our mother molds our life, in the same manner, mother tongue also shapes our life. The mother and mother tongue, both together strengthen the foundation of life, lending it permanence. Just like we cannot abandon our mother, similarly, we cannot leave our mother tongue either,” he said.
The Prime Minister recalled an incident when he had traveled to the United States of America and met a Telugu-speaking family there.
“I remember an incident of yesteryears when I had gone to America, I would get a chance to visit different families. Once I went to a Telugu family and I got to see a very happy scenario there They told me that they had made a rule in the family that no matter how busy one were to be, if they were not outstation, then all the family members would have dinner sitting at the table together and equally compulsory on the dinner table was conversing in Telugu language only. This was also the rule for the children who were born there. Seeing this love for the mother tongue, I was highly impressed by this family,” he said.
The Prime Minister mentioned that the world’s oldest language Tamil is in India and every Indian should be proud that we have such a significant heritage of the world. “In the same way, many ancient scriptures are also there; their expression is in our Sanskrit language,” said PM Modi.
He added, “The people of India are proud to be associated with 121 forms of mother tongues and 14 of these languages are spoken by more than 1 crore people in everyday life. That is, many European countries do not have a total population other than the people who are associated with 14 different languages in our country. In the year 2019, Hindi was ranked third among the most spoken languages in the world. Every Indian should be proud of this too.”
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