ஆழி செந்தில்நாதன் உரை

தவத்திரு மருதாசல சாந்தலிங்க அடிகளாரின் உரை

பேராசிரியர் எம்.எச்.ஜவாஹருல்லாவின் உரை

தொல்.தி்ருமாவளவன் உரை

பச்சைத் தமிழகம் ஒருங்கிணைப்பாளர் சுப.உதயகுமாரன்

Dr. Pavithran, Kerala

Prof. Garga Chatterjee

Mr. Vivek Mithra, Karnataka

Mr. Saket Sahu

Mr. Priyank, Karnataka

Mr. Anand Guru, Karnataka

Other languages listed in Schedule-VIII of the Constitution should be made the official languages of the Union government along with Hindi. This was the major demand of language rights activists from various parts of the country who gathered at the Language Rights Conference in West Mambalam on Sunday.

A resolution detailing the demands of these activists as well as various politicians from Tamil Nadu titled ‘Chennai Declaration of Language Rights’ was passed at the conference. This comes at a time when the Central government has indicated a push for making Hindi as one of the official languages of the United Nations.

Apart from imposition of a language which would be alien to a vast majority of the country unfamiliar with Hindi, activists from Punjab, West Bengal, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisa, Maharashtra and Kerala pointed out how the two-language (English and Hindi) policy of the Central government had created practical hassles in the daily life of citizens in these states.

“While travelling on an Air India flight from Chennai to Bengaluru, there are no announcements in Tamil or Kannada. Even safety instructions are in English and Hindi. It is unfair to the majority of the populace,” said Priyank Kattalagiri, a software engineer who represented Karnataka at the conference.

The same is true of information on train reservation charts and safety instructions on gas cylinders, services provided by Central government agencies, contended Dr Garga Chatterjee, who represented West Bengal. Similar issues are faced by crores of people while dealing with central government banks or recruitment tests where official information is given only in Hindi or English. “Why must we be treated as second-class citizens in our own country,” he asked.

“Even a foreign airline service from Kerala to Dubai has announcements in Malyalam. But our Air India doesn’t provide that,” Priyank said.

Professor at the Department of Linguistics of Punjab University in Patiala Dr Joga Singh raised the bogey of imparting education in mother tongue. “The most developed countries which churn out the best research have provisions for education in the mother tongue. Without that, no progress can be made by any country,” he said. He singled out the CBSE and Kendriya Vidyalaya for special censure where hindi was a compulsory subject, but local languages were optional.

Not displaying public information in local languages betrayed commercial logic as well, Priyank said. Countries like England and the USA provided public information in Indian languages like Punjabi, Tamil and Kannada, but India failed to do that.

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