On the occasion of International Mother Language Day today, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy reminded the Telugu-speakers of his state of their responsibility of protecting their language.
Saying that one's mother tongue was the symbol of one's origins, he urged the people to take steps to preserve the language.
Taking to his Twitter, the CM wrote, "Mother tongue is a symbol of our origin, of our very existence. Mother tongue is the basis of our culture, traditions and way of life. We all have a responsibility to protect the Telugu language. International Mother Language Day wishes to all Telugus around the world (sic)."
(The tweet is a significant one as Jagan had attracted widespread criticism
for his decision to replace Telugu with English as the medium of instruction for classes 1 to 6 in the government schools in AP, in 2019 - Congress leader N Thulasi Reddy had called the move a "historical blunder". The proposed switch has even resulted in a lengthy legal battle.)
To mark the occasion, India's Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu also published tweets in 22 Indian languages, including in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Gujarati, Kashmiri, Konkani, Marathi, Odia, Urdu, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Nepali, Assamese, Bengali, Manipuri, Bodo, Santhali, Maithili, Dogri and Sanskrit, and published articles, highlighting the importance of the promotion of mother languages, in 24 vernacular newspapers of the country. Urging the people of the country to embrace multilingualism, he said, "We must encourage the creative expression of our thoughts and ideas in our own languages!"
On February 16, the Vice President had also written to all the MPs, urging them to promote their respective mother tongues.
Further, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay highlighted the need for the protection of mother languages, and said that multilingualism in education and society would actively foster learning, and would allow more people to access education.