Patriotism In Our Languages

India has crossed 60+ years of independence. With 22 officially recognised languages in its constitution, the realities of regional languages in every corner of the country is in a sorry state. Patriotism is a loose word in speeches nowadays. It is often connected with politics and governance overlooking the culture element of it. A language is a treasure for a nation at any given day.

Languages be it from anywhere are a binding thread to a nation’s history and culture. When a language is taught to a child, a legacy of identity is passed. A language unites people and communities and thus is a storehouse of a culture’s rawness. When one talks about patriotism, seldom we hear any emphasis on the deterioration of our regional languages or their importance so to speak. Anyone who cannot speak English is looked down upon as if the person is emitting carbon dioxide. While I do not deny the widespread usage as well as influence of English language, young parents should ensure their kids use their mother tongue as equally as English. It is important children grow up in understanding a story from a different lens and a regional language does that.

Let’s ask a few questions. How many of us know of any friends or peers who are fluent in their own mother tongue? How many around us take keen interest in languages be it to read, write, speak or teach? To say the least how many of us even try to talk about these aspects within our networks ? As a trainer I come across people who are keen to learn a different language but that too boils down to conversational levels – so that their business deals and talks are clearly understood and sealed.

Patriotism has its roots in language. The limits of your language are the limits of your world. You cannot communicate in your own language means you leave behind a world and leave that unexplored for the coming generation. Language unfolds the history with books, music, plays and music and everyday conversations. We all have enough exposure to Indian Languages but there is lack of awareness, interest or encouragement. Let’s face it we are even ashamed at times to identify ourselves as belonging to a certain state or a community. It is about being backward or ‘not cool’.

Patriotism starts at home by identifying a sense of self and culture in our surroundings. It starts with exchanging the changing perspectives while being rooted in one.

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