Tirupati, Dec 27 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee Thursday called for exploring the antiquity of Telugu language and civilization and for making every effort for its healthy growth and development.
Inaugurating the fourth World Telugu Conference (WTC) in this temple town, he underlined the need to popularize use of Telugu in public administration and education.
Addressing over 5,000 delegates from India and abroad, the president said there was a need to have concrete plans for creating awareness about Telugu language and literature among the youth.
"Steps must be taken to consolidate all research works on Telugu history undertaken so far and to identify and encourage new research projects," he noted.
Mukherjee said languages are not merely a means of communication but define and reflect the roots of our society.
"The promotion of literature cannot take place on the basis of government support alone. I urge all stakeholders to contribute meaningfully towards preserving, encouraging and promoting Indian languages and literature," he added.
He called for creating platforms to provide greater exposure to Indian languages so that the creativity embedded in Indian literature is spread across the world.
The president pointed out that four Indian languages - Tamil, Sanskrit, Telugu and Kannada - have been classified as classical languages in India.
The government created a category of 'classical languages' in 2004 with strict entry criteria.
Languages meeting parameters such as antiquity of 1,500 to 2,000 years of its early texts or recorded history, a body of ancient literature or texts considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers and an original literary tradition, not borrowed from another language have been made eligible for being classified as classical.
"Telugu language, with its credentials of a long surviving rich cultural heritage, was declared a classical language in India in 2008," Mukherjee said.
The president noted that Telugu is today spoken in several parts of the country such as Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, besides Andhra Pradesh.
"Its reach also extends beyond the shores of the country. Telugu-speaking Indian diaspora are present in significant numbers in the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, and South Africa."