President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday called upon all stakeholders to provide greater exposure to Indian languages so that the creativity embedded in Indian literature is spread across the world.
"Languages are not merely a means of communication. Our languages and literature are our heritage. They 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," said President Mukherjee in his speech at the fourth World Telugu Conference here.
"There is no dearth of creativity and talent in Indian languages. While Indian writing in English has excited the world, we need to create platforms to provide greater exposure to Indian languages so that the creativity embedded in Indian literature is spread across the world," he added.
President Mukherjee said it is important that the antiquity of Telugu language and civilization must be further explored.
"Four Indian languages namely Tamil, Sanskrit, Telugu and Kannada have been classified as classical languages in India. The Government of India created a category of 'classical languages' in 2004 with strict entry criteria," said President Mukherjee.
"Languages meeting parameters such as antiquity of 1500 to 2000 years of its early texts or recorded history, body of ancient literature or texts considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers and 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," he added.
Pointing out that Telugu is today spoken in several parts of the country such as Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, besides Andhra Pradesh, President Mukherjee said : "Its reach also extends beyond the shores of the country. Telugu-speaking Indian diaspora are present in significant numbers in the USA, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, and South Africa."
"It is important that the antiquity of Telugu language and civilization must be further explored. Having declared Telugu a classical language, it our responsibility to make every effort for its healthy growth and development so that posterity can benefit from the vast knowledge and ideas that rest within this language," he added.
Asserting that there is a need to have concrete plans for creating awareness about Telugu language and literature among today's youth, President Mukherjee said: "Steps must be taken to consolidate all research works on Telugu history undertaken so far and to identify and encourage new research projects. The use of Telugu in public administration and education should also be popularised."
The president felicitated prominent personalities of Telugu language and culture and also laid the Foundation Stone for an International Convention Centre on the occasion. (ANI)