[lg policy] Mysore: Three-language policy couldn't achieve its purpose'

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 18 17:29:48 UTC 2010

Karnataka - Mysore

‘Three-language policy couldn't achieve its purpose'

Special Correspondent

Role of mother tongue not properly defined in the ambit of the policy:


‘It is necessary to protect over 100 endangered languages'

‘Translation of dictionaries and thesauruses should be completed on priority'


MYSORE: Underlining the need to implement the “three-language policy”
effectively, the former Director of the Central Institute of Indian
Languages (CIIL) D.P. Pattnaik on Thursday lamented that the ambitious
three-language policy could not succeed in achieving its purpose.

In his preliminary remarks during a three-day meet on “Language
education in India: policy planning and practices” organised by the
CIIL to mark its 42nd Foundation Day, he noted that the role of mother
tongue had not been properly defined in the ambit of the
three-language policy.

‘Can act as deterrent'

Prof. Pattnaik, however, observed that the three-language policy could
act as a deterrent against any threat to the country's democratic
set-up and socio-cultural spectrum.

The formula, evolved to unify the country, achieved success initially
but later lost its way as there was no consistent attempt to create an
environment to exchange the essence of one language with the other, he


He said that democracy would be at stake if the three-language policy
was not implemented effectively. He pointed out that the plural
character of the country could be protected only by converting “Sarva
Shiksha Abhiyan” into “Sarva Bhasha Abhiyan”.

Inaugurating the meet, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource
Development, Anita Bhatnagar Jain, stressed the need to translate
textbooks into regional languages and noted that the need of the hour
was to create a level-playing field. “The National Translation Mission
can bridge that gap,” she said.


At the same time, expressing concern over some “primitive languages
vanishing” owing to apathy towards protecting them, she said that it
was necessary to protect over 100 endangered languages, and hailed
CIIL for its sincere efforts in this regard.

‘States have major role'

“States have a major role to play and languages can only be saved when
they taught in their mother tongue,” she said.

Expressing her regret over translation projects being delayed, she
said that translation of tool texts such as dictionaries and
thesauruses should be completed on priority. Regional language
institutes should play a major role in the endeavour, she said.

Staff shortage

In his welcome address, in-charge Director Rajesh Sachdeva, brought to
her notice the acute shortage of staff at CIIL and noted that it had
become difficult for the institute to achieve its aim of bringing
essential unity of Indian languages, through scientific studies,
promoting inter-disciplinary research and contributing to mutual
enrichment of languages for emotional integration of people of the
country. Linguists from various parts of the country are participating
in the smeet.


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