MUMBAI: Seeking to debunk the perception that English-medium education is indispensable, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said here Friday that neither he nor Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “convent” schooling.
Naidu, who often speaks about the need to preserve regional languages, said that one’s mother tongue is like the eyes whereas other languages are like spectacles.
He was speaking after felicitating young musicians here on the occasion of 102th birth anniversary of legendary singer M S Subbulakshmi. The late Carnatic singer was born on September 16, 1916.
Due to the colonial rule, “a weakness that has crept into our minds is that we have fascination for other languages” and promote our own language less, he said.
Foreign leaders (from non-English speaking countries) do not speak in English when visiting India and instead use interpreters, he said.
“Promoting our language is the need of the hour because culture and language go together. They make you understand common people better. Mother tongue is your eyesight and other languages your spectacles. If you don’t have sight, wear any glasses, you will not improve your sight,” he said.
He said that one argument in favour of English-medium schooling is that it is essential for an individual’s progress.
“Who told you? Did (former President APJ) Abdul Kalam go to a convent (school)? Did Shri Narendra Modi go to a convent? I did not go to a convent but became the Vice President of India,” he said. (AGENCIES)