Promotion of Mother Languages Abroad

This has reference to the news item ‘Dogri, Kashmiri, Bodhi, showcased at Intl Mother Language Day in UK’ (DE, March 14, 2020).It is heartening to read that Dogri, Kashmiri and Ladakhi were among the 21 Indian languages which were showcased by Indian diaspora at the UN International Mother Language Day 2020 recently at the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. There is no doubt that every language and moreso the Mother Language is the repository of the heritage, traditions, folklore, folksongs etc of the people who use it and if it becomes extinct,all this cultural heritage vanishes. So in order to preserve and promote the Mother Language, it ought to be the first and foremost objective of the people who speak it to speak it aggressively in their daily life. Parents should always converse with their children in their Mother Tongue and encourage them to speak it, especially at home with their parents, siblings, friends and relatives. But so far our mother language Dogri is concerned, majority of people shy away from speaking this language with their children and instead prefer to use English or Hindi to talk to them. Consequently, our youngsters are drifting away from using Dogri in their day to day conversation. Majority of them don’t even know the names of the common things in Dogri or are not conversant with our traditions, folklores and rituals.
Learning of one language, in fact, helps in learning the other language and the fear that using Dogri in our day to day life life will create difficulties in learning languages such as Hindi and English is unfounded. There is also need to revive the Takri script in which Dogri was written in the days of yore. Parents ought to expose their children to various platforms and occasions such as fairs, Dogri poetic Sammellans that they can keep their rich Dogra culture live. Dogri artists should be invited to marriage and other functions to perform and enthrall the guests. Last but not the least, Mother Tongue should be a compulsory subject in all schools in the country at least upto the Middle Standard. All those who have showcased their respective mother language in the UK deserve appreciation for promoting it abroad thousands of miles away from the place where it is spoken.
Ashok Sharma,
Housing Colony,