Primary education in the country should only be in mother tongue or any other ‘Bharatiya dialect’, the highest decision-making body of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) said on Saturday, as it pushed for wide use of Indian languages.
Adopting a resolution at its annual meeting in Nagpur, the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) also said teaching, study material and the option of appearing in examinations in higher education in all faculties including technical and medical should be done in Indian languages.
The RSS is the ideological fountainhead of the ruling BJP at the Centre.
The move to promote different Indian languages is seen as a move to deflect criticism, especially in southern states, over alleged plans by the BJP-led government to impose Hindi as the “national language”.
“Traditionally, languages have been (the) means to integrate the society in Bharat. So, while having pride of one’s mother tongue all should show a sense of respect for all other languages,” the resolution said.
“The ABPS is in favour of learning various languages of the world to acquire diverse knowledge. But, in a multilingual country like Bharat, ABPS considers it most necessary to protect and promote all the languages of Bharat as the carrier of our culture,” it added.
The ABPS praised the use of “Bharatiya languages” in the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) and examinations conducted by the CBSE and hoped that the same option should be available for all other entrance tests and competitive examinations.
The meeting also demanded that preference should be given to Indian languages in all government and judicial works. In addition, Indian languages should be encouraged in government and non-government appointments, promotions and all kinds of functions instead of giving preference to English.
Justifying its demand, the body said that the RSS is of the view that language is an important constituent of an individual and nation’s identity and key vehicle of the culture of society.
“The languages prevalent in the country are most essential to protect our culture, noble traditions, excellent knowledge and vast literature as well as to promote creative thinking. The oral tradition of knowledge in the form of songs, idioms and folklores etc in various vernacular languages is many times more than the written literature.”
The declining trend in the practice and usage of Indian languages, elimination of their words and replacement by words of foreign languages are emerging as a serious challenge and hence such steps should be taken to promote national languages, it added.