Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday made a strong pitch for ‘matribhasha’ (mother tongue) being made the medium of instruction for children in primary classes.
Addressing the centenary celebrations of the Patna High School, Vice President Naidu compared English to eyeglasses and vernacular languages to the eyes.
“There is no harm in learning English, or for that matter, French, Russian or any other language. But remember that English is like these eyeglasses which function as long as we have eyes,” Vice President Naidu said taking his specs off, leaving those attending the ceremony in splits.
“And it is our matribhasha which are like our eyes. If we lose our eyes, even the best quality eyeglasses will be of no use. Our mother tongue must be the medium of instruction for children at least at the primary level,” he said.
The vice president said he does not buy the argument that success cannot be achieved without a foundation in English or convent education.
“If you are not convinced, just look around. The President of the country never went to a convent. I became the vice president without going to one. Ditto for our Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.
Pointing towards Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was present at the function, Vice President Naidu said he is occupying the top office in the state and he had never been to any convent school.
“Just remember these immortal words of former President A P J Abdul Kalam, work hard, dream high and be honest. This would help you reach the top in your chosen field,”Vice President Naidu added.
Asking the students to go ahead if they need to go to any advanced country for better career prospects, he said, “Learn, earn and then return to serve your motherland.”
The vice president asked them to be proud of being a Bihari but be even more proud of being an Indian.
Vice President Naidu was here on a day-long tour during which he also attended the centenary celebrations of the library of Patna University, followed by inauguration of a multi-specialty cancer hospital.