Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said today that India has always remained culturally united since ancient times even though it might have been politically divided during the long course of its history. He called Oriental Studies an important branch that aspires to research this cultural, literary, and spiritual unity of India.
Addressing the 50th session of the All India Oriental Conference, in Nagpur today, the Vice President stressed the need to study Indian history from a nationalistic perspective. He appreciated the role of Oriental Studies saying that it provides a theoretical basis for nationalistic feelings.
Highlighting the importance of literary and linguistic sources in history writing, M Venkaiah Naidu said that a language is not just a medium of communication, rather it represents a whole culture – a whole civilization.
Our languages are a common thread that connects us with our past and the future, he said.
Vice President said that our classical languages are a testimony to our civilizational and cultural achievements and they are a carrier of these civilizational and cultural values too.
He appreciated the All India Oriental Conference for making the younger generation aware of traditional Indian knowledge and wisdom by undertaking in-depth research on various aspects of Indian culture.
In this regard, M Venkaiah Naidu called upon the institutions such as All India Oriental Conference not to remain limited to research in classical languages (such as Sanskrit) but actively study and preserve other Indian languages as well. He also asked them to pay attention and study our oral traditions of history telling.
Highlighting the fact that India has around 19,500 languages and dialects, the Vice President expressed concerns that out of these around 196 languages are near extinction.
Maintaining that when a language disappears, a culture and history it represents also goes away with it, M Venkaiah Naidu called for increasing the usage of Indian languages in education, administration and in daily life.
“Mother tongue is the best medium for a child to learn and express himself/herself”, he emphasized and called for providing initial schooling in the child’s mother tongue only.
On this occasion, the Vice President paid tributes to great historians and orientalists such as Prof. Bhandarkar, Prof. Gune and Bharat Ratna Dr. P.V. Kane and asked All India Oriental Conference to emulate their examples.
Vice President also lauded Kavikulaguru Kalidas Sanskrit University for setting up two new centers for the study of ancient Indian jurisprudence and philosophy.
He also wanted the orientalists and universities to make Sanskrit language easy to learn for the common masses. New words should be added to Sanskrit as and when necessary as per modern-day requirements, he added.
Governor of Maharashtra, Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Kulguru Prof. Srinivas Varkhedi were among the dignitaries who graced the occasion.