The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today said that the New Education Policy follows the ‘Nai Talim’ of Mahatma Gandhi by giving importance to the mother tongue as the medium of instruction at school level.
Addressing the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University, Wardha today, the Vice President recalled that the “Nai Talim” proposed by Mahatma Gandhi in Wardha in 1937 laid emphasis on making mother tongue as the medium of instruction in addition to free compulsory education and skill training to the students.
Shri Naidu said that our Constituent Assembly, after a long debate, accepted Hindi as the official language and also accorded constitutional status to other Indian languages in the Eighth Schedule. Noting that every Indian language has a glorious history and rich literature, he said “We are fortunate to have linguistic diversity in our country. Our linguistic diversity is our strength as our languages symbolize our cultural unity.”
Referring to Mahatma Gandhi’s views on language, the Vice President said that for Mahatma Gandhi, the question of language was a question of national unity. He further observed that even after insisting on Hindi, Mahatma Gandhi understood the sensitivity of every citizen to his mother tongue. Gandhiji associated mother tongue with Swaraj and called for according due importance to it, he said. He also said that Indian languages have played an important role in keeping the overseas Indian community connected with the motherland India.
The Vice President said that it is expected of a civilized society that its language should be gentle, cultured and creative. “Let us exercise our freedom of expression with the decency of language and the discipline of words,” he said.
On this occasion, the Vice President also unveiled the statue of the architect of the Constitution, Babasaheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar and said that Dr. Ambedkar remained committed to education and equality throughout his life. He expressed confidence that the statue of Dr. Ambedkar would be a source of inspiration for the teachers and students of the Wardha University.
Today, the Vice President also inaugurated Atal Bihari Vajpayee Bhawan and Chandrashekhar Azad Hostel in the university as part of its Silver Jubilee celebrations. Recalling the contribution of former Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he said that Atal ji’s address at the United Nations General Assembly in Hindi was a momentous occasion for the nation.
Dedicating the Amar Krantikari Chandrashekhar Azad Hostel, the Vice President wanted the younger generation to be made aware of the courage and sacrifices of our heroic freedom fighters. He appealed to the youth to rise above cast, creed, gender and region and work for strengthening the unity of the nation.
Praising the achievements of the Wardha University, Shri Naidu said that the University has made available many famous works of Hindi literature online, helping the readers sitting in distant countries access authentic Hindi literature.
In this context, he wanted that the literature of other Indian languages should also be made available online with its Hindi translation. Describing our linguistic diversity as the strength of the country, the Vice President urged to strengthen this thread of unity in diversity and stressed the need for enhanced dialogue between Indian languages. He suggested the language departments of universities to play an important role in this regard. “There should be constant contact and intellectual dialogue between the language departments of the universities,” he said.
Mahatma Gandhi International University, Wardha is teaching foreign languages like French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese etc. in Hindi medium. Expressing happiness over this, Shri Naidu called for extending this facility for other Indian languages also so that Hindi students can also learn other Indian languages.
It is worth mentioning that during the World Hindi Conference held in Nagpur in 1975, a proposal was made to establish an International Hindi University. Subsequently, Mahatma Gandhi International University, Wardha was established by a bill passed by the Parliament in 1997 and Silver Jubilee Celebrations of this University are being organized in 2022.
Calling Wardha the holy land that has been witness to the life philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba ji, Shri Naidu said that Wardha has been a center of inspiration for the nation.
The Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Ramdas Athawale, Wardha MP, Shri Ramdas Tadas, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Rajnish Kumar Shukla, people’s representatives from the area, teachers, students and others were present on the occasion.