Writers, scholars highlight need to preserve indigenous languages

NEW DELHI, Aug 10: Over 60 tribal writers and scholars highlighted the need to preserve and revitalize indigenous languages at the All India Indigenous Writers’ Festival here.
Speaking at the event organised by the Sahitya Akademi, secretary K Sreenivasarao said it is important to protect languages as they preserve the cultures and the wisdom of societies.
“Out of 6700 languages spoken in the world, 40 percent are likely to disappear. These languages have preserved the cultures of their societies and their thousands of years of wisdom.
“In India 19,569 mother tongues are spoken. Out of this only 121 languages are spoken by more than 10,000 people. The People’s Linguistic Survey of India had done a survey whose report is quite alarming. According to the report, in the next 50 years more than half of the Indian languages will disappear,” he said.
The two-day event was organised on the occasion of the International Year of Indigenous Languages.
Madan Mohan Soren, convenor of the Santali Advisory Board, said modern development had harmed languages the most.
“When it comes to languages, India is a very rich country, but the race for modern development has harmed languages the most. And because of that every two weeks one language is disappearing from Earth. Languages like Mundari, Kudukh, etc, are slowly getting extinct,” Soren said.
He appealed to the government to “do something and save these languages.”
The event witnessed sessions on ‘Indigenous languages of India: Uniqueness, issues, present status and challenges’ and ‘Indigenous languages of India: Preservation and revitalization’, apart from story and poetry readings. (PTI)