By Pratik Goyal:
Ever wondered how many languages and their variations exist in our country, for those of us who have no idea, the census of 1961 identifies 1652 mother tongues. Each language, and its various dialects, is very rich in its own measure and for the people who use it. Each language has gone through years of evolution and is perfectly coherent with the richness of history and culture of the region it is used in and a true representative of that region’s ethnic identity. But it has been some time since these languages have started losing their relevance in the same society. They are being forgotten and not spoken any more, and apparently people have turned their backs to them; whether out of ignorance or will, that remains to be seen.
Development of languages, our way to communicate with the others and the society, is one of the greatest achievements of human mind. Languages relate to how people think, behave, and extinction of these languages means losing a part of our heritage. This phenomenon is occurring on a global scale. The local languages are replaced throughout the world by dominant languages and thus victimizing the ancient dialects which gradually fade away. The globalization and liberalization has had adverse effects on the local languages and they are losing their significance among the people. It becomes inevitable for common people to jettison their mother tongues that have no commercial value in the market place. The ongoing craze for English education in rural and urban areas in India is a clear indicator of how a dominant language is perceived as the only way to build a secure career.
Now serious and sincere measures are needed from our end to preserve the endangered languages and dialects. There is a need to promote multi or bilingualism, and also we need to do away with the inferiority complex felt by today’s youth towards their regional languages and dialects as compared to the “advanced” and “modern” English language. Only our effort can counter the slaughter of local languages by dominating languages.