Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasised and praised India’s linguistic diversity in his monthly radio broadcast ‘Mann Ki Baat‘. He observed that the diversity of attire, cuisine and culture found in different regions is the hallmark of India. PM Modi said,
“Our country is a rich treasure house of many languages, scripts and dialects. Varied attire, cuisine and culture in different regions is our hallmark. As a nation, this diversity strengthens us and keeps us united.”
Modi also shared the story of a young girl Kalpana who had been suffering from Tuberculosis (TB) and lost her eyesight in grade three. Recently, Kalpana passed her grade tenth examination in Karnataka but the most surprising thing is that Kalpana did not know the local language, Kannada, till some time ago. Kalpana not only learned Kannada in three months but was also able to score 92 marks in her examination. Modi said Kalpana’s endeavour is full of the true spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’:
“Where there is a will, there is a way. … Today, through her hard work, she has set an example for all of us. I congratulate Kalpana for her fortitude.”
In 2003, the 92nd Constitutional Amendment Act added Santali to Schedule VIII to the Constitution of India, which lists the official languages of India, along with the Bodo, Dogri and Maithili languages. Modi observed that there are many people in India who are working towards strengthening the linguistic diversity of the country through translation. He mentioned Dr Shripati Tudu, an assistant professor of Santhali language at Sidho-Kaano-Birsa University, Purulia, West Bengal.
“He (Tudu) has prepared a version of the country’s Constitution in his native ‘Ol Chiki’ script for the Santhali community. Shripati Tudu ji asserts that our Constitution makes every citizen of our country aware of one’s rights and duties. It is important for every citizen to be familiar with it. Therefore, he prepared a copy of the Constitution in his own script for the Santhali community and offered it as a gift. I appreciate this thinking of Shripati ji and his efforts,” Modi said.
Dr Tudu was delighted to hear his name in Modi’s address. While talking to Tv9, he said, “When I started reading the Constitution, I saw that there was a lot in it which we did not know. In this our diversity, fundamental rights and various other benefits have been mentioned.”
‘Mann Ki Baat’ is a monthly radio programme broadcast since 2014 where Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks about new topics in every episode.
The 89th radio address to the nation comes at a time when Modi has completed eight years in office on May 26.