“90 % of the 6,000 languages world over face the risk of becoming relics”
Stating that English, Chinese and Hindi will rule the digital world in the coming days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday noted that the language market was huge and companies can cash in on it by developing apps at the earliest.
Inaugurating the 10th Vishwa Hindi Sammelan (World Hindi Conference) at Lal Parade ground here, Mr Modi called for steps to preserve endangered languages and pointed to concerns voiced by scholars that 90 per cent of the 6,000 languages world over face the risk of becoming relics from the past.
“In the days to come, three languages — English, Chinese and Hindi — will be influential in the digital world,” he said, adding that the language market is huge and companies can tap into it by creating apps.
Highlighting the importance of Hindi and the need for enriching it, Mr Modi said, “If we forget Hindi, it will be a loss to the country.”
“Though my mother tongue is Gujarati, I think at times what would have happened to me had I not known Hindi. I know fairly well the strength of knowing any language,” he said, adding that the focus should not be on only promoting Hindi but other endangered languages as well.
“If we don’t take note of the warning of the language scholars, these languages will be relegated to history. If there is no language, how can literature survive?
“If we don’t conserve and protect our languages, then they will die… become extinct and lead to a situation akin to where we have to watch a film to know what the dinosaur looked like,” he said.
The Prime Minister also stressed that language should remain inclusive and not exclusive.
“It would be good if workshops of various regional languages spoken across the country can be organised to include good words of those languages in Hindi.
“It is the responsibility of every generation to protect, if possible, conserve its heritage and introduce it to the next generations. Whenever something written/engraved is found on a stone, the archaeological department spends years on research to find out what language it is,” he said. Mr Modi also recalled his days as a tea seller in Gujarat and said he had learnt Hindi while selling tea to traders of Uttar Pradesh who would travel to Gujarat to buy buffaloes.