Expressing concern over the survival of Kannada language and its speakers against the onslaught of English, Director of Kuvempu Institute of Kannada Studies at the University of Mysuru Vijayakumari Karikal has advised ending the dependence on English in pursuing education in science and technology, medicine and other fields of higher learning and promoting the learning of higher education in local languages.
“Indian languages are rich in all aspects. They have the capability of communicating the knowledge of science and technology, medicine and other fields to learners. They should be made the medium of instruction in higher education. Making indigenous languages the medium of instruction in higher education will brighten the future of millions of young students who are poor in English and strong in their mother-tongue,” she said.
“At least in the case of Kannada, it has been proved that the ancient language known as ‘Kannthamil’ is the root language of all Dravidian languages, including Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam”Vijayakumari Karikal,Director of Kuvempu Institute of Kannada Studies, University of Mysuru
She was speaking at a function at Sharnbasva University in Kalaburagi on Sunday, which was organised as part of the Bharatiya Bhasha Utsav to mark the birth anniversary of the famous Tamil nationalist poet Mahakavi Subramania Bharati.
“It is not a very difficult task to learn higher education in native languages. Several writers have popularised science and technology in Kannada and there are several books on medicine in Kannada. Efforts should be made to create textbooks in engineering and medical education. The ancient knowledge of medicine and animal husbandry is available in Kannada in palm-leaf manuscripts in the repository of Mysuru University,” she said.
Disputing the popular notion that held Sanskrit as the mother of Kannada and other languages, Dr. Karikal said that at least in the case of Kannada, it has been proved that the ancient language known as “Kannthamil” is the root language of all Dravidian languages, including Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.
“Excessive dependence on English in the field of higher education is one of the reasons for the underdevelopment of native languages. English should be used only as a window and not as a door to gain knowledge. Being proud of having a particular language as a mother-tongue is not a problem, but having hatred towards other languages is. One learning other languages will enhance one’s knowledge,” she said.