In The Quint: ‘Indians need to appreciate the rich repository of its languages’

Author Kiran Manral.

By Mamta Aggarwal

New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) The purpose of language is to communicate, convey thoughts and bring us together. But now, at a time when languages are more often used to divide, to create an impression of superiority, to make you look like an out-of-touch elitist, “the need to begin appreciating the rich repository of languages that we have in India, is a dire need”, says versatile author Kiran Manral.

One way is greater emphasis on the use of mother tongues and more translations from this rich repository we are fortunate to possess, said the Mumbai-based writer who supplements her eight books in English — both fiction and non-fiction (on a variety of topics) — with being an activist in various spheres, a regular columnist, a Ted Talk motivational speaker and an indefatigable organiser of literary events.

“The fact remains that we are all polyglots in India and that is such a beautiful thing. All languages are born of the basic need to communicate. We have our mother tongue, and then perhaps Hindi and English. We need to begin recognising the richness of all our languages and appreciate them; perhaps no other country has so many official languages, not to mention regional languages and dialects, some of which are dying out. With each language comes its entire written culture… we have such a rich repository. We need to begin appreciating it, rather than using language to create walls between us.” Manral told IANS in an email interview.

Read the rest of the interview here

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