Favouring promotion of Indian culture and heritage and not looking towards the West, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday urged people speaking the same language to communicate in their mother tongue instead of in English.
“Why should a Tamilian speak to other Tamilian in English.. Both know Tamil. They can talk to each other in their mother tongue. A Telugu can speak to another Telugu in their mother tongue,” he said after releasing a Rs 100 commemorative coin on the occasion of the birth centenary of legendary Carnatic singer M.S. Subbulakshmi.
Speaking about her, Naidu said: “Subbulakshmiji used to be called as M.S. Amma (mother). We have now weakness for English language.. We don’t call our mother as Amma, we call them ‘Mummy’.
“Such a beautiful language. Amma comes from the heart and Mummy comes from the lips. In Urdu it is Ammi. We should always speak in our mother tongue, in our language. There is nothing wrong in speaking English to an English man.”
Naidu also said: “The mother tongue which has come from your mother’s womb, you should never forget. Nobody should forget their mother, the motherland, place, country, land, India where you were born.”
“One who forgets his mother, motherland, native place and mother tongue..you cannot call him a human being..he is something else,” Naidu added.
He also pointed that “India was once again being recognised and respected worldwide. Thanks to the leadership.”
Naidu said: “It is our duty to preserve this culture and heritage. This is our tradition, culture, our past. We must always feel proud of our past and heritage and try to preserve it.
“The Indian culture, heritage, family system and value system are immensely popular across the globe. Unfortunately, even in India, we are trying to look to the West. But, West is looking to us..and we are looking to West..But, we are the best,” he added.
“There is nothing wrong in taking something good from anywhere. But we should not forget what is there in our land. See the respect we give to our land. We call it motherland and not fatherland. That’s why in our country the rivers are named after woman – Ganga, Cauvery, Yamuna, Narmada and others.”
Naidu said: “The roots of Indian music can be traced to Vedic literature, Sama Veda in particular, and as such every note and cadence associated with our ancient music systems have to be preserved and propagated.
“It is our bounden duty to see that our rich cultural heritage which is given to us by our forefathers is preserved and passed on to the next generation,” he added.
Stressing that music has no barriers or boundaries, Naidu said Subbulakshmi reminded of unsurpassed phenomena in Carnatic music.
“There is nobody. I don’t think anybody in future too can surpass her as far as Carnatic music is concerned. First Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had said, ‘I am an ordinary PM in front of the queen of music’,” said Naidu.
“What defines India is the rich heritage of music and its unifying role in bringing people together cutting across religions, region, caste, communities and languages,” he added.
He said Subbulakshmi made a huge contribution to popularizing Annanmacharya Kritis.
“Even when I was in politics..Now I am not in politics… I don’t belong to Mahesh Sharma’s (Culture Minister who was present) party (BJP). I belong to Indian party. In politics there is always tension. So, everyday, I used to listen to Annanmacharya Kritis. My mind became fresh,” he remarked.
The Vice President said that Subbulakshmi’s music is immortal and everyone in this country was influenced and thrilled by her music. He said that music acquired a “divine dimension” when she lent her voice to various compositions.
“Even Mahatma Gandhi was spellbound when he listened to her rendition of ‘Vaishnavo Janatu’,” he added.