GUWAHATI, Dec 3 - Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today said that primary education to children should be imparted in schools in mother tongue only.
�There is a notion creeping in our society that without speaking English one cannot succeed, or it is only through enrolling children in English-medium schools that their success can be guaranteed, which has to be done away with. I have not studied in any English-medium school,� said Naidu, while addressing the Pratidin Time Achiever Awards 2017 function here today.
�The English language should not become our weakness. I am not against any language and there is no harm in picking up other languages. But the priority has to be our mother tongue and our cultural identity,� said the Vice President.
�More than the children, it is the parents who have this strange obsession with the English language,� Naidu said.
While stressing the need for upholding the composite cultural identity of the country, Naidu said, �India is a land which symbolizes unity in diversity. The philosophy of Indian culture is that the entire world should live in peace. We should be proud of our identity instead of trying to follow foreign culture and tradition.�
While urging the media to focus on news instead of views, he further stated that an ideal newspaper or literature should be a reflection of the society, its problems and aspirations.
�Agriculture is the basic culture of our country and the media should devote more time to focus on these areas. The urban-rural divide must be bridged to achieve sustainable development and focus should be more on panchayats,� he pointed out, adding, �Media should be the voice for the voiceless.�
Naidu also took a dig at forces inimical to India without naming anyone and went on to say that �insurgency has no religion, but some people are trying to use religion to divide the people.�
�One of the neighbouring countries is abetting and funding terror,� he said.
Naidu also gave away the lifetime achievement award to noted folklorist Dr Birendranath Datta. The award carries a cheque of Rs 1 lakh and a memento.
Besides, award to ten achievers in their respective fields who included Meira Paibi (Social Service), Sikkim Government (Environment), Pranab Bora of Aditya Birla group (Corporate) Aizawl Football Club (Sports Club of the Year), Pramila Daimari (Sportsperson of the year) Lou Majaw (Music), Munin Baruah (Culture), Benu Mishra (Excellence in Art) and Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi (Journalism and Literature).
Ankushita Boro, who won the gold in the recently held junior women boxing championship, was also felicitated. Four journalists, including Nayan Pratim Kumar, Simanta Choudhury (Pratidin Time), Dhruba Pathak and Royal Pegu (Asomiya Pratidin), were awarded for excellence.
Assam Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and the chairman of the Sadin-Pratidin Group Jayanta Baruah also spoke on the occasion.