Addressing the inaugural function of the World Telugu Conference at LB Stadium here, he said he appreciated the efforts of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao to hold the WTC in such a grand manner and applauded his recent decision to make Telugu compulsory for all students till Class XII.
He said quotas must be given in government jobs for Telugus, and officials and staff working in government departments must know Telugu.
Knowledge of Telugu should be linked with education and job opportunities to ensure its survival, he said.
“If such measures are not taken, Telugu will vanish. If any language vanishes, it will have adverse impact on its culture and traditions also, which too will fade away. If roots are affected, even a giant tree will collapse. We have to strengthen Telugu from the roots for the language to prosper in future,” he said amidst thunderous applause from those on the dais and thousands of participants on the sprawling grounds.
Mother tongue is like our eyes: Venkaiah
Mr Naidu assured the audience that he would pursue quotas in government jobs for regional languages with all Public Service Commissions.
“Forgetting the mother tongue amounts to forgetting the mother. I lost my mother in my childhood. I have been treating my mother tongue as my mother since then. I always say that those who forget their mother, language and country, are not human beings. Now I want to add that those who forget their schools and teachers are also not human beings,” he declared.
He said that Telugu is the most widely spoken language after English and Hindi, but it is losing ground faster.
“People are keen to learn English saying that it will help them to come up in life. But I disagree with this argument. KCR, Chandrababu and I have not studied in convent schools. We studied in Telugu schools. Yet we could come up in life. Mother tongue is like eyes and other languages are like spectacles. If we have eyes, we can use spectacles. If we have no eyes, there is no use of spectacles,” Mr Naidu said.