Speak in your mother tongue, says Vice President Venkaiah Naidu

‘Amma’ or ‘Ammi’ comes from the heart while ‘Mommy’ comes from the lips, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said on Tuesday, as he urged people to speak in their mother tongue.

Naidu, while addressing a gathering at an event held in New Delhi to commemorate the birth centenary of music legend M S Subbulakshmi, asked people not to forget their own language but said it was fine to talk in English when speaking to a foreigner. “We now use English language to address a mother — mommy or daddy…But, ‘Amma’, such a beautiful language, for a mother, comes from the heart or ‘Ammi’ in Urdu comes from the heart, while mommy comes from the lips. So, Hindi, Sanskrit or Urdu or Telugu, we should always speak in our mother’s tongue,” Naidu said.

Incidentally, Naidu, who has served as a Union minister in the Modi government before becoming the Vice President, had earlier this year said it was important to learn the ‘Rashtra Bhasha’ (national language) Hindi as most people in the country speak that language. He had also stressed on the promotion of ‘Matrubhasha’ (mother tongue) and lamented that too much importance was attached to English in the country.

“I always tell people that one should never forget his or her mother, motherland, native place and mother tongue. Those who forget cannot be called human beings, they are something else. So, always speak in your mother tongue. Respect the language that has come from your mother’s womb,” he said at the event on Tuesday. “There is nothing wrong in speaking English, to an Englishmen,” he added.

The Vice President, who spoke after Union culture minister Mahesh Sharma at the function held at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), in a lighter vein, also said, “I do not belong to Mahesh Sharma’s party. I now belong to the party of the Indian people.” The senior BJP leader, who held the portfolio of urban development in the Union Cabinet, was elected to the post of the Vice President on August 5.

Naidu, in his speech, recalled the contributions of Subbulakshmi or MS as she was fondly known to people and exhorted the young generation to draw inspiration form her life and unparallelled achievements. This commemoration is a system (‘paddhati’), as enshrined in our Hindu Dharma or Sanatan Dharma, to recognise the contribution of a person, and then making the next generation be inspired from it to work towards an accomplished life, he said.