21st February is International Mother Language Day; it is a day that promotes the preservation and protection of all languages and celebrates the world’s linguistic diversity.
In the 19th century Lord Macaulay’s address to the British Parliament below must be a reminder to everyone that we must persevere to be multilingual but our mother tongue must be preserved from home, when a child starts talking. Parents and grandparents have a great role to play in this regard.
BEWARE THE MACAULAY TRAP:
“I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage and therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation”. -Lord Macaulay’s Address to the British Parliament on 2 Feb 1836This year’s theme is: “Using Technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and Opportunities”. On this important day, the Minority Front calls on everyone to use technology platforms to spread the teaching of our mother tongue languages, if governments remove them from our school subjects. Our utmost appreciation goes to our traditional teachers who make the ultimate sacrifices to impart culture through scripture and literature, to shape morality in the minds of our fellow human beings.
Hon. Shameen Thakur-Rajbansi
Leader of the Minority Front
KZN Legislature MPL