Raised the need to expand work of National Translation Mission.
Smt. Poonam Mahajan, Member of Parliament from Mumbai North Central and National Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party raised the important issue of expansion of the work done by the National Translation Mission. Smt. Mahajan raised this issue through a starred question in the Lok Sabha.
National Translation Mission (NTM) is a scheme (maybe based on the recommendation of NKC) of the Government of India to make knowledge-based texts accessible in all Indian languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution through translation.
However, Smt. Mahajan mentioned that 780 Indian languages were identified and documented by the People’s Linguistic Survey of India conducted by Bhasha Research and Publication Center based in Baroda. Out of these 780 languages, 220 languages disappeared in the last 50 years and another 150 could vanish in the next half century as speakers die and their children fail to learn ancestral tongues. For example Sidi in Gujarat, Majhi in Sikkim (spoken by 4 people), Dimasa in Assam, Koro in Arunachal Pradesh, Chaimal in Tripura are critically close to extinction.
In view of this, Smt. Mahajan raised the issue of languages outside the eight schedule that are spoken by less than 10,000 persons not being included under the National Translation Mission. She asked the Government as to whether it has any plans to include these languages so as to preserve and protect these endangered languages. The MoS for Human Resource Development Dr. Ram Shankar Katheria said that there is a need to include all Indian languages under the scheme and the Government will look into the same.
Through a second supplementary, Smt. Mahajan raised the important issue of facilitating global recognition for Indian writes. “ The different Indian languages and their literature are the rich heritage of our country. I am from Maharashtra and am proud of Marathi literation. However, it has been 100 years since Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel prize and none of our Indian writers have received such wide audience. There is a need to translate the work of our literary gems and ensure it reaches the rest of South Asia and the world at large.” Said Smt. Mahajan
Smt. Poonam Mahajan also cited the example of famous Kannada writer S.L Bhyrappa who holds the honor of being the Indian author with the highest number of works being translated into other languages. She emphasized that there is a need to ensure that the National Translation Mission aids the translations of literary works of Indian authors thereby promoting Indian culture and heritage across the world.
In reply to her, Smt. Smriti Irani, Hon. Minister for Human Resource Development, promised that the Government will take up the issue of promoting Indian literature world wide through translation. The Minister also remarked “ Since the honorable member has mentioned the example of writer S.L Bhyrapaa, I would like to mention that the Government plans to appoint S.L Bhyrappa as ‘National Professor’.”
Smt. Mahajan received praise from all quarters, including the Hon. Minister Smt. Smriti Irani and MP from Left parties Shri. Mohd. Salim, for raising this issue in an eloquent manner during question hour in the Lok Sabha.
Importantly, The Hon. Speaker Smt. Sumitra Mahajan, congratulated Smt. Poonam Mahajan for raising such a matter and remarked that, following the example set by Smt. Poonam Mahajan, all members must do adequate research prior to speaking on different matters in the house.