‘Students study Sanskrit because they can get higher marks'
Everyone speaks about promoting Telugu language and literature, but these days not many students take to reading Telugu as a language of study even in their school or Intermediate. The Telugu Association of North America Board of Directors Chairman V. Chowdary Jampala opines unless Telugu was made an ‘economic portal' any other incentive will not work wonders.
Hailing from Guntur district, Dr. Jampala Chowdary, currently heading the Department of Mental Health in Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Center in Chicago, has a natural liking for the Telugu books and language. A psychologist by profession, he settled in the USA about three decades ago, but keeps himself abreast of all latest developments in the language and keeps it promoting in the U.S.
Today Intermediate students study Sanskrit because they can get higher marks to help get a seat and if the same feeling is created for learning Telugu language, students would take to reading Telugu, he opined. Government promotes English language to help students get jobs through better communication skills and it has become an economic model. “If similar incentive is provided for pursuing Telugu, artificial promotion of the language was not essential,” he added.
Speaking about his retention of interest in Telugu language and literature, he gave credit to his parents who read several books while he was a child, but it was the availability of books even in America that made his interest remain alive and he also took up the job of editing and publishing TANA journals in Telugu.
He was also one of the three editors of Kadha Sahiti, a compilation of 20 years of stories. Thirty best stories between 1990 and 2010 were chosen by the three were compiled by them. Choosing stories was not easy, he said, but since there was a list of at least five stories common to all three – Gudipati and A.K. Prabhakar it was mainly the personal choices of the individuals, but others also agreed to them.
New generation e-books and internet was helping the spread of the language among the youth and it was generating new interest among them, he observed. The book exhibition in Vijayawada was the reason for his visit to India at this time and hoped that this would give an impetus to the language in a big way. Speaking about current literature, he said out of Navarasa, comedy and romance were not being written anymore.
Keywords: Telugu language learning