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Ananathamurthy welcomes heritage tag for Western Ghats

Staff Correspondent
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Says roads and rails cannot ensure development of tribal people

Jnanpith Award-winner U.R. Ananthamurthy interacting with the audience at Karnataka Sangha in Shimoga on Tuesday. T.N. Shankaranarayan, President of Karnataka Sangha, and past president K.G. Subrahmanya (left) are seen.
Jnanpith Award-winner U.R. Ananthamurthy interacting with the audience at Karnataka Sangha in Shimoga on Tuesday. T.N. Shankaranarayan, President of Karnataka Sangha, and past president K.G. Subrahmanya (left) are seen.

Jnanpith Award-winner U.R. Ananthamurthy on Tuesday welcomed the inclusion of Western Ghat in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites List.

The fragile eco system of Western Ghats had been damaged in the name of development. The World Heritage tag would facilitate the conservation of the bio-diversity of Western Ghats, he said at an interaction programme at Karnataka Sangha here.

“The understanding of politicians on development was flawed. I am happy that Western Ghats is spared from development,” he said.

To a question from the audience on the detrimental impact the restriction imposed on development works in Western Ghats might have on the life of the tribal people living there, he said that it was necessary to honour the lifestyle of the tribal people. It was not possible to realise the welfare of tribal people by providing roads and railway connectivity to the villages where they lived.

“The notion of initiating development works in the tribal settlements stemmed from the disregard we have towards their culture and life style,” he said.

On the controversy over introducing English-medium education in government schools, he said that rather than providing education in English medium from the elementary level, it was necessary to promote the students to converse in English.

Children should be motivated to abuse English due to which the fear towards the language would be dispelled. English need not be considered as infallible.

In the past, Latin and German languages had enjoyed the dominant position.

A day might come when Chinese language might replace English as global language.

He stressed on the need to establish common schools where children from all sections of society study.

He said that all political parties should share the blame for illegal mining.

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