Speakers express concern over decline in number of Telugu speakers
CHENNAI: Members of the World Telugu Federation gathered here to celebrate the `Swarnotsavam', the golden jubilee of the formation of Andhra Pradesh state, on Wednesday.
Speakers at the meeting expressed concern over the issue of a separate Telengana state and the steep decline in the number of Telugu speakers.
Omkar Paritala, Telugu writer, said that though Andhra Pradesh had made great strides in several fields such as information technology and agriculture, Telugu unity had deteriorated.
S. Venkataramiah, educationalist, said the Telugu speaking population of 17 crore is spread across several States, including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Orissa. But, only 5 crore of them could read and write Telugu.
He said the younger generation must be taught Telugu, even those outside Andhra Pradesh. Though 42 per cent of Chennai's population is composed of Telugus, there were only a few Telugu medium schools.
He also listed the eminent personalities of other states, such as Subrahmanya Bharathi, who learnt the language. Mr. Venkataramiah demanded that Telugu be given the classical language status.
The function included a cultural programme in which children put up a show on renowned persons who strove for the formation of Andhra Pradesh and the development of the State.
Some of the personalities portrayed by the children were freedom fighter Duggirala Gopalakrishnaiah, Prakasam Panthulu, Durgabai Deshmukh and Potti Sreeramulu.