President Ram Nath Kovind described Telugu as a bridge language between north and south of the country as it assimilates words and ideas from other languages like Arabic, Sanskrit, Urdu et al and appreciated the commitment of Telugu people to their culture and heritage.
The President was the chief guest at the grand valedictory of the five-day World Telugu Conference (WTC) that celebrated Telugu language, literature and culture, inspiring and enthralling delegates and Telugu people across the world, here on Tuesday. The happy mood and pride of thousands of people who gathered at the LB Stadium for their language became evident as they burst into loud cheers when as the chief guest, the President addressed them in Telugu as Sodara Sodareemanulara and went on to say that Desa bhashanlandu Telugu lessa (Telugu is the finest of languages in the country).
The conference, attended by about 16,000 delegates from 42 countries, 16 States, and one Union Territory, is a tribute to the richness and the heritage of Telugu language, which is second most spoken language in the country, the President said in his address.
Noting this was the fifth WTC and the first in the new State of Telangana, he said he looked forward for the sixth WTC.
He congratulated the State government for organising the event in an impeccable manner and winning another feather in its cap after successfully hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Recalling the rich heritage of the Telugu language, he said the mother tongue of the two States, Telangana and A.P., was recognised as a classical language in 2008 for its long literary tradition of which Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao is an important part with his keen understanding of the language, he said.
‘Language of enterprise and technology’
Hailing Telugu as a global language cherished by people across continents from South Africa to South East Asia, the President said it is the language of enterprise and technology. Telugu people are recognised across the world as achievers, for their soft power and elected to public offices in the US. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is a Telugu and so is celebrated biochemist Yellapragada Subbarao, who worked in Harvard in the1920s, he said. The commitment of Telugu diaspora to its mother tongue and culture remains strong, he said and acknowledged ‘Mana Badi’ programme run by overseas Telugus to teach the language to their children.
Earlier, the President said the history of Telugu culture and literature had given so much to the country and human civilisation and went on to recall names of King Srikrishnadevaraya, exponent and patron of Telugu literature. “Many Telugus had contributed to the ethos of this soil, including three of India’s past Presidents who were Telugu speakers -- Sarvepalli Radhakrishna, V.V. Giri and Neelam Sanjiva Reddy -- and former Prime Minister and scholar P.V. Narasimha Rao.