Nagathihalli makes a spirited defence of Kannada

Need a constitutional amendment that protects all regional languages, says filmmaker

Published - August 29, 2017 12:33 am IST - MANIPAL

“There is an intense nativism in the films I make, much like what is found in Polish or Spanish films. Such films cannot be made in another language, because no other language can capture the native wisdom of such languages,” said noted Kannada filmmaker Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar.

He was speaking at a discussion on ‘Language politics and medium of instruction: Challenges in a multilingual world’ organised by the Centre for Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) project of Manipal University here on Monday.

‘Constitutional amendment needed’

Mr. Chandrashekhar said, “A defence of Kannada is not just an emotional response, but a considered intellectual stance. What we need is a constitutional amendment that protects all regional languages.”

Naa. Someswara, the host of a game show, made a case for multilingualism. He said an education that ignored regional languages led only to the development of the left hemisphere of the brain (logical, analytic), and to the detriment of the right hemisphere (empathy, creativity). “Contrary to popular opinion, it is not impossible to teach science in Kannada. Scientific terms can retain their Latin, Greek or English roots. We need not find a new Kannada word for every scientific term,” he said.

Schools closing

Mahabaleshwara Rao, principal, T.M.A. Pai College of Education, said that Kannada medium schools were on the verge of extinction because of government apathy and misplaced policy.

English medium schools were mushrooming even though some of them of were violating basic government regulations, he said.

Bhuvaneshwari Hegde, writer, said that a common sense approach to learning should be developed among children irrespective of the language they learnt in. “However, such learning is enabled better in a native language environment,” she said.

Abhilasha Hande, principal, SMS English Medium School, said language lived in the daily life of people and not in the pages of books. Globalisation and the IT revolution had altered the scenario. “It is not some innate attraction to English, but rather the dependence on English that compels people to learn it,” she said.

Varadesh Hiregange, Head of Gandhian and Peace Studies Centre, moderated the discussion.

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