Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday called for protecting and promoting Indian languages, and making education compulsory in the mother tongue at primary level. Inaugurating a webinar on “Knowledge Creation: Mother Tongue”, organised by the University of Hyderabad and the Telugu Academy, he asked the state governments to give a “special thrust” to their respective official languages. The V-P said about 90 per cent of the Nobel Laureates, barring Nobel Peace prize recipients, until 2017 were those who completed their education in their mother tongue. The efforts of Naidu, whose mother tongue is Telugu, have a context. Last November, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy had sought to make government schools English-medium. His government modified the order later and stated that in the first phase only classes 1 to 6 would be converted into English- medium. A local BJP leader had moved the High Court, which had quashed the move in April.
Twitter was awash with tributes to Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, whose death anniversary was observed on Tuesday. Union Home Minister Amit Shah said, “His relentless efforts eradicated many social evils and made Widows’ Remarriage Act possible.” In his tribute, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said, “His contributions in the field of education, women’s empowerment and social reforms continue to inspire.” Last year, Vidyasagar had become the centre of a political storm when a bust of his at Kolkata’s Vidyasagar College was vandalised during then BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow. A blame game between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP ensued, with the former alleging that members of the latter were behind the incident. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee went on to say the episode was an insult to Bengali culture.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has decided to walk her talk. On Wednesday, her party filed a writ petition in the Rajasthan High Court, challenging the merger of six its party MLAs with the ruling Congress in the state. Sandeep Yadav, Wajib Ali, Deepchand Kheria, Lakhan Meena, Jogendra Awana and Rajendra Gudha had won the 2018 Assembly elections on BSP tickets, but had defected to the Congress in September 2019. Earlier this week, Mayawati had threatened to teach Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot "a lesson" for poaching her MLAs. She had been meaning to take action for a long time, but was waiting for the appropriate moment, she had said. The merger of the BSP MLAs with the ruling Congress was a boost to the Ashok Gehlot-led government as the tally of the party increased to 107 in the House of 200.