Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday pitched for preserving local languages, saying when a language dies, culture, traditions and customs associated with it are also lost.
He said that he is not opposed to learning English or any other language but a person can communicate effectively and articulate better in his or her mother tongue.
"Language is the lifeline of a culture ... When a language dies, there will be a loss of cultural identity, traditions and customs associated with that language," Naidu said addressing the 28th Saraswati Samman organised by the K K Birla Foundation here.
He was of the view that the best way to preserve or promote any language is to use it extensively in everyday life.
"More and more people should start using their native languages at home, in the community, in meetings and in administration," he said.
Naidu also commended the foundation for creating a framework to adjudge the creative output in literature of different languages.
K Siva Reddy has been awarded this year for his Telugu poetry collection 'Pakkaki Ottigilite'.
The vice president said language preservation and development cannot be task of the government alone and it has to take the form of people's movement. Community participation is essential for preserving and protecting languages.
The power of technology, Naidu said, should be harnessed to preserve and promote languages and culture.
Online dictionaries, encyclopedias, glossaries, research articles and searchable databases should be prepared in all Indian languages. Old manuscripts should be electronically stored for easy retrieval, he suggested.
"There is an urgent need to accord a sense of dignity and a sense of pride to those who speak, write and communicate in their native languages," Naidu told the gathering.