Mother tongue

Indian roots global pusuits

Mr Sridhar Murthy Srikantham, Typographer, Graphic Designer, Aksharaakruti

Learning mother tongue is not popular in today's Indian scenario. It is taught in schools along with English and Hindi. Of the three languages English is the preffered one. It is the language of global communication, language used in computers, a language that is associated with upward mobility. Schools encourage children to learn English, parents want their offspring to be proficient in English and mother tongue reading and writing takes a back seat. Motivation levels are very high for learning English and many attractive books are available in English. The font is easy to read, the matter user friendly still there is no adequate learning of English. Further the fact remains that in an Indian scenario English remains just a tool for a better tomorrow. Many do not pursue it as a means to absorb English literature or its culture.

Books in Indian languages on the other hand are not easy to read primarily because of the fonts. The fonts are not specially designed for learning of the language, hence not at all readable, nor approchable to students of learning age. This has been a cause of concern and therefore needs to be addressed immediately as it has steadily lead to a generation of young people who are neither proficient in English nor are they expert mother tongue users.

Language is not just a means to an end. Language is a means of communication, imagination, expression and one that gives you an identity. Without mother tongue there seems to be an absence of input in these spheres. There is a visible collapse of the language and the culture related with it. The need of the hour is to create a better font in Indian languages in the hope that a following generation would atleast read in their respective mother tongues. The font should not be an impediment in learning of a mother tongue through a text and the experience should be a happy one rather than a burden.

The aim of the paper then is to discuss the various methods by which the objective stated above may be achieved.