Use modern means to promote languages: President

President Pranab Mukherjee today said modern means should be used to promote Indian languages to preserve their cultural richness for future generations.

"It is necessary while safeguarding our cherished languages to promote them through all the modern means at our disposal today," Mukherjee said inaugurating the Vishwa Malayala Mahotsav-2012 at the Senate Hall of Kerala University here.

"A language, however much it may be enriched with traditional values and heritage, would lose its relevance and popularity if it did not evolve," he said, emphasising the need for using modern means to preserve them.

Mukherjee said the Malayalam University, to be inaugurated on November one at Tirur, the hallowed birth place of Thunchathu Ezhuthechan, would positively impact preservation and propagation of the language.

Dwelling on the role played by Malayalam in cultural and literary development of Kerala over the centuries, Mukherjee said despite its unique identity, Kerala had simultaneously remained "open, tolerant and hospitable to new elements and influences."

This was in tune with Indian civilisation's unique trait of unity in diversity.

"The canvas of Indian culture is a vast and unique kaleidoscope. It is enriched by the heritage and cultural traditions of its constituent societies," he said.

Observing that India's unity in diversity had always provided the space for sustenance and growth, he said, "Within this happy co-existence, Malayalam is the essence and embodiment of the rich history, culture, art and heritage of Malayali people".

Governor H R Bhardwaj, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Union Ministers Shashi Tharoor and K C Venugopal and state culture Minister K C Joseph were present on the occasion.

Many of leading Malayalam literary figures including Jnanpith laureates M T Vasudevan Nair and ONV Kurup were also present at the inaugural of the three-day event.

Mukherjee also enjoyed the state's classical dance forms Kathakali and Mohiniyattam presented by artistes and students from Kerala Kala Mandalam last evening.

The President enjoyed the depiction of Vishnupurana themes like "Gajendramoksham" in Mohiniyattam and "Arjuna's dilemma and final resolution" before the Kurukshetra war as presented in Kathakali form.

Both the themes related to Lord Vishnu, after whom the ancient city of Thiruvananthapuram is named and the famed Sreepadmanabhaswamy temple is its most striking hallmark.

Later, a state banquet was hosted by Governor Bhardwaj, where the best of traditional Kerala cuisine dominated the menu

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