Linguistic minorities are among those sections of minorities which has a distinct language of the society. They are indigenous people and belong to a particular tribe. The language which they use is only spoken between themselves. They depict the culture and the heritage of the country. If the language which is spoken between them is forgotten, then their languages will be lost which may result in the loss of a cultural diversity of the country, which must be stopped. Mother tongue is the language in which a person speaks at his home[i] and so is comfortable in speaking. Mother Tongue also means the language of the linguistic minority in a State.[ii]
This essay argues that it is necessary to conserve linguistic minorities and one of the methods to conserve this language is imposition of mother tongue as a medium of instruction at primary stage of education which will also help in easy attainment of basic education by the child.
Need to Conserve Linguistic Minorities
Linguistic diversity, as an integral part of cultural diversity creates a rich and varied world, which increases the range of choices and nurtures human capacities and values.[iii] It is considered “as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature”.[iv] The protection of cultural diversity is, in turn, an integral part of Human Rights and a sine qua non condition for the full realization and enjoyment of all Human Rights.[v] It is this double edge that makes of cultural diversity an ethical imperative, inseparable from respect for human dignity[vi] and from the process of guaranteeing the survival of humanity.[vii]
Languages mediate our experiences, our intellectual and cultural environments, our modes of encounter with others, our value systems, social codes and sense of belongingness, both collectively and individually. From the perspective of cultural diversity, linguistic diversity reflects the creative adaptation of groups to their changing physical and social environments. In this sense, languages are not just a means of communication but represent the very fabric of cultural expressions; they are the carriers of identity, values and worldviews.[viii]