THE IMPORTANCE OF LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE IN BUILDING OF OUR NATION
Rami, Hiral D., Asst. Professor CTU
This is a sociolinguistic paper which discuss about the importance of Language and Literature in Building of the Nation. Language and Literature play vital role in developing the Nation. Nation-Building is structuring or constructing national identity using the power of the state. Literature is one of the major contributory factors in the building of nation. Its roles are many and varied. Even Education is believed to be a tool for the promotion of peace, integration & unity. Therefore the author propounds that language education can be used as a roadmap to national development and democratic greatness. Literature warns people of danger, and instructs by opening people’s eyes to a wide range of experiences and a deeper understanding of these experiences.
Key words- constitution, literature, language, culture, contributory factor, integration ; unity, roadmap, nation building
Hiral D.Rami, B/40, vrundavan society, Nr. Ambakhad road, Khambhat 388620, Dist.Anand, Gujarat, India. Assistant professor at Calorx Teachers’ University. Email:[email protected] No: +91 9726863693.
Language is the vehicle through which people’s culture is transmitted. It is a key of identity which serves as a storeroom of a people’s culture, industry and exploits. It is language that differentiates the homo-sapiens from other animals. The most effective engine of a people’s culture is their mother tongue (MT). Indigenous languages are treasures of culture and self-identity. In other words, language is the indicator of history and self- identification. It is an indispensable cultural legacy with which all forms of human interactions are carried out. According to Nwadike (2004) it is the key to the heart of the people. If we lose the key, we lose the people. If we treasure the key and keep it safe, it will unlock the door to wealth or affluence, thus bringing about national development.
Language is a catalyst in educational development which is an important index of national development. Qualitative education in any nation is not a luxury, but a crucial to national development. In order to achieve national cohesion and unity, Indigenous language is the most important tool with which society is organized, and it is hardly possible to talk of national development without including the language with which the people formulate their thoughts and ideas. With the help of language the nation maintained and still maintaining their social, political and commercial status. Language can be very useful in building of nation’s reputation as language represents their values and ethics.
It provides political awareness and socio-political stability. Government’s programmes and policies reach the grassroots with the use of indigenous languages. National unity depends largely on mutual understanding of each other’s language and culture. This is why it considers to be in the interest of national unity that each child should be encouraged to learn one of the three major National languages other than his own Mother Tongue. Unity means strength or power, and it is language that empowers and unifies people. Languages therefore confer power on a nation.
1. IMPORTANCE OF LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE :
Language is the most fundamental and important tool for youth empowerment. It is a weapon for the uplift of the underprivileged, the marginalized, the un-informed or the illiterates in the society. The culture of reforms initiated by the previous administration is designed to engender sustainable change in democratic governance. This reform is to be carried out through education, and language is the tool for doing this. Empowerment is the process whereby people are enabled or given the opportunity to improve in order to contribute to positive change. It takes varied forms and dimensions which include activities like individual self-assertion, self-improvement, collective bargaining or resistance in order to challenge existing power relations (Okeshola, 1995).
Youth empowerment is a re-branding enterprise, as the empowered youths are likely to shun corruption, and make positive contribution to national economic growth, peace, security and political stability. Education is the most fundamental and important tool for empowerment or for the achievement of social justice and equity. There is no literature without language. Culture and language too are inseparable and intricately interwoven. They play vital role in man’s education and national development. Literature is an art which entertains and instructs. Literature presents situations, interactions and oppositions. It suggests a wide range of values and attitudes. To understand an ethnic group and their culture one may have to turn to their oral and written narratives, their drama and poetry. A good piece of literature can be regarded as an authentic mirror image of its society and time. Through satire, proverbs and symbolism, literary artists communicate ideas, thoughts and feelings about social ills in the society which they criticize with prussic diction. Proverbs, for instance, are a lesson in cautiousness, munificence, patience and wisdom all of which are indispensable to the guidance of mankind and the stability of the society. Literary artists use languages to ridicule or condemn anti-social behaviours such as corruption, assassination, political thuggery, religious intolerance, oppressive rule or dictatorship, any form of human degradation and undemocratic practices.
Through historical literature, our knowledge of the society is widened. According to Asade (2000) we learn from historical literature about seemingly immortal despots and their ignoble and sorrowful end, and that their mysterious death was engendered by the avalanche of atrocities and carnage they had masterminded and executed. This knowledge helps people in charting new and humanistic, socio-political and economic course, which leads to a new world order. This is the contribution of literature to national development.
Culture is the particular systems of art, thought and custom of a society. It is the whole way of life of a people, the social heritage that the individual acquires as a member of his group. It is the entire attitude, perception and specific traits of civilization that confer to a people and its place in the universe. These traits are speech norms, etiquette, ideologies, ethics, stereotypes, artefacts, technologies, intellectual production, etc. Language whether foreign or indigenous, is thus a remarkable mark of a people’s identity.
The teaching and learning of languages, literature and culture will afford the learner an understanding of the problems of the society. We cannot, therefore, overemphasize the importance of languages, literature and culture as three interrelated sociolinguistic variables from whose milk human beings must drink in order to develop a healthy soul in a healthy body.
2. The Role of Literature in Building of the Nation:
Literature adds to reality. It does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts, that our lives have already become. (C.S.Lewis)
It is perhaps the most appropriate description of the importance of literature in our lives. Literature always reminds us of stories, epics, sacred scriptures and classical works of the ancients & modern society. Literature is defined as the body or written works of a language, period or culture, produced by scholars, researchers and specialized in a given field. As stated in the quotation by C.S.Lewis, literature not only describes reality but also adds to it. Yes, Literature is not merely depiction of reality; it is rather a value-addition. Literary works are portrayals of the thinking patterns and social norms prevalent in society.