From Menu cards to TV shows: Panel recommends changes to promote Marathi language

Mumbai: Appointment of special officers to ensure ‘correct’ use of Marathi on TV channels in Maharashtra; making Marathi subtitles compulsory for movies and programs of other languages aired in the state; menu cards should be in Marathi in hotels and restaurants; 50 percent reservation in multi-national companies for Marathi speaking people and linking promotions and increments of bureaucrats to use of Marathi in work. These are only a few of the recommendations of a panel set up by the Maharashtra government to prepare Marathi language policy.

A 30 member advisory committee headed by the noted educationist and writer Nagnath Kotapalle was constituted by the previous congress-NCP government to prepare Marathi language policy for the next 25 years. The committee was asked to make recommendations to preserve and promote the Marathi language and offer suggestions to the state government on framing guidelines for its proper use.

The draft prepared by the committee has been put up on the Maharashtra government’s website for public feedback till February 25.

 From Menu cards to TV shows: Panel recommends changes to promote Marathi language

Representational image. AFP

As per the recommendations, it has been suggested that the movies or TV shows in other languages being shown in Maharashtra should have subtitles in Marathi. Also, the various shows aired on the national television channels, which are either in English or other region languages, should be in Marathi if they are being shown in Maharashtra.

It also suggested that 30 percent of a movie crew should be Marathi speaking people if it wants any tax exemptions in Maharashtra. The names of the hotels and restaurants, menu cards and receipts should be in Marathi across the state.

While the preference should be given to the Marathi speaking people in government jobs, there must be a 50 percent reservation for Marathi speaking people in the multi-national companies, the draft recommends.

Apart from these, the panel recommended that whether the all the government officials including IAS are using the Marathi language or not should be mentioned into their service records. The government also should set up a Marathi medium university on around 500 acre plot to conserve and make the Marathi as a global language.

Kotapalle, who headed the committee, said that the recommendations are made a view to make the Marathi as the language of knowledge that will automatically create more job opportunities for Marathi speaking people. "Many TV shows like Chhota Bheem, Mickey Mouse have dialogues in Hindi, Tamil, Kannad, Bengali and other regional languages but not in Marathi because we are not insisting for it. So, such programs should be in Marathi if they are being shown in Maharashtra," he told Firstpost.

He added that 30 percent crew of a film and 50 percent reservation in multi-national companies will help to get the jobs for Marathi speaking people. “Few government agencies use the Marathi in day to day functioning. There should be 100 per cent use of Marathi in the government agencies and in the judicial bodies. The collector is supposed to learn the local language within three months after his posting as per the rule, which is in force since British era. But, it is not strictly followed in the state,” he explained.

He further hoped that the recommendations should be implemented by the next year. The recommendations given in the policy were feasibly possibly and could be implemented practically.

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Updated Date: Dec 17, 2014 18:50:17 IST