While uncertainty looms large over the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) plan of introducing Marathi language to the non-Maharashtrian population in the city following opposition from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), the University of Pune (UoP) is all set start a course for those to wish to learn the language from the upcoming academic year. The MNS has opposed to the PMC’s plan claiming that if migrants learn the local language, they’ll snatch away jobs from the Marathi manoos.
On public demand
However, the HoD of Marathi language (UoP) Dr Vidyagauri Tilak said that there is lot of curiosity amongst non-Maharashtrians about learning the local language. “We constantly receive requests to start a course for people who don’t understand Marathi at all,” she said. “As Marathi has a rich literature, apart from Marathi films getting international recognition these days, the demand for Marathi has increased in the past few years,” Tilak added.
The Marathi department is introducing the course from June 2013. “It will be a six month part-time certificate course. The department has already started preparations for it and has got in touch with experts who will help run the course,” she informed. Interestingly, Tilak is one of the members of the Marathi Bhasha Sanvardhan Committee, which has been constituted by the civic body. When informed about the MNS’ opposition to the idea of educating migrants in the language, she said, “The PMC has included me in the committee that has been constituted to conserve Marathi language. The PMC hasn’t send me any written information about the said opposition, and hence, I won’t be able to comment on it.”
Meanwhile, Anil Gore, chairman of Samarth Marathi Sanstha, on whose proposal the PMC has formed the Marathi Bhasha Sanvardhan Committee, said, “Introducing Marathi to non-Maharashtrians in the city will be one of the projects undertaken by the committee. We are also planning activities like publishing rare Marathi literature, teaching Marathi Unicode keyboard computer typing to one lakh citizens, and so on.” However, he added that the projects will be worked upon only after we get final approval by the General Body of the PMC,” Gore said.