Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday advocated promotion of vernacular languages like Hindi and Urdu as an alternative to English, saying a country or a state can grow even by using local languages.
"It is a myth that knowledge of English language is a must for communication as it has been found that one uses vernacular language for electioneering and business-related works with success," he said during his inaugural speech at the two-day `Jashna-E-Urdu` programme here.
"There are countries like China, Japan and France and others which have attained economic growth by using domestic languages and some of these countries have even been pioneers in the field of technology," Kumar said.
Emphasizing that all languages deserve equal respect, the Chief Minister said that it should not be mandatory to learn a particular language and better left to the people to decide whether they want to learn a language other than their vernacular.
Keeping in view its popularity and wide reach, Urdu was made the second official language of Bihar decades ago, he said.
Describing Urdu as a sweet language and sister to Hindi, the Chief Minister said it was being spoken by people of a cross-section of society in Bihar for a long time.
In order to promote this language, the JD(U) government has framed a policy under which the Urdu teachers will be recruited in all government schools to enable the people to learn it as per their choice, he said.