Shashi Tharoor on Friday launched a language challenge on twitter - #LanguageChallenge – to help 'people learn one word each from languages other than their mother tongue.'
The initiative began after Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the media to unite India with the help of language. "We can simply start with publishing one word each day in 10-12 different languages spoken across the country. In a year, a person can learn over 300 new words in different languages,” Modi had said while inaugurating Manorama News Conclave 2019 via video-conference from New Delhi. The conclave is being held in Kochi.
Tharoor felt Modi's suggestion was a “welcome departure from Hindi dominance”.
Tharoor promised to tweet a word daily in English, Hindi and Malayalam. His first word of choice was 'pluralism' “Here is the 1st one: Pluralism (English). बहुलवाद (Hindi). ബഹുവചനം(Malayalam).”
However, many twitter users pointed out that Tharoor has goofed up with the Malayalam word. Following which, he tweeted "Pluralism is better translated in Malayalam as ബഹുസ്വരത (bahuswarata, many voices) than as ബഹുവചനം (many things)."
Earlier, Modi urged the media to use the power of languages to unite India. “Once a person learns another Indian language he will come to know the commonality and truly appreciate the oneness in Indian culture. This can also give rise to groups of people interested to learn different languages.”
“Imagine a group in Haryana learning Malayalam and a group in Karnataka learning Bengali! All big distances were covered only after taking the first step, can we take the first step?” he asked.
Prior to making the suggestion, Modi said India is perhaps the only country in the world with so many languages. “In a way it is a force multiplier. But language has also been exploited by selfish interests to create artificial walls in the country to divide.”