The three-day International Conference of the Linguistic Society of India (ICOLSI-45), organized by the Department of Linguistics at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), that began on November 20 with online inauguration by Shri Sanjay K Murthy, IAS, Union Education Secretary, Government of India, concluded after a marathon deliberation on various aspects of the subject by scholars, researchers and faculty members coming from different parts of the world.
In the inaugural address, Shri Sanjay K Murthy emphasized the role of linguistics as more than an academic pursuit, highlighting its function as a bridge connecting cultures and a tool for social understanding. He underlined language’s integral role in shaping societies, fostering personal expression, and preserving cultural heritage. The Education Secretary also elaborated on the relevance of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 in promoting multilingualism from the school level and encouraging the study of classical languages like Sanskrit.
Prof. M J Warsi, Director of the Conference, welcomed the participants, acknowledging India’s rich linguistic heritage and its scientific exploration of language dating back millennia.
Distinguished speakers during the inaugural session included Shri Ganga Kumar (IAS), Deputy Director General, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, who stressed the role of language in preserving culture. Mr. Mohammad Imran (IPS), the registrar of AMU, discussed the impact of language on thought processes and highlighted emerging opportunities for linguists following the launch of NEP-2020.
Prof. Shreesh Chaudhary (IIT, Madras) delved into the role of linguistics in information and communication technology (ICT), stressing the need for linguists to reinvent themselves. Special guest Prof. Younasse Tarbouni (Washington University in St. Louis, USA) shared his unique experience of learning languages through Bollywood movies, enhancing his interest in Hindi-Urdu and Indian culture.
The President of the Linguistic Society of India, Prof. G Uma Maheshwara Rao (University of Hyderabad), discussed the significance of NEP-2020, particularly its emphasis on regional languages. Vice-President Prof. Sobha Satyanath from the University of Delhi highlighted India’s linguistic pluralism and cultural diversity.
Prof. Arif Nazir, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at AMU, emphasized the importance of preserving local languages. The session concluded with the release of three publications: Aligarh Journal of Linguistics (UGC care-listed), Book of Abstracts of ICOLSI-45, and “Modern Linguistics and Urdu Literature” by Prof. M. J. Warsi.
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Mohammad Gulrez concluded the inaugural session, emphasizing the significance of language and quoting Khaled Hosseini: “If culture was a house, then language was the key to the front door to all the rooms.”
The conference featured keynote addresses by Prof. Kasia Jaszczolt from the University of Cambridge and Prof. John Baugh, President of the Linguistics Society of America, Washington University, addressing the nature of human time and historical facts leading to discriminatory behaviors, including linguistic discrimination.
Eminent linguists from India and abroad, including Prof. Umamaheshwara Rao, Prof. Umarani Pappu Swamy, Prof. Vaishana Narang, Prof. R.C. Sharma, Prof Sonal K Joshi, Prof Shobha Satyanath, Prof. Sunandan Kumar Sen, Prof Shreesh Chaudhary, Prof. Suman Preet, Prof Gautam K Borah, Prof L. Ramamoorthy, Prof. Prasanansu, Prof. Vijay Kumar Kaul, Prof. K.S.Mustafa, Prof Pradeep Kumar Das, Prof. Aejaz Mohd Sheikh, participated in the conference.
Cultural performances added vibrancy to the event, with Ghazals by Alok Raj (IPS) and Sri Pushkar Mishra, along with a play depicting the historical journey of AMU under Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s leadership.
The International Conference was organized in collaboration with the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), and Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). The inaugural program was conducted by Prof. Shabana Hameed, and Mr. Masood Ali Beg proposed the Vote of Thanks.
Source: India Education Diary