Make Marathi compulsory in all knowledge streams: F M Shinde

Measures like increasing the number of state government-instituted literary awards and making Marathi language compulsory cutting across all knowledge streams have been sought by poet-writer F M Shinde to promote the language.

"The state government recently reduced the number of literary awards to nearly half its original number. The move is unacceptable as these awards serve as an inspiration for many writers. We are not demanding an increase in the prize money, but the number of awards should be restored to the original count. Also, lessons of Marathi should be made compulsory for all streams," he said, while delivering his presidential address at the inaugural function of 87th All India Marathi Literary Meet at Saswad, around 35 km from Pune, on Friday.

Shinde spoke on the issue of alleged injustice faced by the Marathi speaking population in the bordering regions of Karnataka, seeking a remedy at the earliest.

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, chief guest at the inaugural function, appealed for defying any parallel censorship imposed by certain elements of society after a sensitive literature was published.

Stating that modern Marathi literature would survive in the present age of technology only if it had quality content, he said the Marathi literary world must undertake more efforts to generate wide appeal in masses.

"Today, we live in a so-called virtual world. Some say its an era of e-books. But, I believe that books in hard format would continue to hold their popularity in current times. E-books cannot give the special aroma that hardbound books carry and also the special feel of touching pages," said Pawar.

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