'Mother Tongue' is a poem composed by the Indian poet Padma Sachdev. This poem was originally written in Dogri and later translated into English by the author herself. It is a simple take on the complex issue of fading away of old Indian languages. The poet laments at the slow death of the Dogri language, which is her mother tongue.
The poem is written in the form of a dialogue between the poet and a stem. The poet represents herself as the slave of her mother language Dogri. She writes beautiful poems in Dogri. She wants others to read the poems and enjoy themselves. She hopes her readers would value Dogri as much as they like Hindi or English. The author criticises Capitalism. According to her, the capitalists are, in a way, responsible for the deterioration of regional cultures and languages.
Towards the end of the poem, we see the stem giving the poet the quill she requires. It is a significant turning point in the life of the writer. She hopes for a better tomorrow. She prepares for all the challenges she will have to face in the coming days. She is the face of Dogri and its rich heritage and literature. The stem stands for a new dawn in the lives of the people who speak Dogri. They are the future of the community. It is their responsibility to carry forward the legacy and promote the language to a larger section of society.
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