Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Friday urged the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments to protect Telugu from the danger of other languages, especially English, The Times of India reported.

He was speaking at the inaugural function of the World Telugu Conference 2017. “The link between education and job opportunities is casting a shadow on the future of the Telugu language. This is a serious issue to be looked into,” he said.

He told the Telangana and Andhra chief ministers to come up with ways to link employment opportunities with the mother tongue. “Make it compulsory for everyone who wants to work in Telangana to learn and speak Telugu,” he said, citing from the speech of the two states’ Governor ESL Narasimhan. “There is no other way but to enforce it.”

He also praised Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for making Telugu a compulsory subject till Class 12 in schools in the state.

Naidu also said that it was a misconception that an English education was needed to prosper in life, according to The Hindu. Citing the examples of Rao and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, Venkaiah Naidu said, “All of us studied in Telugu medium.”

This is not the first time that Venkaiah Naidu has urged people to pick their mother tongue over other languages. In September, he had said that Indians must speak their mother tongue more than English to promote Indian culture instead of looking towards the West.

In June, when he was the information and broadcasting minister, he was criticised by several leaders for referring to Hindi as the national language of the country. Then too, he had said English was given too much importance.

Article 343 of the Constitution assigns both Hindi and English the status of official languages.