Classical languages of India
What is Classical language ?
A classical language is a language with a literature that is classical.
- A classical language should be an independent tradition and must have extremely large rich body of ancient literature.
- Classical languages are typically dead languages, or show a high degree of diglossia, as the spoken varieties of the language diverge further away from the classical written language over time.
Brief background on Classical language
- According to the traditional European Classical studies, Classical language refer to ancient Greek and Latin which were the literary languages of the Mediterranean world in classical antiquity.
- Over a long period of time, Classical language has a broad influence even after it is no longer a colloquial mother tongue in its original form. If one language uses roots from another language to coin words, This is an indication that the second language is a classical language.
- Living languages with a large sphere of influence are known as world languages.
Classical languages of India
- The Government of India has declared that languages that met certain requirements could be accorded the status of a “Classical Language in India” in 2004.
- Languages thus far declared to be Classical are Tamil (in 2004), Sanskrit (in 2005),Kannada (in 2008), Telugu (in 2008), Malayalam (in 2013) and Odia (in 2014).
- To determine the eligibility of languages to be considered for classification as a “Classical Language”, Ambika Soni (Minister of Tourism & Culture) in 2006 told the criteria.
- The Government has been criticized for not including Pali as a classical language, as experts have argued it fits all the above criteria.
Advantages of Classical languages :
The following are the advantages as per the Government of India of Classical Language :
- Two major international awards for scholars of eminence in Classical Indian Languages are awarded annually.
- A ‘Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Languages’ is set up.
- The University Grants Commission be requested to create, to start with at least in the Central Universities, a certain number of Professional Chairs for Classical Languages for scholars of eminence in Classical Indian Languages.
Practical problems and Language conflicts :
India has diverse cultural as well as language background. By selecting any single language as an official language would create a problem to all those whose mother tongue is different. Boards of education across India recognize the necessity for train people to one common language.
There have been many complaints in North India, Non-Hindi speakers that have language trouble. Similarly, there are complaints that North Indians have to undergo difficulties on account of language when traveling to South India. Hence, Local official language commissions have been established and various steps are being taken in a direction to reduce tensions and friction.
- In India, There has been conflicts over linguistic. The first major linguistic conflict, known as the Anti-Hindi agitations of Tamil Nadu. This conflict took place in Tamil Nadu against the implementation of Hindi as the official language of India. Political analyst saying that this is because to eliminate the total congress party in Tamil Nadu.
- Indian states such as Bengal, Maharashtra and in Karnataka, The strong cultural pride based on language is also found. To express disapproval of the imposition of Hindi on its states’ people as a result of the central government Hence the governments of Maharashtra and Karnataka made the state languages mandatory in educational institutions.
- The Government of India attempts to soothe these conflicts with various campaigns, coordinated by the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore, a branch of the Department of Higher Education, Language Bureau, and the Ministry of Human Resource Development
Languages written in India :
- Most languages in India are written in Brahmi-derived scripts, such as Devanagari, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Odia, Eastern Nagari – Assamese/Bengali, etc., though Urdu is written in a script derived from Arabic, and a few minor languages such as Santali use independent scripts.
- Various Indian languages have their own scripts. Hindi, Marathi and Angika are languages written using the Devanagari script.
- Major languages are written using a script specific to them such as Bengali with Bengali, Punjabi with Gurmukhi, Odia with Odia script, Gujarati with Gujarati, Assamese (Asamiya) with Asamiya, Urdu and sometimes Kashmiri, Saraiki and Sindhi are written in modified versions of the Perso-Arabic script. This one is an exception, All the scripts of Indian languages are native to India.
- However, Languages like Kodava and Tulu that do not have a script have taken up the scripts of the local official languages as their own and are written in the Kannada script.