Endangered 42 Indian languages
More than 40 dialects or languages in India are considered to be dying out and they are believed to be heading towards extinction as only a few thousand people speak them.
Earlier in 2013, comprehensive linguistic survey in India was done by People's Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI) which said that in India people speak 780 different languages, It also said that in the last 50 years, India lost nearly 250 languages.
As per the government’s census data, India has 1635 rationalised mother tongues, 22 major languages in the country and 234 identifiable mother tongues.
Report of the census directorate
However, according to a report of the census directorate, there are 22 scheduled languages and 100 non-scheduled languages in India which are spoken by one lakh or more people.
The Scheduled languages of India refer to the list of language in the Schedule VIII in the Constitution of India. It means government of India has the obligation to promote and develop these languages.
Apart from these 22 scheduled languages, there are 31 other Indian languages which have been given the status of official language in various state governments and UTs.
As per this report, 42 languages are spoken by less than 10,000 people.
Languages or dialects which were considered endangered
The endangered list was prepared by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) on the basis of number of people speak the language and other various parameter.
The languages or dialects which were considered endangered, include 11 from Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Great Andamanese, Jarawa, Lamongse, Luro, Muot, Onge, Pu, Sanenyo, Sentilese, Shompen and Takahanyilang), seven from Manipur (Aimol, Aka, Koiren, Lamgang, Langrong, Purum and Tarao) and four from Himachal Pradesh (Baghati, Handuri, Pangvali and Sirmaudi), three from Odisha (Manda, Parji and Pengo), two from Karnataka (Koraga and Kuruba), two from Andhra Pradesh (Gadaba and Naiki), two from Tamil Nadu (Kota and Toda), two from Arunachal Pradesh (Mra and Na), two from Assam (Tai Nora and Tai Rong), One frm Uttarakhand (Bangani), one from Jharkhand (Birhor), one from Maharashtra (Nihali), one from Meghalaya (Ruga) and one from West Bengal (Toto).
Protection and preservation
Under a central scheme, the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore is working for the preservation and protection of endangered languages in India.
Under this protection and preservation programme, all the languages or dialects especially those spoken by less than 10,000 people are being prepared with grammatical descriptions, monolingual and bilingual dictionaries, anthologies of folklore, language primers, and encyclopedias.
Apart from the initiatives taken by the government, there are lots of other things one can do to contribute towards preserving a language. Every language or dialect has a rich oral or story based literature which is the essential thing to preserve for a language which is set to extinct.
Various cultural aspects like folk songs, folk storytelling, and other narratives like the local festival celebration, local food cooking, performing art forms, and other things can be preserved in audio-visual forms.
State gets cultural policy
The Karnataka State Cabinet approved a cultural policy for the State, which is first in India to have such a comprehensive policy, aimed at promoting Kannada culture and language.
Major focus areas of policy:
Aim at formulating measures to curb the tendency of banning Kannada books for trivial reasons
Decentralization of the Department of Kannada and Culture
Formation of search committees to select chairpersons to various academies and authorities to de-politicise appointments
Establishment of art galleries in every district
Formulation of separate programmes to help artistes in distress
Establishment of separate Bayalata, Sugama Sangeeta and Nritya academies, and giving priority to local cinema culture.
The plan to have a cultural policy was first envisaged during the Janata Dal government in 1996.
A Cabinet sub-committee headed by H.K. Patil, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, studied the recommendations, including the financial implications of implementing it. After the sub-committee showed the green signal, the Cabinet approved it.
Chirala silk weavers ask for GI Tag
- Weavers of Chirala in Andhra Pradesh feel a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for their impressive silk sari can help them compete better and survive in the era of globalization.
- The Chirala weavers inherit centuries-old rich artistic legacy.
- Italian traveller Marco Polo’s travelogue stands testimony to their weaving skills. They are credited with manufacturing saris that can be folded and kept in matchboxes.
- A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country).
- The use of a geographical indication may act as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin.
Hamilton beats Vettel to win his fifth Chinese Grand Prix
Mercedes' British Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton defeated Ferrari's four-time Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel to lift his fifth title at the Chinese Grand Prix.
NBA launches first basketball school in India
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The school, as part of a multi-year agreement announced with India On Track (IOT), is open to male and female players between ages 6-18.