Friday, July 8, 2016

Classical languages

In 2004, the Government of India declared that languages that met certain requirements could be accorded the status of a "Classical Language in India".[85] Languages thus far declared to be Classical are Tamil (in 2004),[86] Sanskrit (in 2005),[87] Kannada (in 2008), Telugu (in 2008),[88] Malayalam (in 2013),[89] and Odia (in 2014).[90][91] In a 2006 press release, Minister of Tourism & Culture Ambika Soni told the Rajya Sabha the following criteria were laid down to determine the eligibility of languages to be considered for classification as a "Classical Language",[92]

High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500–2000 years; a body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers; the literary tradition be original and not borrowed from another speech community; the classical language and literature being distinct from modern, there may also be a discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or its offshoots.
The Government has been criticised for not including Pali as a classical language, as experts have argued it fits all the above criteria.[93]

Benefits[edit]

As per Government of India's Resolution No. 2-16/2004-US(Akademies) dated 1 November 2004, the benefits that will accrue to a language declared as "Classical Language" are
  1. Two major international awards for scholars of eminence in Classical Indian Languages are awarded annually.
  2. A 'Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Languages' is set up.
  3. 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.[94]

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