Vinita Devi is teaching live on Unacademy Plus
LANGUAGES IN INDIA
A language family includes individual languages related through a common ancestor that existed before the recorded history. Dialect is a form of language spoken in a local area. It should be noted that several dialects can be derived from a particular language
Indian Languages Indo-AryanDravidian Sino-Tibetian Negroid Austric Others Group Group Group
SOUTH ASIAN LANGUAGE FAMILIES Indo-Aryan languages Iranian languages Nuristani languages Dravidian languages Austro-Asiatic languages Sino-Tibetan languages Unclassified/language isolate
Languages spoken in India belong to several language families, the major ones being the Indo-Aryan languages spoken by 78.05% of Indians and the Dravidian languages spoken by 19.64% of Indians. . Languages spoken by the remaining 2.31% of the population belong to the Austroasiatic, Sino-Tibetan, Tai-Kadai, and a few other minor language families and isolates. India (780) has the world's second highest number of languages, after Papua New Guinea (839)
Article 343 of the Indian constitution stated that the official language of the Union should become Hindi in Devanagari script instead of the extant English. - But this was thought to be a violation of the constitution's guarantee of federalism. Later, a constitutional amendment, The Official Languages Act, 1963, allowed for the continuation of English in the Indian government indefinitely until legislation decides to change it Despite the misconceptions, Hindi is not the national language of India - The Constitution of India does not give any language the status of national language.
The Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution lists 22 languages,which have been referred to as scheduled languages and given recognition, status and official encouragement. . In addition, the Government of India has awarded the distinction of classicallanguage to Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu. Classical language status is given to languages which have a rich heritage and independent nature.
. According to the Census of India of 2001, India has 122 major languages and 1599 . However, figures from other sources vary, primarily due to differences in definition . The 2001 Census recorded 30 languages which were spoken by more than a other languages. of the terms "language" and "dialect". million native speakers and 122 which were spoken by more than 10,000 people. Two contact languages have played an important role in the history of India: Persian and English Persian was the court language during the Mughal period in India. It reigned as an administrative language for several centuries until the era of British colonisation. . English continues to be an important language in India. It is used in higher education and in some areas of the Indian government . However, there have been anti-Hindi agitations in South India, most notably in the state of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.Maharashtra, West Bengal, Assam, Punjab and other non-Hindi regions have also started to voice concerns about Hindi
The southern Indian languages are from the Dravidian family. . The Dravidian languages are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. .Proto-Dravidian languages were spoken in India in the 4th millennium BCE and started - The Dravidian languages are classified in four groups: North, Central (Kolami-Parji), South- - The northern Indian languages from the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European disintegrating into various branches around 3rd millennium BCE Central (Telugu-Kui) and South Dravidian (Tamil-Kannada) family evolved from Old Indic by way of the Middle Indic Prakrit languages and Apabhram a of the Middle Ages. - The Indo-Aryan languages developed and emerged in three stages-Old Indo-Aryan (1500 BCE to 600 BCE),Middle Indo-Aryan stage (600 BCE and 1000 CE) and New Indo- Aryan ( between 1000 CE and 1300 CE - The modern north Indian Indo-Aryan languages all evolved into distinct, recognisable languages in the New Indo-Aryan Age.
OLD INDO-ARYAN GROUP -This group had its development around 1500 B.C. and Sanskrit was born out of this group. The ancient form of Sanskrit is what we find in the Vedas. Even Upanishads, Puranas and Dharmasutras were all written in Sanskrit. It can be said that Sanskrit is the mother of many Indian languages
MIDDLE INDO-ARYAN GROUP The period of development of this sub-group is between 600 BC to 1000 AD and started with the development of Prakrit language Prakrit was associated with the common people. On the other hand, Sanskrit was orthodox, had fixed rules and was used by learned people or the elites, especially Brahmins. The writing of texts in Prakrit is relatively a late development, as compared to Sanskrit. Prakrit and Ardha-Magadhi language were used in the Jain 'Agamas'.
Pali and Prakrit are the languages that belong to the Middle Indo- Aryan period i.e. 600 BC-1000 AD. Prakrit was the Indo-Aryan speech which was in the form of uncultivated popular dialects. Prakrit came down to us in inscriptions dating back to 4-3 BC. Practically all over India, Prakrits were freely used for inscriptions almost up to the Gupta age n the course of time, the Prakrits were transformed into what are known as the Apabhramsa dialects, which were widely used in popular and folk literature. Pali and Ardha-Magadhi are also Prakrits and were used in early Buddhist and Jain literature. The Satavahana rulers were great patrons of Prakrit
Dogri (Punjabi/Pahad) Punjabl Pahari(HIndh Rajesthani Central Zon (Hindi) Indo-Aryan language subgroups (Urdu is included under Hindi) Bihari SindhiHindl Bengali Khandeshl Marathi Mahl Sinhala Diveh
SINO-TIBETAN The Sino-Tibetan or Mongoloid family stretches all over the sub-Himalayan tracts, covering North Bihar, North Bengal, Assam up to the north-eastern frrontiers of the country. These languages are considered to be older than the Indo-Aryan languages and are referred to in the oldest Sanskrit literature as Kiratas. Tibetan: Sikkimese, Bhotia, Balti, Sherpa, Lahuli and Ladakhi Himalayan: Kanauri and Limbu North-Assam: Abor (Adi), Miri, Aka, Dafla and Mishmi .Assam-Burmese: It is again sub-divided into four main sub-groups, viz. Kuki-Chin Mikir, Bodo and Naga. Manipuri or Meithi is the most important language of the Kuki-Chin sub-group The Bodo sub-group includes such dialects as Bodo, Rajbangsi, Koch, Mech, Rabha, Dimasa, Kachari, Chutiya, Garo, Haijong and the Tipra (Tirupuri). Mikir has strong affinities to the Bodo and is spoken in the Mikir Hills and Parts of Sibsagar district in Assam - The principal languages of the Naga sub-group are Angami, Sema, Ao, Lotha, Mao, Konyak, Kabui and Lepcha
. This was not agreed to by the drafting Committee on the grounds that English was much better to craft the nuanced prose on constitutional subjects. The efforts to make Hindi the pre-eminent language were bitterly resisted by the members from those parts of India where Hindi was not spoken natively. Eventually, a compromise was reached with Hindi in Devanagari script to be the official language of the union but for "fifteen years from the commencement of the Constitution, the English Language shall continue to be used for all the official purposes of the Union for which it was being used immediately before such commencement". -Article 343 (1) of the Constitution of India states "The Official Language of the Union government shall be Hindi in Devanagari script." Unless Parliament decided otherwise, the use of English for official purposes was to cease 15 years after the constitution came into effect, i.e. on 26 anuarv 1965.
- As the date for changeover approached, however, there was much alarm in the non Hindi-speaking areas of India, especially in Kerala, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, West Bengal, Karnataka, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh. Accordingly, Jawaharlal Nehru ensured the enactment of the Official Languages Act, 1963, which provided that English "may" still be used with Hindi for official purposes, even after 1965. - The wording of the text proved unfortunate in that while Nehru understood that "may" meant shall, politicians championing the cause of Hindi thought it implied exactly the opposite. In the event, as 1965 approached, India's new Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri prepared to make Hindi paramount with effect from 26 January 1965. - This led to widespread agitation, riots, self-immolations and suicides in Tamil Nadu. The split of Congress politicians from the South from their party stance, the resignation of two Union ministers from the South and the increasing threat to the country's unity forced Shastri to concede
As a result, the proposal was dropped, and the Act itself was amended in 1967 to provide that the use of English would not be ended until a resolution to that effect was passed by the legislature of every state that had not adopted Hindi as its official language, and by each house of the Indian Parliament.
. "Modern Standard Hindi", a standardised language is the official language of the Union of India - In addition, it is one of only two languages used for business in Parliament however the Rajya Sabha now allows all 22 official languages on the Eighth Schedule to be spoken.
Hindustani, evolved from a prominent tongue of Mughal times, which itself evolved from Apabhram a, an intermediary transition stage from Prakrit, from which the major North Indian Indo-Aryan languages have evolved. Varieties of Hindi spoken in India include Rajasthani, Braj Bhasha, Haryanvi, Bundeli, Kannauji, Hindustani, Awadhi, Bagheli, Bhoj puri, Magahi, Nagpuri and Chhattisgarhi By virtue of its being a lingua franca, Hindi has also developed regional dialects such as Bambaiya Hindi in Mumbai. In addition, a trade language, Andaman Creole Hindi has also developed in the Andaman Islands Hindiis widely taught both as a primary language and language of instruction, and as a second tongue in most states.
There are more than 150 languages in India that are spoken by at least 10.000 people. PUNJABI BHOJPURI ASSAMESE HINDI MAITHIL BENGALI MAGAHI GUJARATI CHHATTISGARHI OTHER LANGUAGES ODIA URDU MARATHI TELUGU TAMIL MALAYALAM Source: India Census. 2001
The individual states, the borders of most of which are or were drawn on socio-linguistic lines, can legislate their own official languages, depending on their linguistic demographics. - The official languages chosen reflect the predominant as well as politically significant languages spoken in that state. Certain states having a linguistically defined territory may have only the predominant lanquage in that state as its official language, examples being Karnataka and Gujarat which have Kannada and Gujarati as their sole official language respectively. Telangana, with a sizeable Urdu-speaking Muslim population, has two languages, Telugu and Urdu, as its official languages Some states buck the trend by using minority languages as official languages. Jammu and Kashmir uses Urdu, which is spoken by fewer than 1% of the population . Meghalaya uses English spoken by 0.01% of the population. This phenomenon has turned majority languages into "minority languages" in a functional sense
Classical languages of India In 2004, the Government of India declared that languages that met certain requirements could be accorded the status of a "Classical Language in India". Over the next few years, several languages were granted the Classical status, and demands have been made for other languages, including Marathi. Languages thus far declared to be Classical: Tamil (in 2004), Sanskrit (in 2005), Kannada (in 2008), Telugu (in 2008), Malayalam (in 2013) .Odia (in 2014)
Benefits Two major international awards for scholars of eminence in Classical Indian Language s are awarded annually. A Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Languages is set up. The University Grants Commission will be requested to create, to start with at least in the Central Universities, a certain number o:f Professional Chairs for Classical Languages for scholars of eminence in Classical Indian Languages
Practical problems . India has several languages in use; choosing any single language as an official language presents problems to all those whose "mother tongue" is different. However, all the boards of education across India recognise the need for training people to one common language. There are complaints that in North India, non-Hindi speakers have language trouble. Similarly, there are complaints that North Indians have to undergo difficulties on account of language when travelling to South India. It is common to hear of incidents that result due to friction between those who strongly believe in the chosen official language, and those who follow the thought that the chosen language(s) do not take into account everyone's preferences. Local official language commissions have been established and various steps are being taken in a direction to reduce tensions and friction.
. Most languages in India are written in Brahmi-derived scripts, such as Devanagari, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada,Meitei Mayek, 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, Maithili are languages written using the Devanagari script. M ost major languages are written using a script specific to them, such as Assamese (Asamiya) with Asamiya,Bengali with Bengali, Punjabi with Gurmukhi, Meitei with Meitei Mayek, Odia with Odia script, Gujarati with Gujarati, etc. . Urdu and sometimes Kashmiri, Saraiki and Sindhi are written in modified versions of the Perso-Arabic script. With this one exception, the scripts of Indian languages are native to India. Languages like Kodava that didn't have a script whereas Tulu which had a script adopted Kannada due to its readily available printing settings:these languages have taken up the scripts of the local official languages as their own and are written in the Kannada script.