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Classical language

Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Classical language

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Classical language- recognition, benefits and significance.

Context: At the recently concluded 93rd edition of the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, a resolution was passed demanding the declaration of Marathi as a ‘Classical’ language.

What are ‘Classical’ languages in India?

Currently, six languages enjoy the ‘Classical’ status: Tamil (declared in 2004), Sanskrit (2005), Kannada (2008), Telugu (2008), Malayalam (2013), and Odia (2014).

How are they classified?

Guidelines for declaring a language as ‘Classical’ are:

  1. High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years.
  2. A body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers.
  3. The literary tradition be original and not borrowed from another speech community.
  4. 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.

How are the Classical languages promoted? Various benefits:

  1. Two major annual international awards for scholars of eminence in classical Indian languages.
  2. A Centre of Excellence for studies in Classical Languages is set up.
  3. The University Grants Commission is requested to create, to start with at least in the Central Universities, a certain number of Professional Chairs for the Classical Languages so declared.

Sources: the Hindu.