Languages of India
languages of a geographic region
The languages of India belong to several language families, the major ones being the Indo-Aryan languages spoken by 75% of Indians and the Dravidian languages spoken by 20% of Indians.
- Since the 1960s, Western scholarship has focused selectively but intensively on the premodern (or “medieval”) and modern literary traditions in about half a dozen Indian languages, resulting in major works of translation, interpretation, and commentary. A selective roster of scholars would include Gordon Roadarmel, Charlotte Vaudeville, Ronald Stuart McGreggor, John Stratton Hawley, Kathryn Hansen, Peter Gaeffke, Mark Jurgensmeyer, Karine Schomer, Linda Hess, Kenneth Bryant, David Rubin, and Philip Lutgendorf in Hindi; Edward C. Dimock, David Kopf, William Radice, and Clinton B. Seely in Bengali; Ian Raeside, Eleanor Zelliot, Philip Engblom, and Ann Feldhaus in Marathi; George L. Hart, David Shulman, and Norman Cutler in Tamil; David Shulman, Hank Heifetz, and Gene H. Rogair in Telugu; and Frances Pritchett and Carlo Coppola in Urdu.
- Aparna Bhargava Dharwadker (1 November 2009). Theatres of Independence: Drama, Theory, and Urban Performance in India Since 1947. University of Iowa Press. p. 443. ISBN 978-1-58729-642-0.
- I am not suggesting that Sanskrit be pushed aggressively, but only that the advantage of this great classical language, which is understood by more people in India than Greek and Latin in modern Europe, must be appreciated and utilized. Further, in the Devanagari script, there exists a possible common script for other Indian languages, though one cannot be too optimistic about the practicability of adopting it in view of the tenacious attachment of people to their own particular scripts. Another link language which flourished in India was Persian which in its interplay with Sanskrit and Arabic produced the great modern language, Urdu. Here again, beginning as a court or camp language, it blossomed into a modern tongue of the people, linking India linguistically with the Arab world.
- K. R. Narayanan (2011). In the Name of the People: Reflections on Democracy, Freedom, and Development. Penguin Books India. p. 107. ISBN 978-0-670-08132-5.
- The recent five-judge bench Supreme Court judgment in Chebrolu Leela Prasad Rao and Ors v State of AP and Ors, shows us once again how little the 5th Schedule of the Indian constitution which is meant to protect adivasi rights is understood. The reasoning in the judgment – which struck down an Andhra Pradesh government order from 2000 providing 100% reservation for Scheduled Tribe teachers in Scheduled Areas of the state – moves perilously close to dismantling the entire edifice of the 5th Schedule. [...] Many non-tribals, including lower government officials, have lived for years in tribal areas without feeling the need to learn tribal languages. At the primary level, mutual incomprehension between non-tribal teachers and tribal students hampers the basic education of children. The judges tell us that “It is an obnoxious idea that tribals only should teach the tribals” (para 133), but for far too long, the really obnoxious idea that has pervaded the educational system and is reflected in judgments like this one is that only non-tribals should teach tribals, to “uplift and mainstream” them because “their language and their primitive way of life makes them unfit to put up with the mainstream and to be governed by the ordinary laws” (para 107).