The government will constitute a high-level coordination committee for taking up a series of initiatives for the growth and development of Malayalam which has acquired classical status, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said.

In a statement in the Assembly on Monday, Mr. Chandy said making the recognition for Malayalam useful for its growth and development was a challenge before the government. He had held preliminary discussions with cultural leaders and litterateurs.

Translation mission

The meeting proposed to strengthen institutions such as the Kerala Sahitya Akademi, the State Institute of Languages, and Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University, encourage learning of Malayalam within the country and outside, publish research works, constitute a Malayalam Translation Mission, and such others.

The committee will coordinate such functions. It was the collective efforts of the Left Democratic Front and the present governments and host of others that paved the way for securing the classical status for Malayalam.

The pursuit was intensified during the tenure of the previous government. Former Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, Mr. Chandy who was the Leader of the Opposition, the then Culture Minister M.A. Baby, poets O.N.V. Kurup, Sugathakumari, Puthussery Ramachandran, K. Satchidanandan, and academic Omchery N.N. Pillai had presented the case of Malayalam before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Then, he had sought a detailed report. An expert committee headed by Mr. Ramachandran, with M. Rama as member and Naduvattom Gopalakrishnan as convener, prepared and presented the report. He then sought the Kendra Sahitya Akademi’s report.

The Akademi formed a subcommittee and it said that Malayalam did not deserve the status.

Cabinet team

A Cabinet delegation met Dr. Singh and took up the case. Union Ministers and MPs from Kerala too raised the issue, and it was taken up with President Pranab Mukherjee at the Viswa Malayala Mahotsavam.

When the committee met again, the State’s case was presented. Malayalam University Vice-Chancellor K. Jayakumar, Mr. Gopalakrishnan, and language expert B. Gopinathan Nair vociferously presented the State’s case.

Historian M.G.S. Narayanan who was a special invitee of the committee too supported the cause.

The decision to accord the classical status to Malayalam was made on December 19 last.

Mr. Chandy thanked Dr. Singh who supported the efforts in the initial stages.

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