K.N. Venkatasubba Rao

Centre receives expert's favourable report on the issue

  • Kannada has fulfilled the criteria set for the purpose
  • Centre takes note of M.V. Rajasekharan's efforts

    BANGALORE: The Union Government is likely to accord the much-awaited classical language status to Kannada by November, a historically significant month as the State is set to observe the golden jubilee year of its formation, according to highly placed government sources.

    The Centre has received a four-page comprehensive report in favour of Kannada submitted by Director of the Mysore-based Central Institute of Indian Languages Udaya Narayana Singh. He is one of the members of the expert committee on languages constituted by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development for the purpose.

    The report he forwarded to the Centre on June 21 is likely to be placed for the Cabinet's consideration, the sources said. Union Minister of State for Planning M. V. Rajasekharan had reportedly written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi explaining the historical significance of according classical status to the 2,000-year-old Kannada language.

    The Centre has reportedly taken note of Mr. Rajasekharan's effort for the cause of Kannada and is likely to accord the classical status to it as the language has fulfilled all the four criteria set for the purpose.

    In his report titled "Recommendations for considering Kannada as Classical Language," Prof. Singh said: "Kannada language has all the necessary qualifications to fulfil the criteria set for considering any language as classical language."

    The four criteria are: antiquity of early texts recorded history of over 1,000 years. (The period was subsequently increased to 1,500 years.); a body of ancient literature-texts that are considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers; a literary tradition that is original and not borrowed from any other speech community; and the classical language and literature could be distinct from its current form or could be a discontinuous one with its own forms or its off shoots.

    Prof. Singh traces the history of Kannada from first century A.D., a feature recognised by the noted epigraphist Iravatam Mahadevan. He points out that Dr. Mahadevan recognises and records the influence of Kannada language and grammar on Tamil language during 1st century A.D. to 4th century A.D. in his famous book " Early Tamil Epigraphy" (Chennai 2003, pp119-120).

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