M. Malleswara Rao

Unanimous resolution to be passed in Assembly seeking the status for Telugu

Official Languages Commission has collected material to prove Telugu's antiquityA joint action committee to fight for the cause

HYDERABAD: The Government has decided to have an unanimous resolution passed in the Assembly during the budget session urging the Centre to immediately accord "classical language" status to Telugu as it did for Tamil.

Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy sent a communication last week to the Legislature Secretary to fulfil the formalities to introduce the resolution during the session.

This followed a letter by the Official Languages Commission highlighting the antiquity of Telugu, impressing upon him the need to press the Centre to take a decision.

The Commission has collected material to prove to the Union Government that Telugu is 2000 years old.

This is to meet the requirements of the recent notification issued by the Committee on Culture in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs which enhanced the antiquity period for the listed languages to get the classical status from 1000 years to 1,500-2000 years.

Lyricist's threat

Telugu scholars are sore over the Committee's decision, coming it did after according classical language status to Tamil. Veturi Sunda Ramaramuthy, noted lyricist, said he would surrender his national award for best lyricist as a protest.

They have formed a joint action committee to fight for the cause, recalling how Telugu was described as the best of languages by Krishnadevaraya, and as "Sundara Telugu" even by the illustrious Tamil poet Subrahmanya Bharatiyar and as Italian of the East by medieval European travellers.

Package to prove

The material collected by the commission included several Satavahana inscriptions dating back to 2nd century BC, the mentioning in "Indica' of Megasthenes, also before Christ, Itareya Brahmanam, a part of Rigveda which spoke of Telugu, and the famous Kalimella edict in Kadapa district. The proposals will also highlight the rich heritage of Telugu literature from Nannaya to Allasani.