Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The country had created several universities and colleges following the end of colonial rule, yet it has failed to stem the loss of languages and dialects, eminent literary scholar Professor G. N. Devy said here earlier this week.

Delivering the first of the Indira Gandhi National Open University silver jubilee lectures on “Aphasia, Amnesia and Inequalities: Narratives of Marginalisation”, Prof. Devy said that the loss of language or aphasia had led to the exclusion of a majority of people from higher education.

The lecture was a commentary on the construction of knowledge during the colonial period leading to a loss of connectivity between production of knowledge and the cultural context within which the knowledge thus produced came to be situated.

Inappropriate influences were at work to institute new processes of fragmentation in terms of tribal and other communities and this was an onslaught on an already fragmented society of ethnic dialects and linguistic expressions, he added.

Dwelling on the lack of easy access to higher education, Prof. Devy said it was the result of aphasia, amnesia and inequalities which were colonial legacies. The loss was not only for minor tongues but some major languages had also lost their identity particularly among the younger generation who had lost touch with the written language of their origin.

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