Kolkata

Telugu speakers top south Indian population in Assam

The number of Telugu speaking people in Assam is almost twice that of the combined number of those who speak three other major south India languages – Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada in that order.

Hindi speakers are the third largest linguistic group in Assam behind the Assamese and Bengali people, linguistic data from the 2011 census presented in the Assembly has revealed.

Replying to a question by Congress MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said people belonging to 116 linguistic groups, 32 Other Backward Classes, 29 Scheduled Tribes and 16 Scheduled Castes live in the State.

The Assamese speakers accounting for 48% of the State’s population led the linguistic list with 1.51 crore people, followed by the Bengali speakers with 90.24 lakh people (38% of the total population of 3.1 crore). The Hindi speakers, comprising 6.73% of the population, had 21 lakh people. They outnumbered the Bodo speakers – the largest plains tribe in the Northeast – by 6.85 lakh.

The Bodos were 4.53% of the total population followed by the Mishing tribal dialect speakers with 1.98%., the Nepali speakers with 1.91% and the Karbi dialect speakers with 1.63%.

The data showed that Assam was home to people belonging to almost all States and communities across India and beyond, as evident from 173 people listed as ‘Afghani’.

Among the speakers of the south Indian languages, The Telugus led the table with 26,630 people, followed by 5,768 Malayalis, 5,229 Tamils and 2,597 Kannadigas. The total population of the speakers of Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada came to 13,994.

The Coorgis were a minuscule community with 15 people.

The linguistic data also revealed there are 104 speakers of Sanskrit besides 19 Ladakhi, seven Lahauli and four Balti speakers in Assam. Comparatively, the Konkanis were a majority with 413 people.

Among the religious groups in a separate set of data provide, the Hindus topped the list with 61.46% followed by the Muslims at 34.22% and Christians at 3.73%.

While 0.16% of the population did not state their religion, 0.08% belonged to nature-worshippers and unclassified faiths.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 11:34:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/telugu-speakers-top-south-indian-population-in-assam/article30976463.ece

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