Principal Languages of India

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Principal Languages of India :

India is a vast Country. It stands second regarding population next to china. The people of India belong to many religions. There are so many castes and sub-castes in each religion. People speak different languages because of vastness of the country. So India never had a common language which was intelligible to the masses. For many years Sanskrit remained a common medium. But it was the language of the learned classes and not of the masses.

The study of Indian Philology is a fascinating thing. We do not come across such a country like India nowhere in the World. India has 18 officially recognised languages since 1992. India is believed to have 1652 mother tongues of which 33 are spoken by people numbering a lakh. The Indian languages now in use have evolved from different language families. They correspond more or less to the different ethnic elements. They have come into India from the dawn of history.

The following is the list of the group.

1) Negroid
2) Austrie
3) Sino-Tibetan
4) Dravidian
5) Indo-Aryan
6) Other speeches

There was an interaction between one group to another. Among the above groups the Aryan and Dravidian are the dominating families. They have influenced each other.

Indo-Aryan group came into India with the Aryans. It is the biggest or the language groups in India. It covers about 74% of the entire Indian population. The following are the important languages in this group.

1. Western Punjabi
2. Sindhi
3. Eastern Punjabi
4. Hindi
5. Bihari
6. Rajasthani
7. Gujarathi
8. Marathi
9. Assamese
10. Bengali
11. Oriya
12. Pahari
13. Kashmiri
14. Sanskrit

Sanskrit is the classical language of India. This one particular language represents the highest achievement of the lndo-Aryan language.

Dravidian languages have formed their own group. They have no relations outside the Indian sub-continent that is India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is the second largest group in India. It covers 25% of the total population. It came to India centuries before the lndo-Aryan. It split into three branches.

1) The Northern Branch

Brahui - spoken in Baluchistan and Kurukh
Matte - spoken in Bengal and Orissa
Kurukh - spoken in Bihar and MP

2) The central Branch is composed of Telugu. There are a number of dialects spoken in central India.

1. Kui
2. Khond
3. Holani
4. Konda
5. Gondi
6. Naiki
7. Parji
8. Koya

3) Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Tulu, Badaga, Toda, Kota and Kodagu belong to the Southern Branch

Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam are numerically the biggest of the Dravidian languages.

The Indian National Congress advocated the formation of linguistic provinces. So this policy involved the statutory recognition of all the major regional languages. After Independence, the question of a common language came up. The question was put to vote and Hindi won on a single vote the casting vote of the President. The 8th schedule was added to the constitution to indicate all regional languages. The Schedule originally contained 15 languages. By the 71st Amendment to the constitution, Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were added to the list in 1992.

They are 18 now.

1. Assamese
2. Bengali
3. Gujarathi
4. Hindi
5. Kannada
6. Kashmiri
7. Konkani
8. Malayalam
9. Manipuri
10. Marathi
11. Nepali
12. Oriya
13. Punjabi
14. Sanskrit
15. Sindhi
16. Tamil
17. Telugu
18. Urdu

U.K. may be the origin of English language. But it is an international language. It is an additional official language of India. So it is also our language. Considering this aspect thoroughly Nehru insisted to have three language formula. It is really a good and useful measure taken by the central Government. It you study only the regional language of your state, you cannot go out of your state in search of a job. It you neglect English, you cannot go out of your country to seek a job. So the three language formula is very helpful.

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