Language Under a Language Coffin
Even though we have hundreds of languages in India, only 22 are recognized as scheduled languages in our constitution. People speaking in the non-scheduled languages deserve all the rights to express their opinion in their native languages and stopping them would be against the freedom of expression. In most cases, the dominant class of a society represses the rest and the languages of minorities fall victim to the political and societal inequality. By UNESCO’s survey, 197 Indian languages (which are part of 2471 world endangered languages) are in the verge of extinction. For migration from their original places in search of job, speaking others’ languages and living in a hetero-cultural society often make aboriginals forget about their own language and cultural heritage. In this column, I have discussed about many such challenges for aboriginals to retain their native languages and some of the possibilities for external interventions to document and preserve the dying languages.
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