International Mother Language Day: 42 Indian languages heading towards extinction
International Mother Language Day is observed on February 21 every year as a day to celebrate and protect linguistic diversity and multilingualism. (Yes, it's multilingualism and NOT multilinguism).
HOW INTERNATIONAL MOTHER LANGUAGE DAY CAME TO BE
19 years ago, the UNESCO's General Conference proclaimed February 21 as the International Mother Language Day to coincide with the Language Day Movement in Bangladesh: Bangladesh's Amar Ekushey.
IMPORTANCE OF INTERNATIONAL MOTHER LANGUAGE DAY
The issue of language preservation rightly deserves priority as language is the most powerful instrument of communication and key in preserving and developing the tangible and intangible heritage of mankind.
Mother language is a prism which determines our first notions of the world and makes us feel closer to our sense of identity and cultural lineage.
Thus, languages are not only vital elements in our heritage but also a crucial factor in human creativity in all its diversity. When a language dies, a part of humanity dies.
42 INDIAN LANGUAGES HEADING TOWARDS EXTINCTION
More than 40 of our Indian languages or dialects are spoken by fewer than 10,000 people, says a new report of the Census Directorate. Hence, these are considered to be endangered, and believed to be heading towards extinction, said Home Ministry officials-- as reported by PTI.
A list prepared by UNESCO has also backed the report as it mentioned about these depreciating 42 languages in India.
Appropriately, there are 22 scheduled languages and 100 non-scheduled languages in our country, which are spoken by a large number of people-- one lakh or even more.
However, the scenario has clearly changed.
THE ENDANGERED LANGUAGES
Here is a table of the number of endangered languages with the states that they are spoken in.
|Indian states||No. of languages||Endangered Languages|
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||11||Great Andamanese, Jarawa, Lamongse, Luro, Muot, Onge, Pu, Sanenyo, Sentilese, Shompen and Takahanyilang|
|Manipur||7||Aimol, Aka, Koiren, Lamgang, Langrong, Purum and Tarao|
|Himachal Pradesh||4||Baghati, Handuri, Pangvali and Sirmaudi|
|Odisha||3||Manda, Parji and Pengo|
|Karnataka||2||Koraga and Kuruba|
|Andhra Pradesh||2||Gadaba and Naiki|
|Tamil Nadu||2||Kota and Toda|
|Arunachal Pradesh||2||Mra and Na|
|Assam||2||Tai Nora and Tai Rong|
The Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore, has been working for the protection and preservation of endangered languages in India under a central scheme, said another official.
sources : India Today