Malayalam walks tall with classical status

In a move that would make nearly 40 million Malayalis proud, Malayalam language has been bestowed with classical status by the Central Government.

Published: 24th May 2013 09:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th May 2013 10:42 AM   |  A+A-

In a move that would make  nearly 40 million Malayalis proud, Malayalam  language has been bestowed with classical status by the Central Government.

The Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister on Thursday took the decision in this regard, Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters in Delhi.

With this, the state would get a `100-crore  Central fund for development of the language in various fields.

The decision is subject to the outcome of a case in the Madras High Court.

Malayalam is the fifth language to get classical status after Sanskrit, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu. Tamil was the first  language to receive this status in 2004 and Telugu the last in 2008.

The benefits extended to classical languages include two major annual international awards  for scholars of eminence, centres of  excellence under the auspices of UGC and chairs in various universities across the country for Malayalam. It was during the tenure of previous LDF Ministry that the move to get the classical status gained momentum. The present UDF Government also followed suit.

Last December, the subcommittee of Kendra Sahitya Academy had recommended to the  Ministry of Culture to consider Malayalam as a classical language. However, the demand was rejected in January as many language experts had opined that Malayalam did not have the antiquity of 1,500 years. Following this, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister.

A delegation led by poet O N V Kurup had also presented a detailed report substantiating the heritage of Malayalam.


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