A Classical Problem

There has been a delay in awarding of classical status to Kannada, and this inspite of the fact that Kannada satisfies all the criteria required for the classical language tag. A language is classified as a classical language based on four criteria: the language should possess antiquity, have an independent literary tradition, should not be an offshoot from another tradition, and should have a rich body of ancient literature.

When Tamil was awarded classical status in 2004, this decision was apparently made in the absence of any expert panel to check for it's fulfillment of the four criteria required for classical status tag. In the meanwhile when other Indian languages put forward their claim for classical status, fresh guidelines such as 1000 year antiquity was set as a prerequisite for classical language tag. When it was realized that some of the languages fit the 1000 year criterion, it was quickly amended to 1500 years, thereby trying to insulate, intentionally or otherwise, some of those candidate languages from getting the classical status. But the matter of fact is Kannada has an antiquity of more than 1500 years and hence still qualifies for the classical language tag.

Why did the Union Government see a need to award classical status to Tamil in a hurry and only later visualize need for an expert committee to strictly control identification of classical languages? What made the Union Government handle this affair of sorts in haste?

The criteria for qualifying for classical status have either been amended or re-phrased on all such occasions where languages other than Tamil have shown conformance with such conditions and demanded classical status. Why has this happened?

If India is indeed a federation of states in true spirit, the Union Government should ensure that it is fair and reasonable in all its transactions with its constituent states, be it the allocation of resources or funds or projects; distribution of distress funds during the times of calamities; allocation of ministries; settling river water & border disputes; or in cases like according of classical language status. But if we have Union Governments succumbing to the bullying tactics of a few states & accept their unreasonable demands (for political survival) at the cost of other states of the federation; the federal structure of India comes under severe strain.


Anonymous said...

The central government did not want to award classical status to Tamil because it would come in the way of its notorious agenda - Hindi imposition. Linguistic scholars around the world don't need the central government's certification to know that Tamil is a classical language.

It was due to the efforts of the representatives from Tamil Nadu in Parliament that the central government decided to create a category called classical languages and Tamil was given classified as a classical language. Later, Sanskrit was also classified as a classical language. But when other languages like Kannada and Telugu applied for this status, the central government did not want them to be classified as classical languages because it would come in the way of its nefarious designs to impose the regional language of Hindia on non-Hindi states. (Hindi cannot be classified as a classical language because it is does not have antiquity. In any case, national languages like Bengali and Marathi are older than Hindi and have more old literature when compared to Hindi.)

I wholeheartedly support the classification of Kannada and Telugu as classical languages. The fact is that the Southern languages have originated from a common language and this common language does not belong only to the Tamils (though modern Tamil has remained very close to this language and has maintained its linguistic purity to the greatest extent possible).

Kannada and Telugu too are very ancient languages that have independent and rich literary traditions of their own. Along with Tamil and Sanskrit, Kannada and Telugu are the classical languages among the national languages of India!

It is only the Hindi imposition fanatics in the central government of India who are opposing the classification of Kannada and Telugu as classical languages because it would get in the way of their despicable attempts to impose one language on the whole of India. They do not want the world to recognise India's fabulous and rich linguistic diversity as it would get in the way of their filthy attempts to wipe out the national languages of India and impose one regional language called Hindi on the whole of India. The Hindi imposition fanatics are the greatest threat to the unity and democracy of India. Their evil designs should be fought tooth and nail if India is to even survive as a country!

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. Raj,

I appreciate your words.


Anonymous said...

its amazing when I look into the Kittel Kannada dictionary. There are so many thousands and thousands of Kannada words which you may not even have heard about.

Unfortunate, that we are not using our languge in the administration and education. Instead of reviving the language to adapt to the new generation, we are depending on english and sanskrit.

Anonymous said...

Chiranjeevi has started his own local party.. are Kannadigas listening?

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much, Manju.

Varun is correct. Why doesn't Karnataka have a strong state party?

TN politics is dominated by state parties like the DMK and the AIADMK while the DMDK is the third largest party in terms of vote share (but not seats). The MDMK, the PMK, the VCK and the TMMK are the smaller state parties that have a base of their own. The so-called "national parties" only have a marginal presence. The Left Parties like the CPI and the CPI(M) are strong only in a few districts. The BJP has a negligible presence while the Congress did well only because it allied with the DMK. Otherwise, it would have found it very difficult to win even a single seat.

In AP, the Congress has a big presence but the TDP is bigger. Then, there are other strong state parties like the TRS and now, Chiranjeevi's Praja Rajyam which I think will do better in AP than Vijayakanth's DMDK does in TN. I hope the Praja Rajyam dislodges the Congress from the top two.

Even Maharashtra has strong state parties like the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).

Karnataka's main parties are the so-called "national parties" like the BJP and the Congress. Even the JD(S) is a breakaway faction of a so-called "national party", the Janata Dal that is completely dead now.

I was shocked to hear that a disgusting, notorious Hindi fascist party that is full of criminals, thugs and goons managed to win a seat in Karnataka. Why do people in Karnataka vote for the SP? Criminal scoundrels from that party tried to replace Marathi with Hindi in Mumbai. When broad-minded patriotic persons like Rajsaheb Thackeray opposed such a disgusting move, the goons distributed lathis to the Biharis and Uttar Pradeshis to unleash violence in Mumbai. They have completely ruined UP and Bihar and they tried to turn Maharashtra into Bihar and Mumbai into Patna! The violence in Mumbai was between the MNS and thugs who wanted to cause trouble in Mumbai.

The so-called "national parties" will never do justice to Karnataka or Kannadigas or Kannada. Why should Kannadigas let the "high command" of some so-called "national party" decide who should be the Chief Minister of Karnataka? Why should the Chief Ministers of one of India's most progressive states act like stooges of some stupid committees called the "high command" of the so-called "national parties" that are full of criminal politicians from India's most backward states? Karnataka badly needs a strong state party. Unless the policy of Karnataka is completely decided by Kannadigas, the Biharis and Uttar Pradeshis will take Karnataka for granted. I would not be surprised if they try to wipe out Kannada from Bengaluru and replace it with their regional language called Hindi.

Anonymous said...

Raj, Most progressive state are governed by national party. Gujrat, Maharashtra, Punjab have national party at the hot seat. Karnataka is 7-8 in the list of progressive state. Bengaluru is not karnataka. Govet should focus more on inclusive growth and it can be done by political will..not that state party/ national party debate.

Anonymous said...


Punjab and Maharashtra have strong state parties like the Akali Dal and the SS/MNS/NCP (which has a presence only in Maharashtra and some North-Eastern states) that form governments alternatively with the so-called "national parties".

It all depends on what progress means. If you consider GDP, Maharashtra is progressive. But of what use is the billions of a few people in Mumbai stashed away in secret Swiss bank accounts when Maharashtra is known as the "graveyard of farmers" because Vidarbha farmers commit suicides in droves? If you consider agriculture and to a certain extent industries, Punjab is progressive. But in terms of sex ratio, it is very backward. Gujarat is progressive in terms of industries and GDP. In terms of communal harmony, it is very backward. Applying the same logic, every state is backward in some form or the other. That is why India as a whole is a still a Third-World (a euphemism for backward) country.

I agree with you that the good thing is that people have begun to realise that Bengaluru alone is not Karnataka/Chennai alone is not Tamil Nadu/Hyderabad alone is not Andhra Pradesh, etc. Progress means overall progress, all-round progress and Karnataka does quite well in this regard when compared to the BIMARU states. Unless inclusive growth takes place, it is a recipe for backwardness. Extreme inequality leads to high crime rates and is a fertile ground for naxalism to take root. The logic of "1 billionaire + 100 million starving poor" that some people love is sheer backward nonsense. Inclusive growth leads to development. Anything else would lead to crime and decay.

Anonymous said...

Yes Raj, I were talking about inclusive growth only and that should be the only way forward. Currently the disparity in growth among rich and poor is such that we have few people in Forbes rich list along with 43% indian population living under absolute poverty.

I don't know if u believe this, Uttar Pradesh is india's second largest economy and contribution to India GDP is second after Maharashtra. One of the reason for that is UP economy is mostly agriculture economy and it has the potential to benefits every citizen of the state making them independent to Globalisation which we talk about so much. However, govt is focussing more on city growth and in the process our farmers are left behind in the india's growth story. I dont think we have any politician who can bring this change.

Anonymous said...


Uttar Pradesh has a huge population, so one cannot really compare it to smaller states (in terms of population). So just counting the GDP figures means almost nothing. The GDP percapita, the Gini coefficient, literacy rate, sex ratio, health indicators, etc. are better indicators of development though they are not perfect.

Uttar Pradesh may be a largely agrarian economy but not all parts of UP are doing well. The people in some parts of UP like Bundelkhand are going through a terrible economic struggle.

In any case, farmers throughout the country are a neglected and ignored lot. A country with a massive and still rapidly increasing population simply cannot ignore agriculture. India should not turn into a food importer. The oil-import bill itself is so high that we cannot afford to add a food-import bill to it. Self-sufficiency in food is a very important requirement for the progress of India.

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