Kerala: Government Furious Over Denial of ‘Classical Status’ to Malayalam

Friday, June 29th, 2012 | by

Chief Minister of Kerala Oommen Chandy has expressed displeasure over the move that denied granting of classical status to Malayalam language. Chandy’s statement comes following the stand taken by the language panel of Kendra Sahitya Akademi. The panel had decided against the granting of ‘classical status’ to Malayalam, stating that it is a ‘younger’ language in comparison with Tamil and other southern tongues. Addressing the state assembly, the Chief Minister said that Kerala would fight for it as it is the state’s right.

“Granting classical status to Malayalam language is not charity given by anybody and government will continue to take up the issue with the Centre,” he said while replying to a report on the matter. Minister for Culture and Rural Development KC Joseph also affirmed the matter, saying that denial of the classical status for Malayalam language has no justification.

“Malayalam language is 1500 years old and was as old as the other languages that have been given classical status in South India,” said Joseph. The requirement for classical tag for Kerala has been pressed for quite some time, with the language being excluded from the stamp, in the entire South Indian scenario.

The decision taken by the Sahitya Academy has been resented by luminaries of the Malayalam literary world as well. But a recent meeting of a sub-panel of Sahitya Academy held at Hyderabad, headed by an eminent linguist rejected the claim. He argued that the status would be conferred on languages that have an antiquity of over 1500-2000 years.  old.

The LDF government that ruled kerala, prior to the current UDF government had also put in their efforts seeking the elevation of Malayalam to a  higher rank. A comprehensive report was set up by a panel of scholars, where the antiquity and tradition of the language was highlighted.

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