India has always been rich in culture, traditions, and languages. When it comes to language, there have been several debates in the past and even today regarding the national language, official language, and classical language.
Currently, six languages enjoy the ‘Classical’ status: Tamil (declared in 2004), Sanskrit (2005), Kannada (2008), Telugu (2008), Malayalam (2013), and Odia (2014). Tamil was the first language to get the status of an official language of India on September 17, 2004.
Tamil language is a member of the Dravidian language family that is spoken primarily in India. It is the official language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Puducherry (Pondicherry). It is also an official language in Sri Lanka and Singapore and has significant numbers of
Here’s interesting facts you must know about the Tamil language:
- According to Hindu legend, Tamil or in personification form Tamil Thāi (Mother Tamil) was created by Lord Shiva.
- Tamil is one of the longest surviving classical languages in the world.
- It is an official language of three countries: India, Sri Lanka, and Singapore It is also the official language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
- In Malaysia, 543 primary education government schools are available fully in Tamil medium.
- Tamil gave not only words but the grammar to almost 400 languages.
- It is the only language to have a separate community named as Mudhal Tamil Sangam and ruled by 89 kings, 4400 years long ago.
What are the criteria for conferring the status of Classical Language?
According to the Ministry of Culture, the norms according to the status of classical language are that the language should have a recorded history of more than 1500 years with ancient valuable literature recorded in it. Further, the language has to be original and not derived from another speech community. The guidelines of the government are as follows:
- High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over 1500-2000 years
- A body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers
- The literary tradition to be original and not borrowed from another speech community
- The classical language and literature being distinct from modern, there may also be a discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or its off shoots.