Category Archives: Languages and linguistic heritage

“Nations don’t make us human – languages make us human [and] behave like civilised beings.” – Ganesh [G.N.] Devy (co-founder, People’s Linguistic Survey of India) in a video interview (Scroll.in, 25 November 2017)
https://www.facebook.com/scroll.in/videos/1600744976675043/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=24320

“My stay in India led to the observation of the very young child – from the moment of birth until three. It was the experience I gained there that led me to the conclusion that the first years of our lives are the most important in the psychic development of men. I published a book a little while ago, which I called The Absorbent Mind, in which I described the tremendous capability of the young child to absorb those things from its environment which are necessary to its psychic construction.” – Maria Montessori quoted in Maria Montessori Writes to her Grandchildren: letters from India, 1939-1946 (Amsterdam: Montessori-Pierson Publishing Company, 2020), p. 159
https://montessori-pierson.com/india.html
https://worldcat.org/en/title/1273931392
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=16037

“With the loss of language comes the loss of everything in culture and loss of solidarity, the loss of Man himself.” – Ayesha Kidwai (Centre for Linguistics, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi) quoted by Abhijit Mohanty in “Seven decades after independence, many tribal languages in India face extinction threat” (Down to Earth, 26 August 2020)
https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/governance/seven-decades-after-independence-many-tribal-languages-in-india-face-extinction-threat-73071
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6879

“They have lost their livelihood, their forests and even their Gods. Now they will also lose their language.” – Raghavan Payyanad (folklorist and exponent of indigenous knowledge), in “Relinking tribal youth with their culture” on efforts to revive and reacquaint youngsters from different tribes with endangered tribal arts at the Kerala Institute for Research, Training and Development Studies of Scheduled Castes and Tribes Kozhikode (The Hindu, 16 December 2015)
https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/relinking-tribal-youth-with-their-culture/article7994424.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=19376

“There are 418 different tribes in India, with even more languages and dialects. […] To accommodate these diverse and culturally distinct communities with a single educational policy is a mammoth task, verging on the impossible. Thus, despite good intentions, tribal-education policies are mostly dysfunctional. And when such systematic dysfunction continues for years or even generations, social unrest erupts.” – Boro Baski in “Teaching Santal children” (D+C Development and Cooperation, 2 July 2009)
https://www.dandc.eu/en/article/long-term-success-non-formal-adivasi-school-west-bengal
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=2274

“[L]inguistic reorganisation helped to underline the cultural diversity, which underlay the unity of the nation. The basic structure of the polity that evolved stood the test of time, withstanding the pressures, be they from the Northeast or the South or Kashmir.” – K.N. Panikkar reviewing India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy by Ramachandra Guha in “Democracy in practice” (The Hindu, 19 June 2007)
https://worldcat.org/en/title/179807214
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=3246

“All languages created by human communities are our collective cultural heritage. Therefore, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that they do not face the global phonocide let loose in our time.” – Ganesh [G.N.] Devy in a lecture at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore (26 September 2010)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/wp-content/uploads/Inclusive_Education_NIAS_Lecture_2010_Prof-Ganesh_Devy.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?page_id=27950

“Odisha has one of the most diverse tribal populations in India, with 62 tribes, including 13 primitive tribes, residing in the State. They speak 72 mother tongues broadly grouped into 38 languages, 19 of which are nearly extinct. Only four tribal languages here — Santhali, Ho, Sora and Kui Lipi — have a written script. Santhali has already been included in the Eighth Schedule and the Odisha government has recommended Ho be included as well.” –  Satyasundar Barik in “Tribal communities in Odisha are speaking up to save their dialects” (The Hindu, 3 June 2017)
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/tribal-communities-in-odisha-are-speaking-up-to-save-their-dialects/article18713925.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22690

“1500 km and 1300 years separate the IVC [Indus Valley Civilisation] and Keeladi. The gap may not lead to too many direct and immediately recognisable similarities. But the fact that we have found graffiti that looks very similar to Harappan script in the Keeladi excavations [Tamil Nadu] is extremely important, especially since this is not the first time that graffiti similar to Harappan scripts have been found in South India and even Sri Lanka.” – Tony Joseph, author of Early Indians quoted in “The Dig” by Sowmiya Ashok (Fiftytwo.in, 2 April 2021)
https://fiftytwo.in/story/the-dig/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=38630

“[I]n the context of tracing the origins of Dravidians there are suggestions that connect the Dravidian speakers of Southern India to the geographical regions west and North West of India.” – R. Balakrishnan in “Remnants of Dravidian Name Heritage in Indus Valley and Beyond” (WCTC Souvenir, The Hindu, accessed 16 April 2012)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=5824

Marlavai Training Centre – model for present day education of tribal people – Andhra Pradesh

Marlavai village in Jainoor mandal of Adilabad district was not this sleepy when Austrian anthropologist Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf was at work during the decade of 1940. He had launched his pioneering experiment in education of tribal people at this village. … Continue reading

Posted in De- and re-tribalisation, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Modernity, Names and communities, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Marlavai Training Centre – model for present day education of tribal people – Andhra Pradesh

Tip | Which are India’s endangered languages? (interactive map)

India’s endangered languages “Kolami, Koya, Gondi, Kuvi, Kui, Yerukala, Savara, Parji, Kupia. Do these names ring a bell? No, right? They are all native tribal tongues that have immensely contributed to enrich the language and culture of Telugu people. But … Continue reading

Posted in Education and literacy, Endangered language, FAQ, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, Languages and linguistic heritage, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Press snippets, Resources, Rural poverty, Tips, Tribal identity | Comments Off on Tip | Which are India’s endangered languages? (interactive map)

Tribal voices worth listening to: On culture, land rights, employment, education and indigenous languages – Andaman, Kerala & Odisha

“Unless we affirm our culture and right and language, we won’t live. Our colour is good, our language is good, our art is good, our way of living is good. If we can respect your religion and your practices, why … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Childhood, Commentary, Community facilities, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Dress and ornaments, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Organizations, Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG), Photos and slideshows, Quotes, Regions of India – Tribal heritage & indigenous knowledge, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Storytelling, Success story, Tribal identity, Wayanad, Western Ghats – Tribal heritage and ecology, Worship and rituals | Tagged , | Comments Off on Tribal voices worth listening to: On culture, land rights, employment, education and indigenous languages – Andaman, Kerala & Odisha

Poetry on the beauty of nature and its close association with mankind: “Tribal literature is as rich as any other literature in the world”

Mizo writer Darchhawna, who was awarded the Padmashree recently, praised tribal literature at a conference here today. He spoke on the concluding day of the Tribal Literary Conference and said tribal literature is as rich as any other literature in … Continue reading

Posted in Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Education and literacy, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Misconceptions, Music and dance, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Poetry, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Social conventions, Storytelling, Women, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Poetry on the beauty of nature and its close association with mankind: “Tribal literature is as rich as any other literature in the world”

Cultural values of “the world’s largest tribal population”: Focus on crafts, linguistic diversity and the missing link in India’s development story – Akshara

India is a colourful country comprising a staggering variety of cultures and communities. Each section has its own needs and requirements and among all, we tend to forget the most sidelined community – the tribals. […] India has the world’s … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Crafts and visual arts, Education and literacy, Gandhian social movement, Globalization, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Tribal culture worldwide | Comments Off on Cultural values of “the world’s largest tribal population”: Focus on crafts, linguistic diversity and the missing link in India’s development story – Akshara