Category Archives: Endangered language

“[A]ccording to the People’s Linguistic Survey of India, as many as 780 different languages are spoken and 86 different scripts are used in the country. However, only 22 of them are recognized by the government as scheduled languages. […] India has lost nearly 250 languages in the last half century, and 196 more have been declared endangered by UNESCO. As many as 120 of these 196 languages are spoken in the North-East. With most of these languages spoken by tribes and lacking a script, it has been particularly difficult to preserve them.” – Osama Manzar in “Preserving our vanishing tribes, their heritage, language and wisdom” (Livemint, 8 September 2017)
https://www.livemint.com/Opinion/AhrviHfdlAluJ6ffBBpUQN/Preserving-our-vanishing-tribes-their-heritage-language-an.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6039

“Literacy level among women in India being alarmingly low, it will be necessary to expand our school education system so as to introduce and include as many languages as possible, so that the girl children are educated in their own languages. For this purpose, CIIL should take lead in studying and preparing materials in as many minority and tribal languages as possible. It should be a special endeavour of CIIL to promote and document the endangered languages of India, which are very much a part of India’s plural cultural heritage.” – Director, Central Institute of Indian Languages (Accessed 11 March 2021)
https://www.ciil.org/aboutAhead1.aspx
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6039

“Two key aspects of assimilation are residential schools that are removed from community life, and the imposition of dominant regional languages. Each Adivasi language encompasses a world of knowledge, cosmology, and values. This is partly why, although violated routinely, Article 350A of the Constitution, which gives every child the right to education in their own mother tongue, is so significant. Studies show that multilingual education aids cognitive development and stimulates intellectual confidence much more effectively. In the words of Lado Sikaka, Dongria Kondh leader of the campaign to save Niyamgiri from bauxite mining, “If our language is alive, only then will our culture thrive. Losing our language, we will lose our identity, our forests, rivers and mountains.” – Felix Padel & Malvika Gupta in “Are mega residential schools wiping out India’s Adivasi culture?” (The Hindu, 13 February 2021)
https://www.thehindu.com/society/children-from-tribal-communities-are-being-corralled-into-mass-schools-that-are-wiping-out-cultures/article33818793.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=21733

“The country has already lost about 250 languages in the last 50 years. The state must recognise that a monolingual nationalistic model is not just robbing us of our linguistic richness, but also limiting the economic potential of the country. Diversity of language is not a burden on us. Rather, considering that even the most cutting-edge technologies are language-based, different languages spoken across the country have the potential to better build the country’s economic future.” – Ganesh [G.N.] Devy (co-founder, People’s Linguistic Survey of India) quoted by in “Need to preserve linguistic diversity, says expert” (The Times of India, 13 February 2014)
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/Need-to-preserve-linguistic-diversity-says-expert/articleshow/30300251.cms
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=14145

“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 these languages are dying due to a plethora of reasons — lack of practice, absence of education, poverty-stricken state of the speakers. The UNESCO lists 191 languages of India as endangered. And as Eduardo Hughes Galeano, the literary giant of the Latin America puts it, “Every two weeks, a language dies. The world is diminished when it loses its human sayings, just as when it loses its diversity of plants and beasts.” Numbers can be deceptive, India is a graveyard of more languages than one can imagine.” – Papri Paul in “The dying tongues of Telangana and Andhra” (Times of India, 21 February 2017)
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/the-dying-tongues-of-telangana-and-andhra/articleshow/57253816.cms
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22153

“Concluding his ambitious marathon Peoples’ Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI) which took four years of field work preceded by nearly 15 years of conceptualization and planning, Prof Ganesh Devy, the Sahitya Akademi award winner, literary critic and founder of the Tribal Academy at Tejgadh declares that out of 1,600-odd languages listed in the 1961 survey of India, they have been able to trace not more than 850 languages during their survey. The survey was initiated by Vadodara-based Bhasha Research and Publication Centre founded by Prof Devy.” – Papri Paul in “The fight for survival: language and identity” (Times of India, 21 February 2017)
https://www.all-languages.org.uk/features/fight-survival-language-identity/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=30494

“It is almost impossible to characterize all of India’s tribals in a single ethnographic or historic framework. […] After Independence, these communities were ‘denotified’ and placed quite randomly in the schedules of tribes, castes and other ‘backward communities’. Yet anyone with any experience of tribal culture will find these listings mind-boggingly oversimplified. The most useful indicator of tribal identity, then, is language.” – Ganesh [G.N.] Devy in Painted Words: An Anthology of Tribal Literature, Bhasha E Books
http://www.bhashaebooks.org/Downloadbook.aspx?name=21
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22979

“We are so much more than that”: Book by S. Swarnalatha documenting the lives her own community, the Irula, who are known for their knowledge of nature and medicinal herbs – Tamil Nadu & Kerala

“My grandmother told me if someone ever pointed out our dance movements are peculiar, we should tell them these are the feline steps of a hunter” | To read the full story, click here >> Swarnalatha belongs to the tribal … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Childhood and children, Customs, Ecology and environment, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Ethnobotany, Games and leisure time, Languages and linguistic heritage, Misconceptions, Music and dance, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Storytelling, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on “We are so much more than that”: Book by S. Swarnalatha documenting the lives her own community, the Irula, who are known for their knowledge of nature and medicinal herbs – Tamil Nadu & Kerala

eBook | Research on tribal communities, their customs, languages and rights facilitated by Indian universities: PhD theses published on Shodhganga (public access)

To focus on PhD theses, make sure you include “shodhganga” in your search About Shodhganga The Shodhganga@INFLIBNET Centre provides a platform for research students to deposit their Ph.D. theses and make it available to the entire scholarly community in open access. … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Assimilation, Biodiversity, Colonial policies, Community facilities, Constitution and Supreme Court, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Democracy, Dress and ornaments, eBook eJournal PDF, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Ethnobotany, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Hyderabad biodiversity pledge, Languages and linguistic heritage, Modernity, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Organizations, Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG), Press snippets, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Social conventions, Tips, Topics and issues, Tribal identity, Women, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on eBook | Research on tribal communities, their customs, languages and rights facilitated by Indian universities: PhD theses published on Shodhganga (public access)

International Mother Language Day (annually observed on 21 February): “Language teaching and particularly multilingual education are a key factor in the development of understanding among peoples and dialogue for peace” – Unesco

How to celebrate Mother Language Day in your school | Read the full post by Unesco for updates >> Schoolteachers Encourage children to use their mother languages to introduce themselves and talk about their families and culture Celebrate culture by having them read … Continue reading

Posted in Childhood and children, Community facilities, Cultural heritage, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Globalization, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Multi-lingual education, Networking, Organizations, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Seasons and festivals, Success story, Tips, Tribal culture worldwide | Comments Off on International Mother Language Day (annually observed on 21 February): “Language teaching and particularly multilingual education are a key factor in the development of understanding among peoples and dialogue for peace” – Unesco

Toda cultural heritage and education: Nilgiri mountains – Tamil Nadu

A visit to the Toda hamlet known as Taranadmund near Ooty makes it clear that for the Toda community, cultural heritage is part of everyday life and worship. The local economy continues to involve buffalo rearing. As the Tamil Nadu … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Assimilation, Crafts and visual arts, Democracy, Dress and ornaments, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Figures, census and other statistics, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, Homes and utensils, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Nilgiri, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Tourism, Tribal elders, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged , | Comments Off on Toda cultural heritage and education: Nilgiri mountains – Tamil Nadu

India’s UN 2007 vote on Indigenous Rights Declaration

Vote on Indigenous Rights Declaration[…] the Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples […] AJAI MALHOTRA (India) said his country had consistently favoured the promotion and protection of indigenous peoples’ rights. […] Regarding references to … Continue reading

Posted in Colonial policies, Democracy, Endangered language, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples | Comments Off on India’s UN 2007 vote on Indigenous Rights Declaration