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 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 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

Learn more about tribal communities in Madhya Pradesh

When it comes to protein and calorie counts, milk and bananas do not match up to eggs, particularly for [Madhya Pradesh], where development indicators are among India’s worst: Almost 51% of children under five years of age are underweight, and … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Archaeology, Central region – Central Zonal Council, Childhood and children, Community facilities, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Democracy, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools, Endangered language, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Multi-lingual education, Museum collections - India, Music and dance, Narmada, Organizations, Particularly vulnerable tribal group, Resources, Revival of traditions, Seasons and festivals, Tips, Tourism, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged , | Comments Off on Learn more about tribal communities in Madhya Pradesh

Tribal Knowledge Systems, Values and Traditions: Papers presented for “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (National Conference) – New Delhi

Parallel session 6: Tribal Knowledge Systems, Values and TraditionsChaired by: Mridula Rashmi Kindo, Dept of English, IGNOU, New DelhiPaper Presenters: Arun Kumar Oraon (JNU, New Delhi), Sandesha Rayapa-Garbiyal (JNU, New Delhi), Teresa Tudu (BHU, Varanasi), Shimi Moni Doley (JMI, New Delhi). … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Colonial policies, Cultural heritage, Democracy, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Endangered language, Globalization, Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Networking, Northern region – Northern Zonal Council, Organizations, Quotes, Resources, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Storytelling, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Tribal Knowledge Systems, Values and Traditions: Papers presented for “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (National Conference) – New Delhi

Video | “Our values, farming, song and dances”: Tribal and indigenous peoples’ education must be rooted in the people’s own land, language and culture – Survival International

Factory Schools: crimes against children from Survival International on Vimeo. Two million tribal and indigenous children are in Factory Schools today. Lives are destroyed and families are torn apart as the children are intentionally alienated from their community and stripped … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Childhood and children, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools, Endangered language, Ethnobotany, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, Health and nutrition, Languages and linguistic heritage, Names and communities, Organizations, Quotes, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal elders, Tribal identity, Video resources - external | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Video | “Our values, farming, song and dances”: Tribal and indigenous peoples’ education must be rooted in the people’s own land, language and culture – Survival International

eBook | Toda cultural history (Nilgiri) – Tamil Nadu

Until now, historians and anthropologists believed that Todas, a tribal group in the higher altitudes of the Nilgiris, reached there about 2,000 years ago. A new study by Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru researchers shows the community was already settled … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Colonial policies, Crafts and visual arts, Customs, eBook & eJournal, Economy and development, Endangered language, Figures, census and other statistics, History, Homes and utensils, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Museum collections - India, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Nilgiri, Particularly vulnerable tribal group, Quotes, Trees, Tribal identity, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on eBook | Toda cultural history (Nilgiri) – Tamil Nadu

eBook | “Painted Words”: An Anthology edited by Prof Ganesh Devy – Tribal Literature from all over India

“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 … Continue reading

Posted in Colonial policies, Cultural heritage, De- and re-tribalisation, eBook & eJournal, Economy and development, Endangered language, Government of India, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Organizations, Particularly vulnerable tribal group, Quotes, Regions of India, Storytelling, Success story, Tribal identity | Comments Off on eBook | “Painted Words”: An Anthology edited by Prof Ganesh Devy – Tribal Literature from all over India