Conference on unrecognized languages: Bhasha Research Centre – Gujarat

The Indian Express, Vadodara, Thu Feb 18 2010

Come March, and the city’s linguistic diversity will increase manifold, though for a few days. […]

People speaking as many as 250 languages, which are not recognised by the Indian constitution, will come together at a conference to be hosted by Vadodara-based Bhasha Research Centre from March 8 to 10.

Professor G N Devy, who heads the Bhasha Research Centre, said that after preparing a report for the 11th Five-Year Plan for the development of languages not included in the eighth schedule of the Constitution, it was found that speakers of 263 languages identified in the report could not be tracked.

“Therefore, we decided to hold a conference of these languages, so that the Centre as well as the state government could pay attention to the development of grammar and provide funds for research,” said Devy.

The organisers maintain that the meet is not intended to create a politics of identity among the speakers.

“It is to acknowledge, understand and foster interactions among such small linguistic groups. It is unfortunate that people seek political gains through languages… Vadodara is known for cultural diversity, therefore, it is the best place for such a conference,” added Devy.

They are expecting to see as many as 800 participants, including members of the United Nations, various national universities, Sahitya Akademi, Central Institute of Indian Languages and a host of publications among others.

“Kalinga University (Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology), Orissa, Chancellor Dr Achyut Samanta has promised that 60 students who know 300 such languages would participate,” added Devy. […]

Most of the people have lost touch with their original language with successive generations speaking a state language. In Vadodara, there are three to four Burud speaking families near Khanderao Market,” said Devy.

Among other linguistic groups will be about 40 languages from Maharashtra. The event would also see traditional bee-keepers, Irulas, of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Source: Vadodara to host meet on unrecognised Indian languages – Indian Express
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