The census of India says the country is losing languages at an alarming rate. But the People’s Linguistic Survey of India seems to say there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Wherever the colonial power was played the local languages were destroyed completely: in Australia, in United States, in Canada. In this country so many languages remained alive despite a long spell of colonial rule. So the people of this country deserve the credit for all this work. [3:57]
Those links in turn get relinked. I mean, they go up to Armenia, to Turkey. Now this is one route: Turkey to China to Tibet to Bhutan to India.
The other route is Armenian, came through Iran, to India and became Sanskrit. The language of Zenda Vesta became subsequently – after many, many centuries, after nearly a gap of 800 to 1,200 years – the early version of the Sanskrit of the Vedas. So languages are linked globally. [5:25]
Nations don’t make us human – languages make us human. But languages make us behave like civilised beings. [7:48 min.]
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Ganesh Devy undertook 300 journeys in 18 months to explore India’s languages […] Seven years ago, he launched his ambitious People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI), which he called a “right-based movement for carrying out a nation-wide survey of Indian languages as people perceive them”.
As the indefatigable language hunter turned 60, he undertook 300 journeys in 18 months across the length and breadth of India to search for more languages. He paid for his trips using money he earned by delivering lectures in universities and colleges. He travelled night and day, revisiting some states nearly 10 times, and religiously kept a diary. […]
“Our languages have survived tenaciously. We are truly a linguistic democracy. To keep our democracy alive, we have to keep our languages alive.” – Prof. Ganesh Devy, “The man who ‘discovered’ 780 Indian languages”
- Adivasi (Adibasi)
- Adivasi Academy & Museum of Adivasi Voice at Tejgadh | AdivasiAcademy.org
- Adverse inclusion
- Bhasha Research and Publication Centre: Giving ‘voice’ to Adivasi communities in India and inspiring projects in other states
- Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) Mysore
- Colonial policies | Denotified Tribe vs. “criminal tribe“ | Imprisonment & rehabilitation
- eBook | Adivasi Stories from Gujarat – Bhasha Research and Publication Centre (Vadodara)
- Endangered language
- Ganesh [GN] Devy | Lecture “A View of Higher Education in India”
- India’s Constitutional obligation to respect their cultural traditions
- Languages and linguistic heritage
- Literature and bibliographies | Literature – fiction | Poetry
- Museum & Society – A re-evaluation of Adivasi Heritage by Prof. Ganesh Devy
- Museum collections – India
- People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI) | PeoplesLinguisticSurvey.org
- Scheduled Tribes | Classifications in different states
- Tribal identity
- Tribal Arts in India: The National Inventory of Tribal Museums – an invitation for researchers and institutions engaged in conservation of tribal culture
- Video clips taken at Tejgadh and related information
- Video | “Nations don’t make us human – languages make us human”: Ganesh Devy
Tip: click on any red marker for details on endangered languages in a particular region of India. This map is bound to be incomplete as recent surveys in-depth studies on this subject have revealed.
To learn more, please follow the links to the relevant sources besides up-to-date reports provided by Indian newspapers and web portals.