eBook | Adivasi languages – Ganesh Devy on changing languages and the question of legislation

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There are two things. One is the state of Indian languages— the bhashas. Prof. Ananthamurthy has often argued that the bhashas have been drawing conditionally from many other bhasha systems, the subsets of bhashas. I’m only reporting what he has said—there’s a system of bhasha that is developed in the kitchen and the backyard, a language system that you call dialects. I never call them dialects, I call all of them bhashas. The Adivasi languages in a state have always strayed into the larger language of that state. The contact with Persian, Arabic, which was active at one time too has weakened now. The market needs have brought the bhashas closer to English, and there’s too much of intimacy with English. So languages keep changing all the time. And so long as human beings are there, interacting with the phenomenal world, languages will be there. They need greater attention, but it cannot happen through legislation. Languages should not be legislated. When there was no legislation, languages were safer. With legislation, they start going down. That is the experience all over the world. In Russia, Spain and China it has been so, in India it has been so.

Prof. Ganesh Devy in response to a listener’s question on the assumed benefits derived from legislation [India’s “scheduled languages”]

Source: “A View of Higher Education in India” pp. 51-52 by Prof. Ganesh Devy
Chair, People’s Linguistic Survey of India, Bhasha Research and Publication Centre

Read or download “Inclusive Education: A View of Higher Education in India” by Prof. Ganesh [G.N.] Devy

Delivered on September 26th, 2010 at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

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Adivasi (Adibasi)

Adivasi Academy & Museum of Adivasi Voice at Tejgadh

Adverse inclusion | Casteism | Rural poverty

Anthropology | eBooks, eJournals & reports | eLearning

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 policiesDenotified Tribe vs. “criminal tribe“ | Imprisonment & rehabilitation

eBook | Adivasi Stories from Gujarat – Bhasha Research and Publication Centre (Vadodara)

eBook | Background guide for education

Endangered language | PeoplesLinguisticSurvey.org

Ganesh [G.N.] Devy | Publications | Lecture “A View of Higher Education in India”

History | Colonial policies | Freedom Struggle | Independence

Human Rights Commission (posts) | www.nhrc.nic.in (Government of India)

India’s Constitutional obligation to respect their cultural traditions

Languages and linguistic heritage

Literature and bibliographies | Literature – fiction | Poetry

Multilingual education is a pillar of intergenerational learning – Unesco

Museum & Society – A re-evaluation of Adivasi Heritage by Prof. Ganesh Devy

Museum collections – India

People’s Linguistic Survey of India | Volumes (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

Video | Tribes in Transition-III: “Indigenous Cultures in the Digital Era”