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Classical language status to Malayalam challenged in Madras HC

Classical language status to Malayalam challenged in Madras HC

Chennai: The Madras High Court Wednesday ordered issue of notices to the Centre and governments of Odisha and Kerala on a PIL challenging the grant of classical language status to Oriya and Malayalam languages.

The Ministry of Culture of the Centre vide a notification on March 11, 2014 had granted the status to these languages.

The first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh also ordered the registry to tag the PIL filed by R Gandhi, an advocate, with the similar petitions challenging grant of classical status to Telugu and Kannada languages.

The court had earlier allowed Karnataka Government to implead itself as a party to the case.

In his PIL, Gandhi submitted that he was not against any Indian language getting classical status provided it satisfied the criteria.

He contended that Ministry of Culture and Home affairs should adhere to criteria laid down to determine the eligibility of a language to be considered for classification as a “Classical Language” as per the notification of the Centre on November 25, 2005.

As per the criteria, the status should be given to the language with “high antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years”, he contended.

The claim of any language for classical language has to be evaluated in terms of the criteria which are really based on recommendations of the Gopichanth Nareng Committee appointed by Government of India, he contended.

He also prayed the court to direct the Centre to strictly adhere to implement the criteria laid down in the 2005 notification for determining the eligibility of languages to be considered as “Classical Language” before declaring classical status to any language.

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