Current Affairs of Art & Culture and Indian Society

Classical language

In the 93rd edition of the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, a resolution was passed demanding the declaration of Marathi as a ‘Classical’ language.

Recent classical languages

Currently, six languages have the status of the ‘Classical’ language: Malayalam (2013), Sanskrit (2005), Tamil (declared in 2004), Odia (2014), Telugu (2008), and Kannada (2008).

Guidelines for declaring a language as ‘Classical’

 1. High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years.

 2. A body of ancient literature/texts, which is contemplated a precious heritage by generations of speakers.

 3. The literary tradition is indigenous and not borrowed from another speech community.

4. The classical language and literature being distinct from modern, there may also be a discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or its derivatives.

  • Bharati Script

Researchers from IIT Madras have developed a technique for reading documents in Bharati script by help of a multi-lingual optical character recognition (OCR) scheme.

What is Bharati Script?

  • It is an alternative script for the languages of India evolved by a team at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Madras.
  • The scripts that have been integrated include Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Devnagari, Bengali, Gujarati, Gurumukhi, Tamil and Oriya.
  • Nagardhan excavations- findings on Vakataka dynasty

Archaeological excavations at Nagardhan have come up with solid evidence on the life, trade practices and religious affiliations of the Vakataka dynasty and also about the Vakataka rule under Queen Prabhavatigupta.

About findings

  • An oval-shaped sealing has been found. It carries her name in the Brahmi script.
  • A copper plate introduced by Queen Prabhavatigupta has also been found. It starts with a genealogy of the Guptas, mentioning the Queen’s grandfather Samudragupta and her father Chandragupta II.

About Vakataka dynasty

  • Vakataka dynasty ruled certain parts of Central and South India between the third and fifth centuries.
  • The rule of Vakataka dynasty extended from the southern edges of Malwa and Gujarat in the north to the Tungabhadra River in the south as well as from the Arabian Sea in the west to the edges of Chhattisgarh in the east.
  • Vakataka was the most important successors of the Satavahanas in the Deccan and contemporaneous with the Guptas in northern India.
  • The capital of the Vakataka kingdom was Nagardhan.
  • The rock-cut Buddhist viharas and chaityas of Ajanta Caves (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) were built under the reign of the Vakataka emperor, Harishena.
  • ‘Zo Kutpui’ festival

Mizoram is organizing the Zo Kutpui festival across 10 states in the country and Myanmar, US and Bangladesh.

About the festival

  • The first edition of the festival is to begin in the city of Vanghmun in Tripura.
  • By conducting such as festival, the Mizoram Government is trying to unify the Mizo population in the country.
  • Nagoba Jatara

 The month-long Nagoba Jatara recently concluded in the Adilabad district of Telangana.

About Nagoba Jatara

  • Nagoba Jatara is a tribal festival held in Keslapur village, Indervelli Mandal Adilabad district, Telangana, thus the festival is also known as Keslapur Jatara.
  • It is a huge religious and cultural event of the Boigutta branch of Mesram clan of the aboriginal Raj Gond and Pradhan tribes.
  • Tribal people from Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh belonging to the Mesram clan offer prayers at the festival.
  • During the festival, the maha puja of serpent god Nagoba is held.
  • Near Extinct status of Nepal’s Seke language

According to the report the “near-extinct” Nepalese language Seke has just 700 speakers around the world.

Reason of near extinction

  • Due to difficult conditions at home and job prospects elsewhere have brought speakers of Seke migrated to places where Seke is not spoken, which have reduced the intergenerational transmission of the language.
  • Furthermore, the younger generation does not find much use in learning the language, giving preference to Nepali and English.

Languages in danger

  • UNESCO has six degrees of endangerment.
  • Safe– which are the languages spoken by all generations and their intergenerational transmission is uninterrupted.
  • Vulnerable– languages, which are spoken by most children but may be restricted to certain domains.
  • Definitely endangered languages– which are no longer being learnt by children as their mother tongue.
  • Severely endangered– these are languages spoken by grandparents and older generations, and while the parent generation may understand it, they may not speak it with the children or among themselves.
  • Critically endangered– these languages are those of which the youngest speakers are the grandparents or older family members who may speak the language partially or infrequently.
  • Extinct– languages, of which no speakers are left.
  • As per UNESCO, roughly 57 per cent of the world’s estimated 6,000 languages are safe, about 10 per cent are vulnerable, 10.7 per cent are definitely endangered, about 9 per cent are severely endangered, 9.6 per cent are critically endangered and about 3.8 per cent of all languages are extinct since 1950.
  • The last year, 2019, was the International Year of Indigenous Languages, mandated by the United Nations (UN).