Classical Language status granted to Kannada, Telugu

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New Delhi, Oct 31 (UNI) Ahead of the Rajyotsava, the formation day of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the Union Government today declared Kannada and Telugu as 'Classical Languages' acceding to the wishes of the people of the two states.

The announcement was made by Culture Minister Ambika Soni accepting the recommendations of the Committee of Linguistic Experts constituted by the Culture Ministry.

The decision is subject to the decision on a pending case in the Madras High Court. The Government has moved the Court to dispose of the petition, she said.

So far Sanskrit and Tamil are the only two languages which have been accorded Classical Language status.

Congress Spokesman and former Karnataka Chief Minister M Veerappa Moily welcomed the decision as historic and said the decision would be welcomed by every section of people of Kannada and Telugu, two of the oldest languages of the country after Sanskrit. He said both the languages which have nearly 3000 years of literary and cultural history rightly deserved the Classical Language status. Any language which is over 1,500 years of literary history is eligigle for Classical Language status.

He thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Mrs Soni for taking a decision that would go down well with the people of the two states. The decision will entail greater flow of funds for literary and cultural research activities which will also be eligible for funds from UNESCO.

There have been umpteen number of official and political delegations lobbying for classical language status for the two languages and an All-Party Delegation from Karnataka was expected to visit here in the first week of November.

UNI MCN RP HT1752

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