Cong claims govt likely to tweak criteria for classical language tag, flags concerns

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New Delhi, Jul 9 (PTI) The Congress on Tuesday claimed the government is likely to change the criterion for classical language classification and asked whether this is an attempt to prevent Marathi from being recognised as one.

Congress general secretary, in-charge communications, Jairam Ramesh shared on X a report of The Hindu which claimed that the central government has decided to tweak the criteria for giving the classical language tag.

"For 10 years, the Indian National Congress has been demanding that Marathi be declared as a classical language. The-then CM of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan had written to the non-biological PM's then-Minister for Culture and Tourism Shripad Naik on this subject on 11th July, 2014. On 13th May, I had reiterated Prithviraj Chavan's demand," Ramesh said.

During Manmohan Singh's tenure as prime minister, Tamil, Sanskrit, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Odia were declared classical languages, he said.

"In the non-biological PM's tenure, zero languages have been accorded classical language status," the Rajya Sabha MP said.

"The government is now likely to change the criterion for classical language classification. There is currently no clarity on what the new rules are, and on what the new procedure for applying for classical language status would be after the change in criteria," Ramesh said.

Would the Maharashtra government have to resubmit the application to meet these new criteria, he asked.

"Is this an attempt to stall the recognition of Marathi as a classical language? Is this a bid to extract vengeance on the people of Maharashtra after the NDA's debacle in the Lok Sabha Elections?" Ramesh said.

But giving a language the status of classical language is one thing and supporting that status with financial support for further research and its development is another, he said.

"So far, the Centre has supported ONLY Sanskrit handsomely. That is fine. But what about the other classical Indian languages which are not merely regional but are national languages as well?" Ramesh said. PTI ASK DIV DIV