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Multilingual democracy

By Anosh Malekar

With 22 official languages, 200-odd rationalised mother tongues, and no one knows exactly how many minor languages and dialects, linguistic diversity is part of the historical cultural heritage of the country. But many native languages are dying out for want of recognition, support, and in some cases, lack of a written tradition. This three-part series, written in the wake of the first language summit held in the country - the Bharat Bhasha Confluence in Vadodara in March 2010 - examines India’s linguistic tradition and why it is important

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The loss of languages: What's all the fuss about?

By Anosh Malekar

Linguists estimate that one-fifth of India’s linguistic heritage may have reached the stage of extinction over the last half-century. Does this really matter? The second part of this fascinating series on India’s language diversity attempts to answer this question

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The case for a linguistic survey

By Anosh Malekar

In January 2010, the Bo language died a quiet death with the demise of its last native speaker. This has been the fate of many Indian languages. The last in this series on India’s linguistic diversity makes out a strong case for initiating a linguistic survey, 100 years after the last and only such attempt was made.

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