Tulu language: Demands On The Rise To Include More Languages Like Tulu In Eighth Schedule

  • More deserving languages in India like Tulu want to enter the list of scheduled languages.

  • The demands quote the preamble of India promising equality of status and opportunity

  • Entering the list will widen the opportunities for these languages to grow and enrich themselves.
The Tulu-speaking population of the country has been urging the government to expedite the steps to list it under schedule eight. They are concentrated in the two coastal districts of Karnataka and Kasaragod district of Kerala. As per the census, there are as many as 18,46,427 of them.

Here we discuss the advantages of getting listed under schedule eight and the wider implications of the issue.

India is a land of cultural and linguistic diversity

As per 2001 census, about 30 of Indian languages are being spoken by over a million people each. Besides this list, around 122 languages are spoken by not less than 10,000 people. There are also 1,599 other languages, most of which are considered as dialects belonging to some specific regions. For quite long, there have been demands to include many of these languages into the list of scheduled languages.

List of scheduled languages in India

At present 22 of Indian languages are listed in the eighth schedule including Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

Fourteen of these languages were already listed under the eighth schedule when the constitution of India came to force in 1950. In 1967, Sindhi was added. In 1992, Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were included. In 2003, the four remaining languages including Dogiri, Bodo, Maithali, and Santhali were included.

Demands to include more languages under eighth schedule

For so long, the speakers of many other languages have been demanding that their language be included under Schedule 8.

As many as 37 languages including Angika, Banjara, Bazika, Bhojpuri, Bhoti, Bhotia, Bundelkhandi, Chhattisgarhi, Dhatki, Garhwali (Pahari), Gondi, Gujjari, Ho, Kachachhi, Kamtapuri, Karbi, Khasi, Kodava (Coorg), Kok Barak, Kumaoni, Kurak, Kurmail, Lepcha, Limbu, Mizo, Magahi, Mundari, Nagpuri, Nicobarese, Himachali, Pali, Rajasthani, Sambalpuri, Shaurseni, Siraiki, Tenyidi, and Tulu -- are currently want the government to include them under schedule eight.

Benefits of getting included under the eighth schedule

When a language gets scheduled status in India, it comes to enjoy some inevitable advantages. Some of the significant advantages enjoyed by scheduled languages include

  • It will become mandatory for the government to spare the efforts to develop the scheduled language so that it grows and evolves into an effective means of communication.
  • A scheduled language will come to be considered as an official language of the nation.
  • When included in the eighth schedule, Sahitya Academy will start recognizing the language and the books of the language will be translated in other languages recognized in India.
  • MPs and MLAs can start converse in this language in state assemblies and parliament.
  • Candidates will be able to write the competitive exams like Civil Services Exams conducted in the All India level in a scheduled language.
  • Including a language under schedule eight will place it on equal footing with other official languages which will provide equal status and opportunity to the said language.
Wider implications to discuss

As per the constitution, it is mandatory for the UPSC to include scheduled language as one of the qualifying papers - in addition to English.

The RBI (Reserve Bank of India) must start including the scheduled language to talk of the denomination in currency notes.

Therefore, there have also been some practical administrative difficulties noticed in listing more languages under schedule eight. However, India is a country of diverse languages and cultures and the constitution is committed to protecting and promoting the equality of status and opportunity to all people and all languages. The republic cannot turn a deaf ear to the demands mounting up from the speakers of the languages spoken by minority.