Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Chennai/Bhubaneswar, Mar 4:
The Madras High Court on Wednesday served notice to Odisha government on a PIL challenging classical language status to Odia.
Adjudicating over a PIL filed by R Gandhi, an advocate, the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh served notice to Odisha government. It also ordered the registry to tag the PIL with the similar petitions challenging grant of classical status to Telugu and Kannada languages.
It may be mentioned that the court had earlier allowed Karnataka Government to be accepted as impleader to the case.
The Ministry of Culture of the Centre vide a notification on March 11, 2014 had granted the status to Odia language.
Notably, the proposal to accord the coveted classical tag to Odia was cleared by the Linguistics Expert Committee appointed by the Union ministry of Culture on July 23, 2013.
The approval was delayed as some petitioners had filed complaints with the Union Home department against the approval of classical tag to Odia at the Madras High Court. The language was accorded classical tag despite the matter being sub-judice.
The petitioner contended that Ministry of Culture and Home affairs should adhere to criteria laid down to determine the eligibility of a language to be considered for categorization as a “Classical Language” as per the notification of the Centre on November 25, 2005.
As per the criteria, the status should be given to the language with “high antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years”, the petitioner contended.
The claim of any language for classical language has to be evaluated in terms of the criteria which are really based on recommendations of the Gopi Chand Narang Committee appointed by Government of India, he argued.
Notably, only six Indian languages– Sanskrit, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Odia and Malayalam– have been accorded classical language status so far.
The court also issued notice to Kerala government on similar ground while hearing the PIL.