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Decks cleared for Odia to get classical status


Odisha Sun Times Bureau

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar, Feb 20:

With the Union cabinet today approving the proposal to accord classical tag to the Odia language, the decks are now clear for Odia to become a classical language. A formal notification in this regard will follow in the next few days.

Odia now becomes the sixth Indian language and the first in the Indo-Aryan group of languages to get the status.

Linguistic experts and lovers of the Odia language are jubilant after the decision of the Union cabinet.

Welcoming the cabinet decision, well known writer and literary critic Asit Mohanty said the time has now come to prepare a road map for the revival and spread of the language. “We have already wasted seven months merely waiting for the formal decision and without bothering to prepare a plan on what we are going to do with the classical tag. We must get going immediately,” he said.

The proposal to accord the coveted classical tag to Odia, it may be noted, had been cleared by the Linguistics Expert Committee appointed by the Union ministry of Culture on July 23, 2013.

Asked who he would give credit for this achievement, Mohanty said; “The major credit must go to the state government without whose initiative it would not have come about.”

It may be mentioned that chief minister Naveen Patnaik, in a letter to Union Culture minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch on February 6, had requested to expedite the formalities with regard to conferment of classical status to Odia language.

Congress Rajya Sabha member Rama Chandra Khuntia had also taken up the matter with the Union minister of state in the PMO V Narayanasamy, Union Culture minister, Union Cabinet secretary A Seth and Union Culture secretary Rabindra Singh.