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Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Classical status for Telugu after 4-year effort

Special Correspondent

Evidence collected to show that Telugu enjoyed a literary history of over 2,000 years


YSR thanks Manmohan, Sonia for decision

Parties, literary bodies hail Centre’s decision


— FILE PHOTO

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: A.B.K. Prasad, Chairman of Official Language Commission, displaying a rare marble piece depicting the ancient Telugu literature.

HYDERABAD: The announcement by the Centre according classical status to Telugu climaxes four years of relentless efforts made by the State government, particularly the State Official Languages Commission (SOLC).

Tamil was the first language in the country to secure this status from the Union Ministry of Culture, becoming eligible to an outright grant of Rs 100 crore for its development.

As Rs. 70 crore of this amount has already been released, the Tamil Nadu government has taken several measures to develop Tamil, including establishment of separate chairs for the language in different universities.

Taking a cue from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka too made claims for the classical tag to Telugu and Kannada. The two States, however, faced an uphill task because when they made the claim, the Union government enhanced the eligibility period of antiquity of languages from 1,000 to 1,500-2,000 years.

In the case of Telugu, the SOLC worked hard for several months to collect evidence to show that Telugu, indeed, enjoyed a literary history of over 2,000 years.

It delved into records and took photographs of several edicts as historical evidence and submitted the claim before the seven-member “Linguists’ Committee” of the Ministry of Culture.

The committee which has two Telugu experts as members -- Bh. Krishnamurthy, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Hyderabad, and K. V. Subba Rao of Delhi University -- first deferred its decision but finally had to yield, going by the list of evidences which included Bhattiprolu, Addanki and Dhannajaya edicts and ancient coins of Kotilingala and Singavaram.

YSR happy

Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy said Telugu was the sweetest and the best among the languages and expressed happiness that it had finally secured what was due to it a day before the State Formation Day. He thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union Minister of Culture Ambika Soni for the decision.

A.B.K. Prasad, chairman, SOLC, who rushed to the Chief Minister soon after the announcement in New Delhi, said Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka too would get a grant of Rs 100 crore each to develop their respective languages.

‘Ultimate victory’

TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu described the classical status accorded to Telugu as the ultimate victory of Telugu people.

APCC president D. Srinivas hailed the decision, thanking the Prime Minister and the UPA chairperson for the gesture.

State CPI (M) secretary B.V. Raghavulu also welcomed the decision.

Political parties and literary organisations, including Lok Satta and Telangana Rachaithala Vedika, also welcomed the Centre’s decision.

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