Updated: February 27, 2021 1:43:02 am
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday criticised the Centre for its failure to grant Marathi language the ‘classical’ status.
Thackeray, who was speaking at the inauguration of a seminar on Marathi language a day before Marathi Language Day, said that the state government has been attempting to get classical language status for Marathi, but the matter has been pending before a committee of the Union government for the past several years.
Currently, only six languages enjoy the classical status: Tamil (declared in 2004), Sanskrit (2005), Kannada (2008), Telugu (2008), Malayalam (2013) and Odia (2014). The Human Resource and Development Ministry, in its reply to a starred question in the Lok Sabha in July 2014, said that the benefits it provides once a language is notified as ‘classical’ include two major annual international awards for scholars of eminence in the languages and the setting up of a Centre of Excellence for studies in the languages.
The University Grants Commission was also requested “to create, to start with at least in the Central Universities, a certain number of Professional Chairs for the Classical Languages so declared.” “Those who are not granting classical language status to Marathi should be told that it is the language of Maharashtra and that of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. You are sitting on the throne in Delhi because of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. This one thing is enough to make Marathi a classical language,” said Thackeray.
“Efforts will be made to ensure that Marathi language gets the status of a classical language by the next Marathi Language Day,” Thackeray added.
The seminar was jointly organised by the state legislature secretariat and the Marathi language department. It was attended by Legislative Council Chairman Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar, Deputy Chairman of Legislative Council Neelam Gorhe and Deputy Speaker of Legislative Assembly Narhari Zirwal, among others.
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