Vying for adding the land’s languages to the list of official languages, numbering 22 as of now and according classical status, eight having already emerged, seems to have taken back seat currently in the circles of both pundits and activists in different regions of the country. There is no guarantee that the craving for both causes will not happen again in near future or subsequently. Protagonists of tribal lingo, numerically considerable, have joined the bandwagon of different sections in the population glorifying their respective tongues, the sore point being unwarranted claims of antiquity for them, as it happened in case of two languages of the southern region not too long ago, with Sanskrit left unchallenged. The richness of the country’s spoken languages and dialects, however, is gracefully accepted unanimously in all circles, informed or otherwise.
The royalty of erstwhile Princely State of Mysore is credited with not only extending support but also patronising many languages that flourished in the State, no language overstepping on the toes of another language, without fetters to learn, speak, write, communicate, carry on trade and even administration in an unquestioned amiable ambience.
The scale and enrichment of literature in different languages, including Kannada, owes it in no small measure to the work of translating literary works from any one of the languages to many others, once again thanks to the patronage showered by royalty of the then Mysore State. Come freedom from colonial rule and division of the country into boundaries based on language spoken by the people therein, the grand romance of languages got sullied in a manner that doesn’t see the flock causing that decline in love of languages in good light. The rude change in the attitude to learning and using many languages both to produce literary works and communicate in public domain has its consequences which don’t need elaboration. In short, it is disintegration of the nation of multiple tongues.
The stand taken by self-declared bhaasha pundits that teaching children in language other than their so-called mother-tongue is burdensome amounts to not only belittling the capacity of children but also highlighting the incapacity of teachers. Let those pundits meet the polyglots who are the best ambassadors of the land’s tongues, and welcome everywhere.