(Last Updated on : 12/11/2014)
Indian languages is perhaps one such subject that will only be comprehended in the intellect and too symbolically. Languages in India have existed ever since man first decided to communicate with the word of mouth instead of just hand signs. Languages of India is an identifiable mark of the whole Indian culture and tradition. India is a multi-linguistic country where myriads of men from varied castes, creed and origin reside and practice multiple religious norms and rituals. Origin of Indian languages
can be traced to those times in pre-Christian era when Old and Middle Indo-Aryan languages had first begun to exhibit marks of betterment. India bestows respect upon all the languages and dialects spoken by its gargantuan population.
Indian languages primarily belong to two major lingual families: Indo-European and Dravidian. This very subtle, yet recognisable feature is the underlying element of linguistic history of India
, which speaks about the evolvement of ancient Indian linguistics and involvement of overseas influence. A branch of Indo-European family, Indo-Aryan language is spoken by approximately 74 percent of the population, while Dravidian language is spoken by almost 24 percent. As with other instances in ancient Indian history, the history and development of languages in India is also dedicated to several centuries, which is also witnessing innovativeness even in contemporary ages. The Indo-Aryan languages during its erstwhile period, had first traced signallings in speech and communication with the Indian ancient languages
comprising Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit. Such has been the impact and impression upon humanity that these ancient Indian classical languages
have been successful to even stir scholars from abroad.
Other widely-spoken languages in India are principally derived from the Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman linguistic families. About four hundred and fifteen languages are employed as mother tongues of the Indian populace. A noticeable factor about Indian language variety is that, it does not possess one single official language and instead, each state has its individual one, in addition to the official languages employed by the Central Government. Indian official languages
are thus yet another factor that redefines diversity and assortment with an all-inclusive distinctiveness. The Constitution of India acknowledges 22 languages spoken in different parts the country, namely Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Meitei, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Hindi is one of the most important languages of India; it has acquired the status of being the official language of the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand (previously popular as Uttaranchal), Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana. In the capital city of New Delhi, Hindi too is used for official and red-tape procedures.
Indian languages, as can be seen and realised, is not just that phase, which can be simplified and summarised in one single document. The umpteen Indian creed, caste, class or society calls for additional attention towards the regional development of languages, scripts and eventually literature. Indian regional languages
have too gained official status and worldwide respect owing to its remarkable uncommonness and admirability in elucidation. Bengali is the official language of the state of West Bengal. It is also widely spoken by populace residing in various states of India, namely, Tripura, Cachar District of southern Assam, Tripura and Jharkhand. Inhabitants of the Indian union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands also converse in Bengali.
Telugu is mainly spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh and has Telugu as its official language. Besides, other states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Orissa also speak Telugu. Just like other languages of India, like Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi or Hindi, Telugu usually also falls into the category of pure language or 'Shuddha Bhaasha'.
Marathi functions as an official language of the state of Maharashtra. The Constitution of India discerns Marathi as one of India's twenty-two official languages.
Marathi considerably influences Dakhini and Hyderabadi Urdu spoken in Hyderabad and substantial section of people in the Deccan region. Marathi language in fact modifies the grammar of Hyderabadi Urdu. Among various languages in India, Tamil has been conferred with the prestige of being the official language of Tamil Nadu. In the union territories of Puducherry (previously popular as Pondicherry) also, Tamil is one of the official languages. Besides such overwhelming information dedicated to Indian sophisticated languages, there also exists the aboriginal Indian tribal languages
, enriched with their clannish facets and aspects. Some of the languages belonging to the tribal category comprise: Bhili, Gondi, Lamani, Aariya and Ahom.
Urdu is one of the most enriched languages of India, widely-spoken mainly among the Muslim populace of the Indian subcontinent. Urdu is also one of the formally accepted state languages in India. It has gained access and admiration in various states of India, including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh and the national capital, New Delhi. The exhilarating fact that can be shared here is that, each of these ancient or comparatively modern languages people speak or is aware of, possess original and initial scripts, perhaps penned down by mystics and legendary saints. Some of the ancient Indian scripts include: Indus script, Brahmi script, Kharosthi script and Gupta script.
Languages in India are numerous and exuberant, which is absolutely not an overstatement. Not only they have gained popularity among Indian populace, these are also revered worldwide for its dynamism and adaptability.