Enlist Bengali as classical language in education policy: Adhir to PM

The new policy lists Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Odia, Pali, Persian, and Prakrit as classical languages which will be offered to students

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, in a letter to Modi, sought to know the attributes for a language to be included in the classical category

Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to enlist Bengali as a classical language in the Centre’s National Education Policy 2020.

Chowdhury, in a letter to Modi, sought to know the attributes for a language to be included in the classical category. “What are the attributes to be enumerated for enlisting a language in the pantheon of classical? While Bengali is the fifth most spoken language in the world, it has been bequeathed upon original literary tradition,” the Congress MP said.

Anthropological and archaeological evidence suggests that Bengali-speaking people are a conglomerate of several racial elements welded together by the Bengali language, he
said. “Therefore, I would urge upon to consider the Bengali language in the list of classical languages in New Education Policy of India after delving deep into the entire gamut of
qualification to determine the list of classical languages in the country,” he said in the letter on the occasion of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s 79th death anniversary on Friday.

The new policy lists Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Odia, Pali, Persian, and Prakrit as classical languages which will be offered to students in the three-language formula. In addition to Indian languages and English, foreign languages, such as Korean, Japanese, Thai, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian, will also be offered at the secondary level, for students to learn. However, Mandarin did not make the list of foreign languages offered.

The Union Cabinet had on July 29 approved the National Education Policy, 2020, replacing the 34-year old National Policy on Education (NPE).

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