Bengaluru is most linguistically diverse city in country: Study

The Karnataka capital’s linguistic richness could be attributed to its status as an IT hub, a thriving economy and culture of tolerance, attracting a diverse crowd from across the country for work, business and education

In Bengaluru, Kannada was listed as the mother tongue of 44.62 per cent of the city’s population. Pic: PTI

Bengaluru is the most linguistically diverse district in the country with 107 scheduled and non-scheduled languages being spoken here, reveals an analysis conducted recently on the basis of 2011 census data.

Pune comes second with over 100 languages spoken in the district, reported The Deccan Herald.

Bengaluru’s linguistic richness could be attributed to its status as an IT hub, a thriving economy and culture of tolerance, attracting a diverse crowd from across the country for work, business and education.

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The diversity study was the first step towards conducting a larger study on migration and population mobility for 10 years (2011 to 2021), said Dr. Mudit Kapoor, an Associate Professor of Economics at the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi, who put together the data.

“There are 121 scheduled and non-scheduled languages in India. We wanted to determine where these languages are spoken. We also wanted to see where people are moving to,” Dr Kapoor told The Deccan Herald.

In Bengaluru, also called a mini-metro, Kannada is still the most dominant language with over 44 per cent population speaking the language. Other scheduled languages popular in the Karnataka capital are Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Maithili, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Urdu, Konkani, Santali, Manipuri and Nepali.

The non-scheduled languages include English, Kabuli, Pashto, Tibetan, Arabic, Nishi, Mundari, Lushai, Nicobarese, Sherpa, languages from Nagaland among others.

Also read: Travelling to Bengaluru? Then you must keep things handy

“What makes Bengaluru stand out is that the data clearly shows that much of the country is not linguistically or culturally diverse. In the south alone, data shows that Kerala is not very diverse and neither is Tamil Nadu, barring Kanchipuram and Chennai,” Dr. Kapoor told The Deccan Herald.

Bengaluru has always been a city of migrants…starting from the time of Kempe Gowda, the Mysore rulers, to the British and as recent as the globalised Information Technology era. All these factors have contributed to the evolution of a multi-lingual, multi-community cosmopolitan centre, a place people find comfortable to live in.

It was once known as a retirement paradise, but the IT revolution 20 years back changed the city and brought infrastructural, economic and population growth, thus changing the city for ever.

Today, Bengaluru is undoubtedly one of the busiest cities in the country with people constantly moving in and out of the city. Development has brought an array of challenges like traffic jams, pollution and water crisis.

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