Jan. 15, 2020

At the recently concluded 93rd edition of the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, a resolution was passed demanding the declaration of Marathi as a ‘Classical’ language.


  • Currently, six languages enjoy the ‘Classical’ status: Tamil (declared in 2004), Sanskrit (2005), Kannada (2008), Telugu (2008), Malayalam (2013), and Odia (2014).

  • The guidelines for declaring a language as ‘Classical’ are:
    • High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years;

    • A body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers;

    • The literary tradition be original and not borrowed from another speech community;

    • The classical language and literature being distinct from modern, there may also be a discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or its offshoots.

  • Benefits provided once a language is notified as a Classical language:
    • Two major annual international awards for scholars of eminence in classical Indian languages.

    • A Centre of Excellence for studies in Classical Languages is set up.

    • The University Grants Commission (UGC) is requested to create, to start with at least in the Central Universities, a certain number of Professional Chairs for the Classical Languages so declared.