Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 23: Malayalam is all set to get the status of a classical Indian language, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said Saturday.
“Earlier, authorities did not hear our arguments properly. But when we presented our case with all documents, their stance changed and now it’s just a matter of time before Malayalam is granted the classical language status,” said Chandy at a public meeting in Alappuzha, some 150 km from here.
Union Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari also announced that the ministry has decided to grant the classical language status to Malayalam.
“The procedures are over and the proposal of the ministry has been sent to the union cabinet,” the minister said in the national capital Saturday.
Academics, writers and researchers have long been demanding that Malayalam be included in the classical language category.
Jnanpith awardee O.N.V. Kurup said: “It’s just a matter of time when the world will accept Malayalam language.”
In 2010, Kurup had submitted a detailed report to the then Left government in Kerala, which argued that Malayalam met all criteria set for a classical language.
Spoken by over 30 million people, Malayalam is the only major language in south India that has not been classified as the classical language.
Belonging to the family of Dravidian languages, Malayalam has a rich heritage of more than 2,300 years. The benchmark set for granting classical language status to Indian languages is 1,500-2,000 years.