Why is Bengali not in the list of classical languages of India?

At present there are 6 languages which are marked as classical language in India.

  • Tamil (declared in 2004)

  • Sanskrit (2005)

  • Kannada (2008)

  • Telugu (2008)

  • Malayalam (2013)

  • Oriya (or Odia) (2014)

The reason why Bengali is not in this list is - Bengali has been derived from Magadhi-Apabhransha which is again derived from Sansrit-Prakrit. Unlike the classic languages which predates bengali and are more of a direct language.

According to information provided by the Ministry of Culture in the Rajya Sabha in February 2014, the guidelines for declaring a language as ‘Classical’ are:

“(i) High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years;

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

(iii) The literary tradition be original and not borrowed from another speech community;

(iv) 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.”

Bengali does not satisfy all the criteria mentioned above.


Credit : Quora

Picture Credit : Google


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