Q. Consider the following:
1.High antiquity of early texts over 1500-2000 years
2.A body of ancient literature considered valuable heritage
3.The literary tradition must be original and not borrowed
4.The language must have at least 10 million native speakers
How many of the above are the criteria for recognizing a language as a classical language in India?

[A] Only one

[B] Only two

[C] Only three

[D] All four

Answer: C

Explanation – 1, 2 and 3 are the required criteria. Classical language status in India is a prestigious recognition granted by the government to languages with a rich historical and literary heritage. The Government of India has established specific criteria for a language to be considered classical. These are: High antiquity of early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years, A body of ancient literature/texts considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers, The literary tradition must be original and not borrowed from another speech community, the classical language and literature should be distinct from its modern forms. Currently, India officially recognizes six languages as classical: Tamil, Sanskrit, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Odia. However, consideration of Marathi language is underway. Languages designated as classical receive several benefits such as: Two major annual international awards for scholars of eminence in the language, Establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Studies in the Classical Language, etc.

Source: The Hindu