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Madhika Language and Chakaliya Community

Context:

In the remote colony of Kookanam, near Karivellur grama panchayat in Kerala, the Chakaliya community is grappling with the imminent loss of its unique language Madhika.

Relevance:

Facts for Prelims

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Madhika Language and Chakaliya Community
  2. Government Initiative to Preserve Languages

Madhika Language and Chakaliya Community

Madhika Language:
  • Spoken by Chakaliya Community: Madhika is a language spoken by the Chakaliya community, known for its unique linguistic characteristics.
  • Script Absence: This language lacks a script, making it distinct from many other languages.
  • Diverse Influences: Despite sounding similar to Kannada, Madhika can be perplexing due to its diverse influences. It is a linguistic blend incorporating Telugu, Tulu, Kannada, Malayalam, and is notably influenced by Havyaka Kannada, an ancient form of Kannada.
  • Endangerment: Madhika is facing the risk of extinction as younger generations are increasingly opting for Malayalam, contributing to the decline of this unique linguistic heritage.
Chakaliya Community:
  • Nomadic Origin: The Chakaliya community, initially nomadic, migrated from the hilly regions of Karnataka to northern Malabar centuries ago.
  • Religious Practices: Traditionally worshippers of Thiruvenkatramana and Mariamma, the community’s religious practices are integral to its identity.
  • Socio-Economic Classification: Initially recognized as a Scheduled Tribe, the community was later included in the Scheduled Caste category in Kerala.

Government Initiative to Preserve Languages:

  • Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India (SPPEL): The Government of India has launched the SPPEL to protect, preserve, and document endangered languages spoken by less than 10,000 people.
  • Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL): CIIL, located in Mysore, works on the protection and preservation of endangered languages, contributing to the documentation of India’s linguistic diversity.

-Source: The Hindu


March 2024
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