November 1, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Oct 31: The Centre took the State government by surprise when it announced classical language status for Telugu. This is because the State government had not done anything concrete to present its case before the Centre.
It was a batch of linguists and Telugu lovers who brought pressure on the Central government and presented enough documentary evidence to force it to declare Telugu as a classical language, alongside Sanskrit and Telugu. On the other hand, the Karnataka government as well as its opposition there played a key role in securing the rare honour for Kannada.
The Andhra Pradesh government simply washed its hands off the issue by passing a “unanimous resolution” in the State Assembly. Of course, it had set up a panel of experts to espouse the cause.
But the expert panel to collect data on Telugu language, tradition and culture did not include senior linguists, philologists and epigraphists.
The panel is loaded with officials and politicians who do not have any connection whatsoever with the epigraphy or history of Telugu. The government has initially also excluded the all-important AP Oriental Manuscripts Library and Research Institute which is a mine of literature on Telugu. The library has in its possession very rare documents including the works of first Telugu poet Nannayya.
The job before the panel was to collect scientific and historic data backed with evidence to build up the State government's case before the Centre for grant of classical language status to Telugu.
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