• Proposal for granting classical status is pending before Centre since 2013.
• It Is believed that Marathi language is as old as 2000 years and include Gatha Saptasathi, a collection of poems written during Satavahana Dynasty.
• Samaradityachi Katha (1200-year-old novel) by Hari Bhadra too establishes the origins of the Marathi.
• Currently, 6 languages enjoy the Classical status: Tamil (declared in 2004), Sanskrit (2005), Kannada (2008), Telugu (2008), Malayalam (2013), and Odia (2014).
As per Ministry of Culture, the guidelines for declaring a language as Classical are:
• High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years;
• Body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers;
• Literary tradition be original and not borrowed from another speech community;
• Classical language and literature being distinct from modern.
Benefits accrued to a classical language are:
• Two major annual international awards for scholars of eminence in classical Indian languages are given.
• Centre of Excellence for studies in Classical Languages is set up.
• University Grant Commission (UGC) awards research projects for promoting these languages and create a certain number of Professional Chairs for the Classical Languages in the Central Universities.
Mains Paper 1: Art and Culture
Prelims level: Grant classical status
Mains level: Benefits accrued to a classical language