Kolkata, Jan 14 (SocialNews.XYZ) The West Bengal government will appeal to the Centre for granting 'classical language' status to Bengali, state Education Minister Bratya Basu said on Saturday.
However, instead of directly appealing to the Union government, the application will be forwarded through the Institute of Language Studies and Research (ILSR) in Kolkata, which comes under the state's Department of Higher Education.
According to Basu, Bengali is yet to receive the status of classical language, although the same has been accorded to other Indian languages such as Tamil and Malayalam.
"It is high time that Bengali gets the classical language status. A formal application will be moved on this count to the Union government. We are hopeful of a positive development," the minister said.
According to Basu, Bengali is one of the oldest and richest languages, the proof of which is evident in different forms of art, culture and literature.
"The ILSR has been working for the last few months to prepare the contents of the formal application, which will be sent to the Union Ministry of Culture shortly. I hope that there will not be any politics on the issue, unless the Union government has special reservations about Bengal and Bengalis," Basu said.
At present, only six Indian languages -- Sanskrit, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada and Odia -- have got the classical language status. Tamil was the first Indian language to be accorded the status in 2004, while Odia was the latest to get it in 2014.
The demand for granting classical language status to Bengali was first raised by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in September 2020 on the occasion of Hindi Divas.
According to a pro-Bengali activist and city-based physician Arindam Biswas, the status of classical language to Bengali should have been granted a long time back.
"I hope that the Centre does not unnecessarily delay the process now," he said.