Fate of Regional Languages

The other day I was looking for a Kannada novel on Flipkart, that a thought crossed my mind. How long will the regional languages continue to flourish? I’m primarily concerned about literature. It may well be another 100 years, that the regional literature would rather be confined to studies and research and not a source of entertainment.

It might look a little controversial to say this, but a few moments of rational ponder would tell you the same thing. Let alone be cities like Bangalore, even smaller towns like the place I am from are already diverging from the core study of their mother-tongue. Karnataka Government has already introduced English from class 1 in all government schools. (I wrote my first English word only in 5th standard!) Well, the trends are changing and it clearly is a necessary step, but what concerns me is the future of many other regional languages like my own Kannada. It’s ironical even I’m writing right now in some language else, but the point is not about not embracing other languages. It is about preserving our own.

I don’t see how any of this can change what is happening, but we certainly can delay the end. Our education system, media, and film industry have a big big role to play in this. Based on how they go about their business, the fates of the regional languages stand. I hope they would catch up the call and wake up!

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