Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said on Monday that his government had constituted a special committee to prepare a proposal seeking ‘classical language’ status from the Centre for the Marathi language.
Chavan, who was replying to a debate on supplementary demands of the Marathi language department that he heads, said the committee consisted of experts like Arun Sadhu, Kumar Ketkar, Cecilia Carvallo, Dinkar Gangal, among others.
“We will consolidate a report made by this committee and also pass it through the language advisory committee as we want a strong proposal to back our demand, which will be made to the union culture ministry,” Chavan said.
He said the government would soon announce the new chairperson of the Marathi Language Advisory Committee in place of chairman Narendra Chapalgaokar, who resigned recently. The state proposal is also a bid to preempt the Opposition from getting political brownie points by raking up the cause of the Marathi language before the civic elections.
As Tamil was granted a classical language status by the Centre in 2004, there has been a clamour from various states seeking similar status for other regional languages. So far, Tamil, Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada have been accorded this tag.
The Centre has laid down certain conditions for according this status, which includes history or early texts of the language dating back to 1,500 to 2,000 years, a body of ancient literature considered valuable by a generation of speakers, etc.