31 October, 2020

An Epic Narrative

Genetics, business, online learning—the New Linguistic Survey will have a huge impact

Srikanth Kolari
An Epic Narrative
India is on the threshold of a monumental project—one that will define us as a people with far greater insight than ever before. The New Linguistic Survey of India (NLSI), scheduled to take off in April 2007, is, in terms of operational imagination, as big as the census, but will be far more complex, nuanced and sensitive in content. Nowhere in the world has a project of this scale been conceived to track a nation's linguistic diversity. At the end of its 10-year cycle, the truth about the state of our languages will be out. It will be one of the most significant statements, in a century, on a prime identity-marker.

The results of the survey may unleash a new dynamics and could generate a new politics. Given the linguistic reorganistion of India after Independence, and the large-scale migrations since then, the new linguistic atlas of India is bound to throw up relevant questions about the boundaries we created 50 years ago. But Udaya Narayana Singh, director of the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) in Mysore and one of the...


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