Expert committee recommends classical status for Odia

New Delhi: The linguistic committee under the Kendra Sahitya Akademi on Tuesday recommended the Union Culture Ministry to accord classical status to Odia language.

Renowned linguist Debi Prasanna Pattanayak, who headed an 11-member committee that recently prepared a report for submission to the Centre demanding classical status for Odia, after a meeting with the linguistic committee said that the latter has expressed satisfaction over the report.

“The committee after going through the report stated that the claims made for classical status to Odia language are the best ever documentation they come across in such cases. It too lauded all the parameters the language meets for the status and confirmed about recommending the Union Culture Ministry to grant classical status to Odia.”

The final nod will however come from the Union Cabinet after verifying the claims, he added.

Professor Prakash Chandra Pattnaik who accompanied Debi Prasanna noted that the committee was very much satisfied to see the literary tradition of Odia language, its high antiquity of early texts, recorded history over a period of 1500 to 2000 years and the literature being distinct from modern.

If crowned classical, Odia language will be the sixth to feature in the elite list which already has Sanskrit and four Dravidian languages—Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam as its members. Tamil was the first language to be crowned classical, while Malayalam received the honour earlier this year.

The report, presented before the committee has chronicled minute details of Odia’s pre-historic traditions, culture and maritime tradition, script, origin and development of literature. Historically, Odia literature is linked to all these features with its strong socio-religious role and evolution as a language used by a community expert in maritime trade sometime around the 3rd century BC.