In News: There are demands for Tulu, along with other deserving languages, to be included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution in order to substantially materialise the promise of equality of status and opportunity mentioned in the Preamble.

About Tulu language

  • Tulu is a Dravidian language whose speakers are concentrated in two coastal districts of Karnataka and in Kasaragod district of Kerala. 
  • Kasaragod district is called ‘Sapta bhasha Sangama Bhumi (the confluence of seven languages)’, and Tulu is among the seven. 

A case for Tulu to be included in the Eighth schedule

  • The Census reports 18,46,427 native speakers of Tulu in India. 
  • The Tulu-speaking people are larger in number than speakers of Manipuri and Sanskrit, which have the Eighth Schedule status. 
  • Robert Caldwell (1814-1891), in his book, A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian Family of Languages, called Tulu as “one of the most highly developed languages of the Dravidian family”.
  • The Yuelu Proclamation, made by UNESCO at Changsha, The People’s Republic of China, in 2018, says that the protection and promotion of linguistic diversity helps to improve social inclusion and partnerships.

Advantages of being included in the Eighth Schedule

  • Tulu would get recognition from the Sahitya Akademi
  • Tulu books would be translated into other recognised Indian languages
  • Members of Parliament and MLAs could speak in Tulu in Parliament and State Assemblies, respectively. 
  • Candidates could write all-India competitive examinations like the Civil Services exam in Tulu.
  • Placing of all the deserving languages on equal footing will promote social inclusion and national solidarity. It will reduce inequalities within the country to a great extent.

India has a lot to learn from the Yuelu Proclamation. Placing all the deserving languages on an equal footing will promote social inclusion and national solidarity.

  • Constitutional provisions relating to Eighth Schedule: The Constitutional provisions relating to the Eighth Schedule occur in article 344(1) and 351 of the Constitution.
  • The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution consists of the following 22 languages:- (1) Assamese, (2) Bengali, (3) Gujarati, (4) Hindi, (5) Kannada, (6) Kashmiri, (7) Konkani, (8) Malayalam, (9) Manipuri, (10) Marathi, (11) Nepali, (12) Oriya, (13) Punjabi, (14) Sanskrit, (15) Sindhi, (16) Tamil, (17) Telugu, (18) Urdu (19) Bodo, (20) Santhali, (21) Maithili and (22) Dogri. 
  • Of these languages, 14 were initially included in the Constitution. Sindhi language was added in 1967. 
  • Thereafter three more languages viz., Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were included in 1992. Subsequently Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santhali were added in 2004.