Madhika language

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In the remote colony of Kookanam, near Karivellur grama panchayat in Kerala, the Chakaliya community is grappling with the imminent loss of its unique language Madhika.

About Madhika language

  • It is a language spoken by the Chakaliya community.
  • It does not have a script.
  • Despite sounding similar to Kannada it can still bewilder listeners due to its diverse influences.
  • It is a blend of Telugu, Tulu, Kannada, and Malayalam.
  • It is largely influenced by Havyaka Kannada, an old form of Kannada.
  • It is fast becoming extinct with the younger generation opting for Malayalam.

Key facts about Chakaliya community

  • The community was nomadic and worshippers of Thiruvenkatramana and Mariamma.
  • They migrated to northern Malabar from the hilly regions of Karnataka centuries ago.
  • Initially they were recognised as Scheduled Tribe, but were later included in the Scheduled Caste category in Kerala.
  • The mention of the community can be found in the book Caste and Tribes of Southern India. 

Government of India’s Initiative to preserve languages

  • The Government of India has initiated a Scheme known as “Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India” (SPPEL). 
  • Under this Scheme, the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore works on protection, preservation and documentation of all the mother tongues/languages of India spoken by less than 10,000 people which are called endangered languages.

Q1) What is the role of the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL)?

 It is a subordinate office of the Ministry of Education, was set up in 1969 to help in evolving and implementing the language policy of Government of India and to coordinate the development of Indian Languages by conducting research in the areas of language analysis, language pedagogy, language technology and language use in the society. 

Source: With just two speakers, a language in Kannur is on the brink