Languages and Eighth Schedule

[op-ed snap]A case for inclusion of Tulu language in the Eighth Schedule.


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Tulu language and its region in India.

Mains level: Paper 2-Official languages of the union and the states.


With numerous languages in the country, placing all deserving languages on an equal footing will promote social inclusion and national solidarity.

Figures and facts

  • According to the 2001 Census, India has 30 languages that are spoken by more than a million people each.
  • It also has 122 languages that are spoken by at least 10,000 people each.
  • It also has 1,599 languages, most of which are dialects.
  • These are restricted to specific regions and many of them are on the verge of extinction.
  • Article 29 provides every citizens of India with a distinct culture, language, and script, the right to conserve the same.
  • It is the responsibility of both the state and the citizens of this distinct language, script or culture to preserve the same.

Eighth schedule and Tulu language

  • Sanskrit has 24,821 speakers and it is in the Eighth Schedule according to the 2011 Census.
  • However, many languages with sizeable speakers are not in the schedule.
  • Bhili/Bhilodi has 1,04,13,637 speakers. Garo has 11,45,323 speakers, Ho has 14,31,344 speakers.
  • Tulu is a Dravidian language whose speakers are concentrated in two coastal districts of Karnataka and in Kasaragod district of Kerala.
  • The Tulu language speakers are larger in numbers than Sanskrit and Manipuri which included in the Eighth Schedule.
  • The cities of Mangaluru, Udupi, and Kasaragod are the epicenter of Tulu culture.

What are the benefits of being on the Eighth Schedule

  • Tulu would get recognition from Sahitya Academy.
  • The book in Tulu would get translated into other recognised Indian languages.
  • The MP’s and MLA’s could speak in Tulu in the Parliament and Assemblies.
  • Candidates could write all-India competitive examination like the Civil Services exam in Tulu.

Yuelu Proclamation

  • It was made by UNESCO at Changsha, The People’s Republic of China, in 2018.
  • It says the protection and promotion of linguistic diversity help to improve social inclusion and partnerships.
  • It helps reduce the gender and social inequality between different native speakers.
  • It guarantee the rights for native speakers of endangered, minority, indigenous languages, as well as non-official languages and dialects to receive education, enhance the social inclusion level and social decision-making ability by encouraging them to participate in a series of actions to promote cultural diversity, endangered language protection, and the protection of intangible cultural heritage.


  • Tulu, along with other deserving languages, should 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.

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