Mapping the Languages of India with Ganesh Devy
Thursday, September 22, 2022 | 12:00 p.m.
India’s constitution lists 22 languages. There are another 100 considered “major” languages, spoken by at least 10,000 people. But literary scholar and cultural activist Ganesh Devy knew there were hundreds more. When he first set out to identify and document them 40 years ago, he wasn’t sure what he would find. To date, his People’s Linguistic Survey of India has identified 780 languages, with many hundreds yet to be recorded. The work is urgent; many languages have already been lost and the clock is ticking on countless others. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pursuing a Hindu-first vision for India, which promises to force more speakers of endangered languages to communicate in Hindi only. Join Ganesh Devy for a conversation about his research, his plans for the future, and what is lost when a language dies.