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Bharatiya Languages and their Literature

Bharat is a land of diversity. But in spite of this diversity there lies the eternal unity propounded by our Scriptures likes Vedas, Upanishads and our Rishis. A very notable example of diversity of our Bharat is various languages spoken by people in different parts of Bharat. For Example in Northern Parts of Bharat, Hindi is widely spoken, but in Southern parts there are languages such as Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu. Let us see the specialty of some of these languages.

Hindi is the national language of Bharat. It is widely Spoken in Northern states of Bharat like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajastan, Delhi, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Uttaranchal, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Hindi language is written in Devanagiri Script and is rich in literature and religious texts. Some of the well known texts written in Hindi are “Ramcharit manas” written by Tulsidas, ‘Nirmala’ and “Godan” by Premchand and poetry by Kabir and Mira-bai, etc.

Hindi is easy to learn and is derived from Sanskrit. And since it is also spoken by majority of people in Bharat, it is the national language of Bharat. Hindi has different dialects such as Bhojpuri, Avadhi, Marwari, Braj, etc.

Tamil is a language spoken by majority of people in South Bharat. It is the state language of Tamilnadu (a state in the southern part of Bharat) and one of the oldest languages of Bharat. Tamil, like Hindi is also very rich in literature and grammar. Tamil is also spoken in other countries like Srilanka, Mauritius, Singapore and Malaysia. In Malaysia too, Tamil is spoken by majority of people after Malay. One of the greatest literatures of Tamil is Thirukkural written by Tamil saint Thiruvallavur. The earliest literature in Tamil is the Sangam poetry - regarded by many Tamils as the voice of the Tamil in its origin. Tamil is written in the vaTTezuttu script. 


Gujarati is another Bharatiya language spoken mainly in the state of Gujarat. Gujarati speakers also reside in many other countries, principally Pakistan, Singapore, Kenya, Fiji, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. The Gujarati Script was adapted from Devanagari Script. The earliest known document in the Gujarati Script is a manuscript dating from 1592 and the Script first appeared in print in 1797. There were many poets in Gujarat who enriched the Gujarati language with their excellent literary works. Notable among them is Narsingh Mehta.

Bengali language is a spoken widely in the eastern state of Bharat called West Bengal. Bengali is the national language of Bangladesh which once was a part of Bharat before 1947. Several famous poets like Rabindranath Tagore, Ishwar Chandra Gupta and Sukumar Roy, are from Bengal. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, a famous Bengali writer wrote ‘Vande Mataram’ which has inspired millions of Bharatiyas during the freedom struggle and even after that. ‘Vande mataram’ is actually extracted from his Bengali literary work called “Aanand math”. Bengali is written in the alphasyllabary (also called syllabic alphabet or abugida), a Brahmi Script similar to the Devanagari alphasyllabary used for Sanskrit and many Bharatiya languages.

Marathi is another prominent Bharatiya language widely spoken in the state of Maharashtra. Marathi is said to be a descendent of Maharashtri which was the Prakrit spoken by people residing in the region of Maharashtra. The Script used in Marathi is called ‘balbodh’ which is a modified version of Devnaagari Script. There are approximately ninety million speakers of Marathi in the Maharashtra state. Marathi’s grammar and syntax is primarily based on Sanskrit. Marathi is alternatively spelt “Maharathi” in English. Marathi literature started with religious writings by the saint-poets belonging to Mahanubhava and Warkari sects. Mahanubhava saints used prose as their main medium, while Warkari saints preferred poetry as the medium. Social reformers like saint-poet Tukaram transformed Marathi into an enriched literary language. Sant Ramdas’s Dasabodh and Manache Shlok are famous literary works of Marathi. 

There are several other languages which are prominent in Bharat and rich in literature. Try to find more information about them. 

In spite of all these diversities, most of the Bharatiya languages are derived from the ancient language Sanskrit, which can be considered as world’s oldest and rich language in terms of Grammar, Vocabulary and all other aspects.

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