Debating Aspiration Indian Languages (DIAL-2018)
Centre for Endangered Languages, Visva-Bharati, organised a 3 day National Seminar on Debating Indian Aspirational Languages (DIAL-2018) during 9-11th September at Bhasa Bhavana Building, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan. This seminar was an interdisciplinary academic gathering, where experts from not only several special branches of linguistics but also from social science, media, literature, economics, theatre, computer science etc. have participated and expressed their views on challenges of marginal linguistic survival in the country.
The audience witnessed many intensifying lectures, presentations, research works and participated in a healthy debating environment on the various themes of the seminar. The scenario of many marginal languages including Kurukh, Khorta, Kora, Kheza, Santhali, Toto, Bodo, Kurmali, Ho and Bhutia were discussed during the seminar. The context of debate and discussion was under themes of phonetics, lexicons, script, grammar including issues of ethnicity, technology, font, corpus and social & economical challenges of marginal languages. The territorial distribution of such languages was also mentioned. Some essential measures were preached in order to preserve and document these languages from exhaustion from the linguistic-socio-cultural scene of India.
DIAL-2018 was focused on establishing academics of marginal languages and culture, hence more than 70 papers were presented and some theme and presiding lectures were also delivered by various experts of the domain. There were more than 140 academicians, journalists, social activists, creative writers, folk literature experts and young researchers from every corner of India, participating in the main academic sessions of the seminar. Some of the creative writers who write in these languages have shared their views and experiences. It also included cultural narration of marginal linguistic communities through one special panel discussion on folk literature & song. There was also a cultural event organised in the night to explore ethnic forms of dance and song. Two books based on seminar papers were also released in the inaugural session of the event.
The main challenge for endangered languages is to sensitise the society and to popularise the real issues and aspirations of the communities, in this sense DIAL-2018 was a fruitful event, where these issues were discussed thoroughly. There was wide media coverage through newspapers, magazines, electronic media and web journals etc. Thus DIAL-2018 has created a fresh awareness for marginal languages and cultures in the society and among intellectuals of the country.