Tulu, a Dravidian language from South Karnataka is less known across the country but is spoken by 2.5-3 million Indians, as per the latest census. Tulu speakers are mainly concentrated around the districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi in Karnataka and North Kasaragod in Kerala.
But sadly, Tulu hasn’t yet received its status as an official Indian language since it has been unable to achieve inclusion in India’s 8th schedule of the constitution.
Tulu has also been declared as an Endangered language by Unesco since the language is confined to home conversation only.
However, many commendable attempts are made time and again especially by well-known Indian celebrities like Aishwarya Rai, Suniel Shetty, Rohit Shetty (Movie Director), and Shilpa Shetty to raise awareness about the Tulu language and the Tuluvas of Karnataka.
What irked Tuluvas recently?
A few days ago, a very disturbing Google trend was doing the rounds of the Internet where a Google search of the ‘ugliest Indian language’ showed Kannada as the search result. Naturally, Kannadigas were upset and offended, and a backlash ensued which led to Google taking down the search result and issuing an apology.
But before it was too late, Kannadigas had once again united for a common cause – an outpouring of love for their mother tongue. It was quite heart-warming to see that Tulu-speaking people from Karnataka also supported the cause.
However, in a different incident that followed this one, a rogue Facebook user recently posted a comment where the regional flag of Tulunad was featured on ‘footwear’.
A well-known troll page ‘Kirik trolls’ highlighted this issue and united all Tuluvas against this derogatory comment.
Shockingly, this incident received no coverage or support from fellow Kannadigas and was apparently too offensive for the Tulu-speaking population of coastal Karnataka. Hence, a Twitter campaign (#TuluOfficialinKA_KL) is on its way to storm social media and is set to bring Tuluvas together to fight for their language.
Namaste,Entire Tulunadu is preparing for #TuluOfficialinKA_KL .We need support from all Nationalists and Sanathanis for the tweet campaign on 13th june for the recognition and survival of this ancient language. If Tulu language survives then Tulu culture survives then  pic.twitter.com/ITo6iykL4D— Ajayendra Ballal (@AjayendraBallal) June 11, 2021
A brief gist about ‘Tulunad’
Tulunadu, the region comprising of the Tulu-speaking districts of Karnataka and Kerala has a very unique and rich heritage of spirit worship(Daiva Aradhane), delicious food, and sport like its famous ‘cock fight’ (kori katta), the ‘Pilivesha’ tiger dances, and the ‘Kambala’ bull races.
If you haven’t heard of it, recently, a ‘Kambala’ racer broke Usain Bolt’s Guinness World Record which was splashed across national news.
I’ll call Karnataka’s Srinivasa Gowda for trials by top SAI Coaches. There’s lack of knowledge in masses about the standards of Olympics especially in athletics where ultimate human strength & endurance are surpassed. I’ll ensure that no talents in India is left out untested. https://t.co/ohCLQ1YNK0— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) February 15, 2020
8th Schedule Recognition for Tulu Language and its Benefits
Inclusion for the Tulu language in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution is important because it offers a number of benefits. In fact, previous attempts to obtain inclusion have failed. Here are all the benefits awaiting Tulu from 8th schedule inclusion:
- Tulu will be recognized as one of the official languages of Karnataka.
- It will obtain recognition from the ‘Sahitya Academy’.
- Tulu books will be translated into Indian regional languages.
- MPs and MLAs elected to Parliament will be able to speak in Tulu at state assemblies.
- Indian competitive examinations like IAS can be attempted by candidates in Tulu.
Nationwide acceptance for the Tulu language is long overdue since Tulu-speaking people are hearty, lively, and good people who deserve their beloved mother tongue to be featured and recognized at the national level. It’s extremely sad that the Tulu script is almost extinct and needs to be revived before it is permanently lost to the future generations.
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