Published on: October 30, 2022

Tulu, Kodava languages in Kannada Bill

Tulu, Kodava languages in Kannada Bill

Why in news?

Sections among Tulu and Kodava speakers in Karnataka have demanded priority for their languages too in the draft of the Kannada Language Comprehensive Development Bill, 2022.


  • It aims to ensure the “extensive use and propagation” of Kannada in the State.
  • They have sought that various dialects spoken within Karnataka should get protection under the ambit of the Bill
  • The Bill seeks to provide reservation to Kannadigas in higher education, link incentives to industries with jobs for locals and give primacy to the Kannada language
  • Several sections say the Bill is unconstitutional and poses a threat to minority languages.
  • The Bill only gives importance to Kannada and to use English for administrative purposes like communication with the Union government or in courts etc., but there is no mention of Kodava and Tulu. This will further increase the fear among the native speakers about the language vanishing
  • Both Dravidian languages, Kodava is spoken in Kodagu district while Tulu speakers are concentrated in two coastal districts of Karnataka and Kerala’s Kasaragod district

Administrative languages

  • According to State Reorganization Act, 1956, Kodava and Tulu languages were used as part of the administration in their respective districts.
  • “Karnataka as a heterogeneous State should have protected its subaltern languages and cultures in general, and Kodava, Tulu and Konkani in particular, in all spheres as per Articles 347, 350, 350A and 350 B under 7th Amendment to the Constitution with regard to State Reorganization Act, 1956.
  • But in contrast, the State government is preparing a Bill to legislate Kannada as the only language formula.
  • Tulu speakers are demanding to include Tulu in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, the State government has brought this Bill which will only harm Tulu and other minority languages spoken in the State.

What is 8th schedule to the Constitution of India?

  • The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India lists the official languages of the Republic of India.
  • The Government of India is now under an obligation to take measures for the development of these languages, such that “they grow rapidly in richness and become effective means of communicating modern knowledge.”
  • In addition, candidates sitting for an examination conducted for public service are entitled to use any of these languages as a medium to answer the paper
  • As per Articles 344(1) and 351 of the Indian Constitution, the eighth schedule includes the recognition of the following 22 languages

What are the Chronology

  • 1950: 14 were initially included in the Constitution.
  • 1967: Sindhi was added by 21st Constitutional Amendment Act
  • 1992: Konkani, Manipuri (Meitei) and Nepali were added by 71st Constitutional Amendment Act
  • 2003: Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santali were added by 92nd Constitutional Amendment Act.
  • 2011: The spelling Oriya was replaced by Odia by 96th Constitutional Amendment