Wednesday, 1 August 2012

India’s Top 6 Bilingual Minority Speakers; Bishnupriya Manipuri is 6th in India and 2nd in NE India


News and Views
RK Rishikesh Sinha

Bishnupriya Manipuri language speakers hold the sixth position in India and second in Northeast India after Deori language speakers to know two or more languages. In a list of 96 non-scheduled languages of India, Coorgi / Kodagu language speakers top the list with 86.46 per cent knowing two or more languages. This was stated in a paper published byParis-based Evalautions and Language resources Distribution Agency (ELDA) on the basis of 1991 census.

If you are not able be see the below table, click India Top 6 Bilingual Minority Speakers


Coorgi / Kodagu Speakers

According to 2001 Census of India, Coorgi / Kodagu Speakers are mostly concentrated in Karnataka with 164,403 persons. They top the list knowing two or more languages.

Tulu language Speakers

With native state Karnataka, Tulu speakers are in sizable population in Karnataka (1,495,273 persons, 2001 Census),   Kerala (122,995), and Maharashtra (99,729). 68.89 per cent of Tulu speakers know two or more languages.

Deori language Speakers

Mostly concentrated in Assam (23,366 persons; 2001 Census) and Arunachal Pradesh (4,504 persons; 2001 census), Deori language speakers (68.83) top the list in Northeast to know two or more languages.

Sherpa Language Speakers

According to 2001 Census, 13,922 Sherpas are in Sikkim. Out of 16,105 (1991 Census) Sherpas, 10,979 know two or more languages.

Lahauli Language Speakers

The 2001 Census depicts 20,339 persons of Lahauli language in Himachal Pradesh. 67.85 per cent of persons have command over two or more languages.

Bishnupriya Manipuri Language Speakers

Mostly concentrated in Assam and Tripura, Bishnupriya Manipuri language speakers know two or more languages. The 2001 Census of India states there are 53,812 Bishnupriya Manipuri persons in Assam and 21,716 persons in Tripura. However, the apex body of the community, the Mahasabha puts the figure 2.95 lakh in Assam alone. 

In the Indian scenario, there has been paradigm shift unlike the 19th and the 20th century where multilingualism was taken as a ‘problem’; however in the 21st century the multilingual population is considered as an asset for language and social development, the paper states.


Links used: 

  1. http://www.elda.org/en/proj/scalla/SCALLA2004/mallikarjunv3.pdf
  2. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AsndGRRg5LsHdEZoUlB1S1F5MW04a2lHRGJIRXFRVkE&single=true&gid=0&output=html
  3. http://bishnupriyamanipuri.blogspot.in/2009/07/mahasabha-census-indicates-416-lakh.html
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