Language Scripts

Sanskrit as a medium for Tamilians to integrate into national mainstream

Sanskrit and Tamil are one of the earliest languages and have survived and evolved through centuries. Over centuries scripts of both these languages have undergone transformations like Prakrit, Brahmi, Tamil Brahmi, Devanagari, Grantha, Vattezhuthu, Tamil etc., and over the past two centuries, Sanskrit language has adopted Devanagari and Tamil language the Tamil Scripts.

In India, Devanagari scripts are used predominantly in North India and in South India, also referred as Dravidian areas, Brahmi Scripts are used for representing Telugu and Kannada Languages and Tamil and Grantha scripts for Tamil and Malayalam languages respectively.

Language wise Statistics        

The language wise statistics of Indian population as per 2001 census is as under:

Language Proficiency % Root Language
(in lakhs)
Hindi 422 41.00 Sanskrit
Bengali 83 8.10 Sanskrit
Telugu 74 7.20 Sanskrit
Marati 72 7.00 Sanskrit
Tamil 61 5.90 Tamil
Urdu 52 5.00 Arabic-Persian
Gujarati 46 4.50 Sanskrit
Kannada 38 3.70 Sanskrit
Oriya 33 3.20 Sanskrit
Malayalam 33 3.20 Tamil & Sanskrit
Punjabi 29 2.80 Sanskrit
Assami 13 1.30 Sanskrit
Others 72 7.10 Others
Total 1028 100.00

The above has been categorized below based on its Root Language.

Root Language          Proficiency %
         (in lakhs)
Sanskrit 810 79.00
Tamil 61 6.00
Tamil & Sanskrit 33 3.00
Arabic-Persian 52 5.00
Others 72 7.00

On an analysis of languages, vis-à-vis its root language, it can be observed that, out of the total 103 crores of Indian population, approximately 81 crore (79%) are proficient in languages which are evolved from Sanskrit. A further 3.30 crore (3%) are proficient in (Malayalam) which are evolved from Sanskrit and Tamil.

It is estimated that, only around 12 crore (8%) of the population are proficient in English.

In the following section, the scripts of Tamil, Devanagari and Grantha along with the scripts of other languages are listed out. It can be observed that Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marati, Assami languages, have scripts similar to Devanagari. Similarity between Tamil and Grantha scripts can also be seen. (Note : Tamil Alphabets which are similar to Grantha are circled in Red. )

Evolution of Malayalam from Grantha can also be observed. 75% of Malayalam scripts are similar to Grantha.

It is evident from the following table that, once Devanagari scripts are understood, learning to read and write most of Indian languages would be easy. It should be the endeavor of every Tamilian to learn these scripts and establish a connect with the non-English speaking population of other Indian States.

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