Use of Malayalam for official communication remains a pipe dream; orders still issued in English

SN Jayaprakash

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Thiruvananthapuram: It has been almost ten years since the official language committee of the assembly recommended that the bills issued by the Maveli stores in Kerala be printed in Malayalam. The commoners buy essentials from Maveli stores of the Civil Supplies Department. But the bills are still being printed in ‘Manglish’, a 21st-century transliteration language where Malayalam words are typed in English.

The attempts to make Malayalam the official language of Kerala started almost 70 years ago. On October 1, 1965, the government issued an order to make Malayalam the official language of the state but nothing happened for almost fifty years. Therefore, in 2012, the Administrative Language Year was celebrated. But nothing changed even after that.

Another order was issued in 2017 stating that Malayalam was made the official language in government, quasi-government, public sector, autonomous and co-operative institutions, including the Secretariat. Orders, Circulars and letters from these places should be in Malayalam, except the communications with the Central Government, its institutions, the High Court, the Supreme Court, other States and other countries.

But all the note files should be in Malayalam. Action should be taken against the officials who fail to follow this. This order has been termed the 'Official Language Declaration'. Malayalam is now the official language of all institutions in Kerala according to this. But even the notice for common people that has official intimation still appears in English. People have to depend on others to understand what the letter says.

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