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Linguistic Diversity and Marginality in South Asia

  • Rama Kant AgnihotriEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Global Education Systems book series (GES)

Abstract

Ideally, linguistic diversity should be a source of strength; unfortunately it mostly ends up being a source of discrimination and marginalization. In every South Asian country, English along with some national/official/regional language constitutes a dominating Multilinguality that becomes oppressive for the common people using the dominated Multilinguality consisting of hundreds of different speech varieties of large sections of society. These marginalized groups include poor people; farmers and factory workers; tribal communities; nomadic tribes and other peripatetic groups; people displaced because of increasing urbanization, globalization, and homogenization; and women and persons with disabilities. Education is the main instrument used for perpetuating this status quo where languages and cultural practices of the dominating Multilinguality are celebrated and those of the dominated Multilinguality are increasingly pushed to the margins. A disjunction between constitutional and legal proclamations and actual practices further accentuates this marginalization. If Multilinguality is creatively used as a classroom resource, it would create spaces for the subversion of the dominating Multilinguality. The practice of using Multilinguality as a resource is closely associated with providing space for the voices of the underprivileged, subversion of different power structures, logical analysis, cognitive growth, language proficiency, and social tolerance. South Asia needs to listen to the voices of Multilinguality that are often pushed under the rug with disdain.

Keywords

South Asia Linguistic diversity Marginality Multilinguality Tribal languages Nomadic/peripatetic groups Education 

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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Linguistics DepartmentUniversity of DelhiDelhiIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Rekha Pappu
    • 1
  1. 1.Tata Institute of Social SciencesHyderabadIndia

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