Rivista | Bhasha
Fascicolo | 1 | 1 | 2022
Articolo | ‘Sanskrit-Speaking’ Villages, Faith-Based Development and the Indian Census

‘Sanskrit-Speaking’ Villages, Faith-Based Development and the Indian Census

Over three sections, the 2001 and 2011 Indian censuses are scrutinised to locate, down to the sub‑district administrative and village levels, where L1‑L3 (first to third language) Sanskrit tokens were returned during census enumeration. First, there is a theo‑political discussion of Sanskrit’s imaginative power for faith‑based development. This includes a discussion on how ‘Sanskrit‑speaking’ villages signify an ambition toward cultural renaissance. Next, Sanskrit’s national‑level enumeration is discussed. Finally, closer scrutiny is paid to the top four states (Maharashtra, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh). On average, more Sanskrit tokens were returned by men than women; 92% of L2‑Sanskrit tokens are linked to L1‑Hindi; most L1‑L3‑Sanskrit tokens cluster with Hindi, English, and/or the State Official Language; most Sanskrit tokens are Urban, as opposed to Rural; and most tokens are found across the Hindi Belt of north India.

Open access | Peer reviewed

Presentato: 10 Dicembre 2021 | Accettato: 02 Marzo 2022 | Pubblicato: 29 Aprile 2022 | Lingua: en

Keywords Social imaginary ‘Sanskrit‑Speaking’ villages Mother tongue Linguistic utopia Hindu nationalism

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