Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 30 (IANS) Terming Malayalam as one of the most evolved languages of India, President Pranab Mukherjeee Tuesday said it was but natural that many of the greatest litterateurs of our times are Malayalis.
Inaugurating the Viswa Malayala Mahotsavam here, Mukherjee, on his first visit to Kerala after assuming office, also underlined the importance of languages remaining relevant to the needs of the times to remain in use.
"The Viswa Malayala Mahotsavam 2012 celebrates the language and unique cultural identity that is Malayalam. On this occasion, we are also acknowledging Kerala's unique and ancient history. It has been a melting pot of cultures and races and linguistic and religious influences," said the president.
He noted that carvings in the Edakkal Caves in Wayanad provide evidence that the common people of Kerala were expressing themselves in Malayalam at about the end of 4th century AD.
The earliest known record in Malayalam is an inscription dated to approximately 830 AD. The script, as Koleluttu or "Rod Script", is derived from the Grantha script, which in turn is derived from Brahmi, added Mukherjee.
The president also added that a language, however much it may be enriched with traditional values and heritage, would lose its relevance and popularity if it did not evolve.
"It is therefore necessary, while safeguarding our cherished languages, to promote them through all the modern means at our disposal today - while at the same time, taking care to nurture their uniqueness," he said.
"A language that is ill-equipped to meet the requirements of the new generation, cannot be safe in its hands. This Mahostavam will, no doubt, address such issues," added Mukherjee.
He also complimented the efforts of the state government which is launching a new Malayalam University, on Nov 1, at Tirur that will be dedicated to the study of Malayalam linguistics, literature, performing arts, visual arts and architecture, cultural anthropology and cultural and intellectual heritage studies, among others.
"I have no doubt that the research and activities in this University will positively impact the preservation and propagation of Malayalam," said the president.