Question about Garhwali and Uttarakhand

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 2 16:40:25 UTC 2010

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I have received an inquiry (to the lgpolicy-list) from a French
scholar who is doing research on Garhwali and Uttarakhand,
and how language policy is working there.  He doesn't belong to this
list, so I suggested that I would forward his questions
to the list, in the hopes that some member(s) of this list would know
more than I do about the situation there.  Please
if you do have answers to any of his questions, respond directly to
him:  Frédéric MORONVAL" <frederic.moronval at>.

Here are his questions:

The data I tried unsuccessfully to obtain from CIIL are about the past
and present aspects of the following:
- number of newspapers sold in Uttarakhand, their circulation, their language
- number of books in Garhwali language
- number of radio channels broadcast in Ukh, their language, and/or
the number of hours alloted to programs in Garhwali language, their
- same for TV channels
- number of schools, high schools, colleges in Ukh, number of
students, language(s) used as medium of teaching, language(s) taught,
languages in which main exams are given (these points directly refer
to the implementation of the contitutional right to receive education
in one's own mother language and of the Three Languages Formula)
- the budget of the Ukh State alloted to the preservation and
development of Garhwali language
- number of movies in Garhwali language released each year
- the results of elections in each district of Ukh
- the list of political parties which take part in elections in Ukh
- the claims of the relevant political parties of Ukh regarding
garhwali language and culture
- the claims of cultural organizations regarding garhwali language
- the actual use, oral and written, of the three official languages of
Ukh, viz. Hingi, Garhwali and Kumanoni, and of English: in which
language(s)are official documents written (laws and the like, forms to
be filled in educational institutions, police posts for complaints,
courts of justice) ?

Then some data probably impossible to get :
- the evolution of the proportion of Garhwali speaker in Ukh
- the 'immigration' from neighbouring States
- the emigration of Garhwali speakers to other Indian States or abroad
- the proportion of Garhwali speakers in the administration, in the
teaching staff in public and private school, in the police, the army,
and other professions

Those last datas can help providing evidences explain a possible
feeling among Garhwali speakers of
- being unfairly outnumbered by other Indians in some professional fields
- being somehow forced to use another language to get degrees and/or jobs
- being looked down upon by the Hindi/English speakers who actually
rule the State (i.e. Ukh)

Finally, some informations only Garhwali scholars could provide
(although a quetionnaire survey could also give some answers°):
- the influence of Hindi or English over Garhwali language (lexicon, syntax...)
- the contexts in which those languages are used by Garhwali speakers
(like: Garhwali with the parents, Hindi with the school mates,
Hinglish in the office...)
- the progressive switch of young generation to more financially
'beneficial' languages, i.e. language giving access to higher studies,
government and private sector's jobs, that is to say to power, money.

[End of forwarded message]

Hal Schiffman


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at


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