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Kerala’s writing system will undergo radical changes after a half a century

Malayalam’s writing system is set to undergo a major revision after nearly 50 years. The language committee appointed by the government of Kerala has recommended returning to the old Malayalam writing system gradually. Furthermore, the committee has submitted its first report with suggestions including the unification of Malayalam alphabets, the scheme of writing, and the style of writing (orthography). When the official language committee under the Chief Minister issues an order approving the modifications, the changes will be implemented.

The changes were suggested by a committee of language experts headed by Chief Secretary Dr. VP Joy. The suggestion is based on an order issued in 1971 to modify the writing system. In addition, the committee recommended that the government preserve the Malayalam alphabet in school textbooks. The Mathrubhumi organization, among others, was at the forefront of the debate over the missing alphabets in the textbooks and in turn, sought the survival of the Malayalam language.

Mathrubhumi published a column titled ‘Vidhyabyasya Manthri Vaayichariyan’ on November 1 highlighting the relevance of Malayalam. There was a debate sparked by the text and it was read by Malayali crowds across the globe. Many other intellectuals and activists took up the cause. It also led to discussions on social media. Mathrubhumi also received public feedback on the matter.


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