Media Responsibility in Revitalizing Indigenous Languages of India


  • Shalini Mahapatra
  • Itishri Sarangi


The most attractive reap of any census that happens in India is the treasure trove of language data that is gathered in the process, creating a large sociolinguistic reserve. India has an accumulation of large primitive populace, widespread ethnic topography and a rich reserve of indigenous languages. Post India?s Independence in 1947, the realization and efforts of the various Governments that came into power, initiated responsible and regulated steps towards the rehabilitation and welfare of the tribes. There were many reformatory moves to curb aboriginal problems, cultural diversity, human relations and communication issues. In the changing canvas of tribal life, media continues to play a pivotal role in conserving and promoting their indigenous practices, traditions, culture and indigenous languages. Media plays an essential role in educating, empowering and entertaining these tribes through both conventional and traditional means of communication.
Democracy requires the dynamic participation of every citizen and media plays a vital role in ascertaining the same. The role of media is to activate the citizen at the grassroot and make him aware about the various policies and benefits that he is entitled. At the same time media also helps in shaping a public opinion. The major role of mass media is to touch the lowest denominator of the country, contribute towards encouraging development in the remotes and promote social change while preserving the ethnic essence of each primitive clan. The challenge media faces are to make available the required technology and to communicate through the primitive language. While mainstream media remains less prevalent in addressing tribal issues, other alternative media tools like tribal dance and music, short films, street plays and some narrowcast initiatives with focus on a particular tribe and its issues are showing a positive impact. Community Radio, Internet and mobile telephony have served as media messengers with positive and reformatory results.