The amount of languages spoken in India, combined with more than ten different scripts, has motivated Dr. V. Srinivasa Chakravarthy to work on a script which can be used to write in all of the different languages. Chakravarthy has called this script Bharati, an alphabet that would make things easier for tourists who decide to visit the country, improve language recognition on smartphones, and to provide language diversity to webpages.
Best Example of Language Diversity
India is famous for its language diversity, which is generally considered an advantage counteracting current tendencies of language extinction. With more than ten different scripts being used within the country at the same time, business, tourism and other similar exchanges tend to become complicated. Languages in India are from several different language families (Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Austroasiatic and Tibeto-Burman just to name a few) and none of them has an official national language status. Although the Union Government of the Republic of India has chosen Hindi, written in Devanagari script, as the official language, there are several languages listed in the Indian constitution, all of which are referred to as national languages. All this diversity, although linguistically rich, causes barriers that complicate effective communication.
Bharati has been developed as an alternative solution because assigning one language as a lingua franca for all Indian citizens seems too far-fetched. The main reasons are the cultural and the emotional components behind each one of the languages which would need to be replaced. Instead, just finding a common script would significantly simplify the communicative process.
Bharati was created by Dr. V. Srinivasa Chakravarthy, a professor of Computational Neuroscience and Computational Biology in the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. The advantage of Bharati is that it can be easily learnt by speakers of different languages because it comprises features from various alphabets used by Indian citizens. The features used were chosen to make Bharati as simple as possible, especially because it avoids any elaborate, superficial flourish. According to Chakravarthy, it can be learnt in as fast as one hour if you are already familiar with one of the major Indian scripts currently in use. One of the main reasons for this is that Indian languages have a lot of words in common. S. C. Chaudhary, from the Indian Linguistic Association in Pune, commented on this script’s ability to reverse the growth of English as the lingua franca of choice, slowly overtaking every other language in India.