New Delhi: Fresh data from the Census 2011 states that Urdu language has suffered a great deal since 2001. The Urdu language slid from the sixth position to the seventh as the number of Gujarati speakers dominated those speaking Urdu.
The data revealed that Bengali is the second most spoken language in India after Hindi which is the mother tongue of 43.63 per cent of the county’s population.
The number of Hindi speakers have grown over 25 per cent from the time of the 2001 census when 41.03 per cent of people spoke Hindi.
While Bengali held on to the second spot with steady rise in number of speakers (16.63), Telugu was replaced by Marathi for the third.
Marathi speakers on the other hand, went up to 7.09 per cent from 6.99 per cent.
The census data confirms that 96.71 per cent of the population identified one of the 22 scheduled languages as their mother tongue.
Among scheduled languages, Assamese is another language that has shown growth in the last census. Assamese speakers grew by 16.27 per cent from the 2001 census.
Sanskrit remains the least spoken Scheduled language, despite a decadal growth of 75 percent in speakers.
Out of unscheduled languages, the most spoken language was Bhili or Bhilodi, native to Rajasthan and spoken by 1.04 crore speakers.
2.6 lakh people put English, another unscheduled language, down as their first spoken language with most speakers centering in southern states.
3.29 percent people identified languages other than the ones listed among the 22 scheduled languages as their mother tongue.
In Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya, over 80 percent of the population spoke ‘Other Languages’.
Arunachal Pradesh also had a fair share of people (72.13 percent) who spoke other languages.
A 2013 linguistics survey carried out by People's Linguistic Survey of India had revealed that India has 780 different languages and at least 66 different scripts.
According to the data, reported by the Hindu in 2013, the Indian north east had one of the highest per capita language densities in the world.