Marathi is one of the proud languages of India, predominantly spoken in the western region of India i.e. Maharashtra and Goa and its neighbouring states. Well, today is Jagtik Marathi Diwas which is celebrated on 27th Feb, on the birth anniversary of a great poet, novelist and playwright called Vishnu Vaman Shriwadkar. He is better known as Ksumagraj and one living in Maharashtra must be very used to reading his recognized novel Shyamchi Aai in the Marathi language.
It’s really proud to know that there are about 90 million speakers of Marathi language. Marathi ranks fourth in India in widely spoken languages in a country. Marathi has been granted with scheduled language status in our constitution. As a matter of fact, this respectable language is 19th most spoken language in the world.
Marathi has loanwords from Tamil, a Dravidian language spoken by Tamil people and predominantly letter ळ has been adopted from Tamil. Marathi used to be called by different names such as Maharashtri, Malhatee, Maharathi in the distant past. The first Marathi book was published in the 12th century, well before any other Indian language excepting Sanskrit. This was a book of poetry, Vivek Sindhu, written and published by Mukundraj, in the year 1188.
Marathi is currently having 42 different dialects, dialects bordering with other regional languages and have borrowed features of the other language. It is said that Sanskrit is Mother of all language but, the Marathi language was not originated from Sanskrit. Twenty-five languages are spoken across Maharashtra, not one of them was actually originated from Sanskrit.
Such is a greatness of this Language. We should always feel proud and respected towards this great language; as a result, Sant Dnyaneshwar praised the Marathi language in these words –
माझ्या मराठीचे बोल कौतुके
परी अम्र्तुतातेही पैजा जिंके
ऐसी अक्षरे रसिके.
(Admire my Marathi language
She wins even against Nectar
So piquant are her words.)