Many languages around the world are becoming endangered and are dying. This phenomenon is seen in India too. The death of a language is not just the loss of a language: it has serious accompanying social implications. The online version of UNESCO's Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger lists 197 Indian languages as being endangered. This number is an interesting coincidence and grim reminder because the 2001 census of India also lists 197 languages as mother tongues in Delhi, many of which are in fact endangered (Moseley 2010). In a type of racial profiling, some communities were singled out by the colonialists in India as criminal tribes. Their identity, language and culture were stigmatized by this labelling and suffered a setback. In recent times there has been a substantial amount of governmental effort to preserve and promote endangered languages in India, but it remains to be seen how effective this will prove to be.

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