Languages spoken in India belong to several language families, the major ones being the Indo-Aryan languages spoken by 75% of Indians and the Dravidian languages spoken by 20% of Indians. Other languages belong to the Austroasiatic, Sino-Tibetan, Tai-Kadai, and a few other minor language families and isolates.
The Constitution of India does not give any language the status of national language. So Hindi is not national language of India as most of the Indians think. The Constitution of India designates the official language of the Government of India as Hindi and English. The Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution lists 22 languages, which have been referred to as scheduled languages and given recognition, status and official encouragement. In addition, the Government of India has awarded the distinction of classical language to Tamil, Sanskrit, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Odia.
Twenty two Indian languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kashmiri, Kannada, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu are included in the Eighth Schedule.
According to Census of India of 2001, India has 122 major languages and 1599 other languages. However, figures from other sources vary, primarily due to differences in definition of the terms “language” and “dialect”.
The Government of India has awarded the distinction of classical language to Tamil, Sanskrit, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Odia.
The languages that met certain requirements was considered for the Classification as “Classical languages”.
High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500–2000 years; a body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers; the literary tradition be original and not borrowed from another speech community; the classical language and literature being distinct from modern, there may also be a discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or its offshoots.
Indian Languages are written in 13 different scripts. Most languages in India are written in Brahmi-derived scripts, such as Devanagari, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Odia, Eastern Nagari – Assamese/Bengali, etc., and a few minor languages such as Santali use independent scripts. Urdu is a modification of the Persian alphabet known as Perso-Arabic, which is itself a derivative of the Arabic alphabet.
The following information is derived from DM Silveira’s INDIA BOOK 1994-95, page 61, ISBN 81-900218-2-6 published by Classic Publishers Pvt. Ltd., Goa, India.
The original author of this was Mr. Gurnek Singh.
Here are the 325 recognized Indian Languages. (from Mr Gurnek Singh)
Agaria, Ahirani, Aimol, Aiton, Anal, Andamanese, Angani, Angika, Ao, Apatani, Arabic, Armenian, Ashing, Assamese, Asuri, Awadhi, Badaga, Baghelkhandi, Bagri, Baigani, Bajania, Balti, Bangni, Banjari, Basturia, Bauria, Bawm, Bazigar Boli, Bengali, Bhanja- bhumia, Bantu, Bharmauri, Bhairi, Bhili, Bhojpuri, Bhotia, Bhuiya, Bhumij, Bhunjia, Biate, Bilaspuri, Birhor, Birjia, Bishnupriya, Bodo, Bokar, Bondo, bori, Braj Bhasha, Brijlal, Bugun, Bundelkhandi, Burmese, Bushari, Chakhesang, Chakma, Chambilai, Chameali, Chang, Changpa, Chattisgarhi, Chikari, Chinali, Chiru, Chote, Churasi, Dalu, Deori, Dhanki, Dhimal, Dhodia, Dhundhari, Didayi, Dimasa, Dingal, Dogri, Dommari, Droskhat/Dokpa, Duhlian-Twang, English, French, Gadaba, Gadiali, Gallong, Gameti, Gamit, Gangte, Garasia, Garhwali, Garo, Giarahi, Gondi, Gujarati, Gujjari, Gurung, Gutob, Hajong, Halam, Halbi, Harauti, Haryanavi, Hebrew, Himachali, Hindi, Hinduri, Hindusthani, Hmar, Ho, Hrusso, Hualngo, Irula, Jabalpuri, Jangali, Jarawa, Jaunsari, Juang, Kabui, Kachanga, Kachari, Kachchi, Kadar, Kagati, Kakbarak, Kanashi, Kangri, Kannada, Karbi, Karen, Karko, Kashmiri, Kathiawari, Khadiboli, Khaka, Khamba, Khampa, Khampti, Khampti-shan, Kharia, Khasi, Khaskura, Khatri, Kherwari, Khiangan, Khorusti, Khotta, Kinnauri, Kiradi, Kisan, Koch, Kodagu, Koi, Koireng, Kokni, Kolami, Kom, Komkar, Konda, Konicha, Konkani, Konyak, Koracha, Koraga, Korava, Korku, Korwa, Kota, Kotwalia, Kudmali, Kui, Kuki, Kulvi, Kumaoni, Kunbi, Kurukh, Kuvi, Ladakhi, Lahauli, Laihawlh, Lakher (Mara), Lalung,Lambani, Lamgang, Laotian, Laria, Lepcha, Limbu, Lisu, Lodha, Lotha, Lushai, Mag, Magahi, Magarkura, Mahal, Maithili, Majhi, Makrani, Malankudi, Malayalam, Malhar, Malto, Malvi, Manchat, Mandiali, Mangari, Mao, Maram, Marathi, Maria, Maring, Marwari, Mavchi, Meitei, Memba, Mewari, Mewati, Milang, Minyong, Miri, Mishing, Mishmi, Mizo, Monpa, Monsang, Moyon, Muduga, Multani, Mundari, Na, Nagari, Nagpuri, Naikadi, Naiki, Nati, Nepali, Nicobarese, Nimari, Nishi, Nocte, Odki, Onge, Oriya, Padam, Pahari, Paharia, Palilibo, Paite, Panchpargania, Pang, Pangi, Pangwali, Parimu, Parji, Paschima, Pasi, Pashto, Pawri, Pengo, Persian, Phom, Pochury, Punchi, Punjabi, Rai (Raikhura), Rajasthani, Ralte, Ramo, Rathi, Rengma, Riang, Sadri, Sajalong, Sambalpuri, Sangtam, Sansi, Santali, Sadra, Saraji, Sarhodi, Saurashtri, Sema, Sentinelese, Shekhawati, Sherdukpen, Sherpa, Shimong, Shina, Shompen, Sikligar, Sindhi, Singpo, Siraji, Sirmauri, Soliga, Sulung, Surajpuri, Tagin, Tai, Tamang, Tamil,Tangam, Tangkhul, Tangsa, Tataotrong, Telugu, Thado, Thar, Tharu, Tibetan, Toda, Toto, Tulu, Urdu, Vaiphei, Varli, Wagri, Wancho, Yereva, Yerukula, Yimchungre, Zakring (Meyer), Zeliang, Zemi, Zou.