ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Gandhi, Gujarati Spelling and the Ideology of Standardisation

This note makes an intervention in the ongoing discussion on Gandhi's role in standardising Gujarati spellings and the recent spelling reform proposals in Gujarati. It tries to take the discussion beyond the polemic of the Gujarat Vidyapith Jodani versus Unjha Jodani Parishad debate, by reviewing the process of standardising spellings in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It also takes a look at the concept of diglossia, Gandhi's plea to conserve an "intercommunity communicative ethos" and by reflecting on the education of linguistic minorities and pedagogy.

Gandhi, Gujarati Spelling and While a longer part of Sebastian (2009) discusses the role of Mahatma Gandhi and
the Ideology of Standardisation the Gujarat Vidyapith in standardising Gujarati spellings and recent spelling reform
  proposals, in the section titled “Mapping
  the Context”, he mentions “for the sake of
Himanshu Upadhyaya brevity” (p 96) only a few Gujarati dic-

This note makes an intervention in the ongoing discussion on Gandhi’s role in standardising Gujarati spellings and the recent spelling reform proposals in Gujarati. It tries to take the discussion beyond the polemic of the Gujarat Vidyapith Jodani versus Unjha Jodani Parishad debate, by reviewing the process of standardising spellings in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It also takes a look at the concept of diglossia, Gandhi’s plea to conserve an “intercommunity communicative ethos” and by reflecting on the education of linguistic minorities and pedagogy.

Himanshu Upadhyaya (himanshugreen@ gmail.com) is at the School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

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