Expressing displeasure over moves to deny classical status to Malayalam language, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Thursday informed the assembly that Kerala would fight for it as it is the state's right.
"Granting classical status to Malayalam language is not charity given by anybody and government will continue to take up the issue with the Centre," he said while replying to a submission on the matter.
Minister for Culture and Rural Development K C Joseph said there was no justification for denying the classical tag to Malayalam.
The issue was taken up by Palode Ravi (Congress).
Joseph said Malayalam language is also 1,500 year old and was as old as other languages given classical status in South India, Joseph pointed out.
Meanwhile, academic and literary circles have resented the stand of the language panel of Kendra Sahitya Akademi against according classical status to Malayalam on the ground it is a 'younger' language compared to Tamil and other southern tongues.
Kerala has been pressing for classical tag for quite some time as it is the only South Indian language which does not have that status.
The previous Left Democratic Front government stepped up efforts to get Malayalam elevated to the higher rank. A panel of scholars had drawn up a comprehensive report, citing the antiquity and tradition of the language spoken by Keralites.
A recent meeting of the Akademi's sub-panel headed by an eminent linguist at Hyderabad had rejected the claim, arguing that the tag was conferred only on those languages which are at least 1500-2000 years old.