India has 17 major languages and 844 different dialects.
The Sanskrit of the Aryan settlers has merged with
the earlier Dravidian vernaculars to give rise to
new languages. Hindi, spoken by about 45 per cent
of the population, is the national language.
English has also been retained as a language for
official communication. Indian literature dates back
several millennia to the hymns of the vedic Aryans.
The oral tradition nurtured classical literature,
and produced great works of philosophy and religious
doctrine. It also accounted for compilations of anecdotes
like the Panchatantra and the Jataka tales, as well
as epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
southern India, the creative energies of the Tamil poets
found expression in the great works of Sangam literature.
epic Tirukkural by Tiruvalluvar is a masterpiece of
this age. In the north, dramatists like Kalidasa and
Bhasa produced great dramas in Sanskrit.