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Why Jharkhandi Culture and Languages are at stake? How to resolve this problem?

 Jharkhand as a separate state under Indian union of states came into being on 15th November, 2000. Primary reason for separating Jharkhand from Bihar was to give the Jharkhandi people, their languages and culture a distinct identity through state interventions. But, the governance under BJP – JMM rule over last 12 years reflects a different scenario. It seems that separation was mainly to practice all the unethical means adopted by the politicians of the then undivided Bihar (in connivance with capitalist class) by the so called political leaders of Jharkhand and thereby loot their own people and productive resources again in connivance with the capitalist class. Jharkhandi landscape, languages, culture, etc had some recognition in the then Bihar, when a separate Post Graduate Department was opened to promote Jharkhandi languages. After separation, it was expected that the government would take special initiative to promote the Jharkhandi languages starting from elementary level and thereby providing the scope of employment to a huge number of Jharkhandi language knowing educated unemployed youths in the state. Instead of that Hindi (which was never been a language of the Jharkhandis) has been introduced by the ruling polity (who constitute the overwhelming Hindi knowing majority inherited from the undivided Bihar) not only as the official language but also as the medium of learning at the primary level. Teaching the children at elementary classes through mother tongue (that has been the practice everywhere in other states of India) has been grossly neglected in Jharkhand. Hindi knowing teachers are being deputed to teach the Jharkhandi children in primary classes. Besides, dominance in the state power by the people of non-Jharkhandi culture and languages, the process of market development that has been adopted as an ideal model of development is also responsible for the threat of Jharkhnadi landscape, culture and languages. The Town markets have been developing as an inevitable outcome of the market-based development model adopted by the ruling class led by the Congress (main hero), BJP (duplicate of Congress) at the central level and different regional parties at the regional level. The town market development that has been developed in Jharkhand mainly under the Congress regime has proved that this model is not suitable to the Jharkhandis. In course of instituting this market-based development model by the ruling class through forceful eviction of the Jharkhnadi people from their homelands and allowing the non-Jharkhandi (mainly from Hindi belt of India) to settle down. Congress party can thus be held solely responsible for ruination of Jharkhandi people and their culture. Now all the town markets (the breeding centres of market culture alien to Jharkhandi culture) are predominantly dominated by the non-Jharkhandis. What to talk of the markets of industrial towns of Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bokaro, Dhanbad (these are completely dominated by people with alien culture), even the market s of Dumka, Godda, Sahebganj, Pakur (dominated by santhal tribes), Simdega, Gumla, Latehar, etc are also dominated by the non-tribal and alien people. After witnessing this reality, can Jharkhandi leaders not realize that market based model of development supported by a number of flagship development programmes of the state and central governments are not at all suited to the tribals and other Jharkhandi people (whose cultures are deeply influenced through tribalization). It is, thus, high time to think for the Jharkhandi people who have been residing here before independence, whether they would allow such thing to happen or organize them to fight for the preservation of their own identity. It is a fact that the people of Jharkhand are divided into several social, religious and linguistic groups. Besides, Jharkhandis are distinctly divided into elite and poor classes. The tribal groups identified in Jharkhand by the then British regime are sealed under their own community norms, so there is least interaction among the different tribal groups. Other than tribals (who comprise about one-fourth of the total population of Jharkhand), major communities residing in Jharkhand for centuries include the Rahr Banagalis, Oriyas, Muslims and Nagbanshis. Languages spoken by these groups include Rarh Bangla/Kortha/Kurmali, Oriya, Urdu and Sadri/Kuruk, etc. If at all a state language has to be chosen then it should choose the dominant recognized language that has own script (unlike Hindi being chosen as the link language at the national level for being its use in some major states). Under such a situation, Rarh Bangla would obviously get the status of official language in Bangla dominated areas with Santhali, Mundari, Ho and Kharia languages as communicative languages and Hindi as official language and Sadri as communicative language in non-bangla dominated region of Jharkhand. Along with such an arrangement, attempts should be made to develop all the regional languages with utmost sincerity. The administrators of the ruling class should know that without taking confidence of the common people, no development discourse could be inclusive and sustainable. So far, the people involved in the development of the area and people of the state are developing their own statuses making best use of the people’s ignorance or in absence of people’s participation. A right course of development of culture and language can instill confidence among the people on the course of development. Secondly, area development approach should be replaced by community development approach. The community should be given autonomy to decide their priorities and the government should stand before them to fulfill their needs. Can a market oriented state power recognize the needs of the community people more seriously than the needs of the market? This is a big question to answer.

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Comment by Tim Upham on December 14, 2012 at 2:03am

YouTube is doing a great deal to spread the word about Jharkhandi culture and languages.  So there is international recognition.

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