Backers of Bihar’s Angika dialect allege neglect, agitate for higher status

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The demand for inclusion of Angika in the list of mother tongues and giving it the status of second language in Bihar has once again surfaced in the state.

People who are agitating for it believe that the use and protection of the language is the fundamental right of every Angika speaker.

Prasoon Latant, who has been vocal about Angika, says that the non-inclusion of Angika language, spoken by crores of people, in the code list of 277 mother tongues recognised by the Census of India “is a systematic way of eliminating the existence of the language and the Anga culture by vested interests. It appears to be part of a deeper conspiracy”.

“Initially, Maithili was given place in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution by categorising the Angika-speaking population as Maithili speakers. Later, on the same basis, a ground for a separate Mithila state is being prepared by describing Angika as a part of Mithilanchal,” Latant claims.

“Providing mother tongue code to Angika is constitutional responsibility of the government,” he said.

People who are demanding mother tongue status for Angika argue that the Prime Minister, who talks about ‘Local for Vocal’, should take cognisance and provide mother tongue code to the language for census.

Angika, recognised as the second official language of Jharkhand, is one of the 38 languages, that is pending for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution since 2003 and is yet to be included in the list of Indian languages for the census.

Kumar Krishnan, who agitated for Angika, says: “Angika has been identified in the first place among the 38 mother tongues that have been recommended for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution by the Sitakanta Mohapatra Committee constituted by the Government of India in 2003.”

He said that in case the government does not provide mother tongue code to Angika, the matter will be taken to the High Court and the Supreme Court.

Dr Yogendra, Hindi author and Head of Department of Angika in Bhagalpur University, argues: “Not providing code to the language which is being spoken by five to six crore people in 18 districts is a conspiracy. Does the state or the Central government do not know about Angika? It is a conspiracy against Bajjika and Angika.”

“This is quite regrettable. I have also sent a letter to the Census Registrar highlighting the issue,” he asserted.

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