- Languages and Literature of Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh Chhattisgarhi Language
Origin and History
In the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, Chhattisgarhi is the official language and it contains approximately 17.5 million speakers. Moreover it is an eastern Hindi language with very heavy vocabulary and linguistic features from Dravadian and Munda languages. Furthermore this language is known by the name of Khaltahi which is surrounding hill people and also by the name of Laria which includes Sambalpuri and Oriya speakers. In addition in ancient times the Chhattisgarh region was known as Daksin Kosal and therefore this classical name of the Chhattisgarhi language is Kosali or Daksin Kosali with historical significance.
Additionally the speakers are spread all over ranging from Indian state of Chhattisgarh to adjacent areas of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Orissa. Also the Chhattisgarhi political and cultural movements with the origins since 1920’s affirmed Chhattisgarhi linguistic and cultural identity and sought greater autonomy within India. In 2000, 16 districts of the state of Madhya Pradesh became the new state of Chhattisgarh. From 93 languages total which are used, 70 are variants that belong to Chhattisgarhi alone. Chhattisgarhi can also be termed as a variety of Hindi language. It contains 70 dialects which are widely spread all over the three linguistic groups of Austro Asiatic languages.
Approximately 12 million people speak Chhattisgarhi language. This Chhattisgarhi language is spoken and written with different accents and pronunciations in many different parts of the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. Apart from Chhattisgarhi language many people nearby state of Madhya Pradesh also speaks English and Hindi as well. In addition Chhattisgarhi has rich cultural and literature history. Numerous eminent personalities from the field of literature have written and composed several forms of literary production in order to enrich the Chhattisgarhi language. This language is also considered as the global language as most educated population of Chhattisgarh speaks fluent English and Hindi as well in front of the audience even. Moreover this language enables the citizens of the state to commute with confidence and ease.
Dialects of Chhattisgarhi Language
The most widely use dialects are Kalanga, Sadri korwa, Bhulia, khairagarhi, baigani, kavardi and Surgujia. Many dialects are also dying away like Kurukh, Parji and Gondi which are facing near extinction among the languages of Chhattisgarh. Also European dialects are in use in the central part of the Chhattisgarh. The southern part of the state falls on the Deccan plateau and this has influence on the Dravidian dialects which are infused with the Indo European dialects.
The Awadhi and Bagheli languages are closely related to Chhattisgarhi language. Moreover these languages are classified into the East Central Zone of the Indo Aryan languages which is the Indian branch of the Indo European language family. Furthermore as per the Indian government, Chhattisgarhi is an eastern dialect of Hindi and is therefore classified as a separate language in the Ethnologue. This language has also numerous identified dialects of its own, in addition to Chhattisgarhi Proper which are Kalanga, Kavardi, Bhulia, Sadri Korwa and Baighani.
Like Hindi language, Chhattisgarhi language is also written using Devanagri script.
Apart from its cultural diversity, Chhattisgarh also boasts of its rich literary heritage that speaks of historical and social movements of this region. Literature of Chhattisgarh is known for its unique description of social issues and regional consciousness. It also reflects struggle of the state for establishing its own distinct identity in the Central India. Khub Chand Baghel has also mentioned social problems of the lower castes of the region in his plays, ‘Jarnail Singh’ and ‘Unch Neech’. Chhattisgarh has also gifted many talented writers to the nation and Abhishek Agarwal is the youngest one who belongs to Bhilai and is one of the much famous authors of Chhattisgarh.
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