Owing to its diverse tribal population, the state of Jharkhand is a state of many languages. The languages of Jharkhand belong to the three main language families:
1. The Munda Languages. These languages include the Korku, Mundari, Kurmali, Santhali, Bhumij, Ho and Kharia.
2. The Dravidian Languages- This includes the Oraon, Korwa and the Paharia (Malto).
3. The Indo-Aryan Languages- This includes different languages like the Nagpuri, Angika, Sadri, Bhojpuri, Khortha, Hindi, Oriya, Bengali and Urdu.
However, the most commonly used languages of Jharkhand are Hindi and English. English is spoken mostly by the literate population of the state. A large number of people communicate in the Hindi language which has become one of the predominant languages of the state of Jharkhand. Hindi is also the official language of Jharkhand. Some parts of the state of Jharkhand also speak Bengali. Angika is the primary language to communicate in the entire region of the Santhal Paragnas.
Recently the state has seen political uproars over granting of second language status to Urdu by the state government. In this context, the demand to include Santhali and Bengali in the list of second languages of the state has acquired a political voice, as various pressure groups and associations have lend their support to these moves.
Recently in a bid to appease the tribals, Jharkhand government has also made knowledge of at least one of the four tribal languages mandatory for its government officials. The four tribal languages among which the officials must learn one are Mundari, Kurukh, Ho and Santhali.
The government officials would get eighteen months to learn one of these languages and they have to take a test to prove their efficiency in any one of these four languages. Their promotion, increment and salary will depend upon this expertise. This irresponsible move has the foul stench of vote bank politics in it. Babulal Murmu is a noted writer in Santhali language. His works include short stories, criticism, essays and songs. His works have been included in the syllabus of the main examination of the Jharkhand Public Service Commission and Union Public Service Commission.
Last Updated On: 2011/07/06