Koshli is a distinct language: Odia language scholar
Following is an expert from the article written by Mr. Minaketan Chhuria, Lecture, Dept. of Oriya, Subalaya College, Subalaya, Dist. Subarnapur. The complete article is available in www.navratnanews.com
More than one crore of people covering a vast geographical area consisting of Sambalpur, Sundergarh, Jharsuguda, Bolangir, Bargarh, Baudh and a Sub-divisional fraction of Angul district, i.e. Atthamallik subdivision speak koshali. Even beyond western orissa in Saranggarh, Phulijhar, Raigarh and Bastar region of Chhatisgarh province, people speak koshali. People residing in Singhbhum region of Jharkhand speak a language akin to Koshali.
Towards the South western region of Koshali speaking land area in undivided Koraput districtwhere Dessia and Bhatri language are used, are dialects of Koshali, but not that of Oriya as suggested, having Dravidian phonological impact on both. The lexicon and grammatical aspect of both are Koshali.
…………………………. The people of western Orissa suffer double linguistic fever; fever from English and Oriya. Because their mother tongue is not Oriya, but Koshali; Oriya being their teacher tongue. From education to administration the Koshali speaking people are suffering a lot. During the British period in our contry even the Britishers were learning the language of whom they administered. Problems often arise linguistically when employees from coastal Orissa come to serve to this zone, where Koshali is un-intelligible to them. Students in schools and colleges of western Orissa suffer in Oriya language examination and get comparatively less marks owing it not to be their mother-tongue. The Orissa Sahitya Academy and Oriya Bhasa Pratishan have done nothing in this regard. This writer since he was a student in P.G. Department of Oriya, Sambalpur University in 1982, has been writing research articles in Koshali language.A few scholars have already been awarded Ph.D. on this language.
Like the popularity of Koshali (Sambalpuri) fabrics, the sonic value of Koshali songs has enchanted the public world wide. To some extent Koshali has been accepted as media of literature and has gained popularity in a very short period, i.e. during the last three decades. Crosssing beyond it’s geographical boundary, Koshali drama has earned a good name. It has flourished in both quantitative and qualitative base.
……………………Koshali is a separate language, but not the dialect of Oriya. It is like the mother of Oriya language.
………………………………………………………………………. The earliest record of Koshali is found in Carya pada written between 7th to 12the century A.D. by some of the Koshali Sahaja Yani Tantric Buddhist saints and in some inscriptional writings stretching from the western to coastal belt of Orissa. Indrabhuti and his sister Laxminkara, daughter-in-law of the then king of Lanka-presently known as Sonepur, had both created Bajra Yana and Sahaja Yana – two parallel Buddhist Tantric philosophical tract.