Posts filed under ‘Kosli language news paper’
My heartiest congratulations to BENI publications in launching this new Koshali newspaper. Believe it or not,this is a historical moment in the sense that BENI’s will reach across length and breadth Koshal bringing pertinent news of our area in our own language. I have come across several newspapers in area, such as,Arji from Bhawanipatna,Agnisikha from Sambalpur , Paschimanchal from Rourkela, etc.,all great endeavours to accomplish the same goal; they all should be saluted. But BENI’s reach will be most extensive. All widely circulated newspapers,such as Dharitri,Sambad,Samaj,etc. in Odisha are based in coastal area,some having special editions for Sambalpur and Rourkela. They also have reporters from Koshal but editorial controls are in the head office. Occasionally, we also get Koshali language supplements from some of these publications.Why then must we have another Koshali newspaper against all odds ? Really,we have no choice. It is not prudent to leave your issues,your priorities,your aims and aspirations, your dreams, core values of your identity to left to be articulated by some body else. You should not see your image from somebody else’s mirror. Few years ago I met Dr.Arjan De Haan, a Dutch scholar who spent a few years in Odisha as a member of of a British NGO investigating inter-regional disparity. He has extensively published on this issue. When I asked him as what can be done to tackle this mammoth and chronic problem, especially when political power center in Odisha is so coastal Odisha focussed having scant interest towards other parts ? He replied,”I am astounded that there is not single viable newspaper which does not originate from Bhubaneswar/Cuttack area. In a democracy,silence is not golden. Do not ever think that in democracy,things are done because of logic or equity. You have to scream hard so that your voices will be hard. So the very first thing you have to do is to start your own newspaper.”(my paraphrase).
Surrendering editorial control to non-Koshalis can have disastrous consequences. A newspaper called Sambalpur Hiteishini was started under the patronage of Basudev Sudhal Dev,Raja of Bamra with editorship of Nilamoni Bidyaratna from coastal Odissa. The problem was that Sri Bidyaratna was unapologetic hater of Koshali language. In 1891,he published a Koshali poem KAHA GO DUTI KENTA KARASIGO by Madhusudan, with the following commentary attached to it:”Though Odia is the mother tongue of People of Sambalpur division, it is horribly distorted. It is true that the language has now improved in the civilised part of this society. But among the low class of this society, it has remained as distorted as before.Recently we obtained an ancient poem composed in Sambalpuri language, which we have published herewith for the information of the readers.”(Source: Paschima Odishara Giti Kabita edited by Sasanka Sekhar Panda,2004). This instance illustrates quite clearly a few salient points. This exhibits the utter contempt in which Sri Bidyaratna held for Koshali language. Secondly, he like many even today in coastal odisha never acknowledged that Koshali,not Odia, is the mother tongue of Koshal region.Thirdly, it also shows that Koshali poets have been composing poems but their work could not find any media for expressions. Koshali was was not only marginalised but also ridiculed as a distorted Odia. Political climate in those days also did not help the cause of Koshali. Intellectuals of Koshal region were actively involved to get the Sambalpur tract to get amalgamated to Bengal Presidency away from the Central Presidency.Therefore, cause to accentuate Odia was accepted to thwart the attacks of Bengali nationalists intent on disenfranchising Odia as a separate language distinct from Bengali, and many called Odia as their mother tongue , though they knew Koshali as their real mother tongue. Sambalpur Hiteishini was the only periodical in Koshal region heavily subsidised by Raja of Bamra, was at the forefront championing the cause of Odia, while actively suppressing Koshali. Hence to get their works published poets like Gangadhar Meher and Bhima Bhoi wrote exclusively in Odia. Very low literacy rate in the region was another reason why Koshali writers simply did not have any avenue for expression, because poor illiterate folks do not buy books.
What role BEN must play at this juncture of growth of Koshali ? The same as Utkal Dipika in Odia under the editorship of Gauri Shankar Roy,himself a domiciled Bengali in Odisha. Utkal Dipika, published in 1886, became the voice of Odia speaking people which challenged virulent attacks by well known personalities like Rajendralal Mitra, who argued that use of Odia in stead of Bengali schools would adversely impact learning of kids, and Kantilal Bhattacharya who wrote”Odia Swatantra Bhasha Noy”. We have to see that Koshali is recognised in the 8th schedule as soon as possible. My fervent hope is that just like BENI we will have many more publications in Koshali asserting our identity and reinvigorating our language. Therefore I urge all Koshali lovers join me in celebrating the launching of BENI at this crucial stage of our struggle. Jay Koshala.Jay Ma Samalei.
PS: Ignore typos
Following is a report from the Sambad:
Following screen-shot is taken from http://rni.nic.in/rni_display_statelang.asp
Therefore, we humbly request you to examine our request by the same yardstick used to include the four recent languages in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution. It is said that the right of a mother tongue is a basic cultural right of the people which link them with their economy, socio-cultural system and political right. UNESCO has recognized that the concept of language equality among all languages is important irrespective of whether the languages have a script or not. Furthermore, the Indian government is promoting the mother tongue based multilingual education to reduce the school drop-out rates and to enhance communication using a mother tongue. This is a good and praiseworthy initiative taken by the Indian government. In this regard, the Kosli language (also called Kosli-Sambalpuri, Sambalpuri) is the mother tongue of ten districts of western Orissa (Kosal region) viz. Balangir, Bargarh.In addition, a large population of Raipur, Mahasamund and Raigarh districts of Chhattisgarh state also uses Kosli language as their mother tongue. The Kosli language and literature is vast as it is blessed with a group of dedicated writers. A large number of books are published regularly and available in the Kosli language. Epics such as ‘Ramayana’, ‘Mahabharat’ and ‘Meghduta’ are translated into Kosli language. Kosli language has a rich literature in different areas viz. Architecture, Astrology, Mantra-Tantra-Yantra science, Medicine, Yoga, Music, Arts, Dance, Drama, Yoga, Philosophy, and Grammar. Kosli dramas, songs, and dances are popular across the world. Kosli dramas are highly acclaimed and regularly staged at various places of India. For instance, a recent Kosli language play ‘Maau’ is aiming to enter the Limca record book by becoming the biggest ever stage show of its kind in the world.
The Kosli language cinema is attracting worldwide attention. ‘Bukha (Hunger)’ a Kosli language movie has won the Indian national award, an international jury award at the Gijón International Film Festival, Spain and was selected for World Rural Film Festival, Aurrilac, France. The All India Radio (viz. Sambalpur, Balangir, and Bhawanipatna) and television channels (viz. Nxatra news and OTV) are broadcasting their news and entertainment programs in Kosli language. More than five registered newspapers and seventy magazines are available in Kosli language. Unfortunately, Kosli language has no political and official support although there was a discussion in the Indian parliament to include Kosli language in the 8th Schedule of the Indian constitution. Recently, the Odisha government has recommended the Ho language for its inclusion in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution. This is a welcome step. Along this line, we sincerely hope that the Odisha government will recommend Kosli language for the inclusion in the 8th Schedule of the Indian constitution. For the people of western Orissa it is not just a language but a way of life that propel progresses and harmony in the region.
The inclusion of Kosli language in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution will have following positive impacts on the people of western Orissa.
The key to development of western Odisha is the Kosli language. Drop-out rate in schools particularly in rural and Adivashi area can be ascribed to, among other variables, teaching in Odia language which is not used in day to day communication. It is as if learning through an alien language. Kosli is the dominant means of communication throughout western Odisha. Though we have several tribal languages, all tribals have functional capability in Kosli not Odia. That is the main reason why KBK has been found literacy rate is so low. We also have large population of scheduled caste in the area who are similarly impacted. It has caused various problems viz. i) the overall marks of students from western Orissa are lower than the students of coastal Orissa and ii) many bright students of western Orissa fail again and again in both 10th and 10+2 examinations because of their poor knowledge in Odia language. Recognition of Kosli language will facilitate education among the kids of western Orissa in their mother tongue and solve the above mentioned problems.
Freedom of expression in legislative and social sphere: In spite of aggressive Odianisation, population of western Orissa has retained Kosli language for day to day communication. In large population centers where people of other states, especially from Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bengal, Punjab, Gujarat and other North Indian area have come to work, they have opted Kosli instead of Odia because the accent of Kosli follows North Indian pattern. And when poor Koslis go out of their area to seek employment they choose to go to other Hindi speaking area such as Chhattisgarh, U.P, Bihar and Jharkhand instead of Odia speaking area in Odisha.
Inclusion of Kosli language in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution will promote the culture and heritage of western Orissa. Keeping the above mentioned points into consideration we request you to recommend the inclusion of Kosli language in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution.