Angika (अंगिका) is considered as one of the oldest languages of the world. According to Pundit Rahul Sankritiyayan, the evidences of oldest form of written Hindi literatures are available in the Sarah’s Angika poetries of 800 A.D.The first poet of Hindi literature, Saraha, was also the first poet of the Angika language and literature. Saraha belongs to the 8th century, and is the first poet whose poetry is available in written form. Pundit Rahul Sankritiyayan has given the name to the language of Ang region, Angika which was previously known as Chhika-Chhiki, Aangi, Surjapuri, Angikar, Chheka-Chhiki ,Chhai-chhow, Bhagalpuri, Chekari,Gayle-gayli,Thethi.
Angika (अंगिका) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken mainly by the people in the Anga region of India. Angika is spoken in 21 districts of Northern and Eastern Parts of Bihar, Parts of Jharkhand and Maldah and Uttar Dinajpur Districts of West Bengal states of India.Besides India, Angika is also spoken in Terai region of Nepal. Angika is spoken by more than 30 million of the Indian population (As per 2001 Census and as per the statement given in Indian Parliament by Shri Subodh Roy Member of Parliament of India which is available in PARLIAMENTRY PROCEEDINGS ), and around 50 million worldwide.
Angika was classified by George A. Grierson as “Chhika-Chhiki “. It has affinity to the Eastern Indo-Aryan languages, such as Bengali, Oriya, and Assamese. It had been traditionally classified as a “Bihari language,” which includes Angika, Bhojpuri, Magahi, Maithili, and Vajjika, though it has ancient history of being an independent language, named as Aangi. The name Angika first appeared in the 1961 census.
Angika is not listed in the 8th schedule of the constitution of India. The demand for its inclusion in the Eighth Schedule is pending with the Government. The 1928 Linguistic Survey of India conducted under the supervision of George A. Grierson mentions Angika as “Chika-chiki boli”
Angika is commonly written in the Devanagari script, although in ancient period Anga Lipi and later on Kaithi were used historically.
Various alternate names for the language are used: Aangi,Surjapuri,Angikar,Chheka-Chhiki,Chhai-chhow,Bhagalpuri, Chekari,Gayle-gayli,Thethi.
Demography / Current Use
Angika is spoken by around five crore (fifty million) people in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal states of India alone.
Bihar : Araria District, Katihar District, Purnia District, Kishanganj District, Madhepura District, Saharsa District, Supoul District, Bhagalpur District, Banka District, Jamui District,Munger District, Lakhisarai District, Begusarai District, Sheikhpura District and Khagaria District
Jharkhand :Sahebganj District, Godda District, Deoghar District, Pakur District, Dumka District, Giridih District and Jamtara District
West Bengal :Malda District, Uttar Dinajpur District
Nepal : Tarai Region
Elsewhere : A large number of Angika speakers have migrated to the Persian Gulf, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and other countries. Also a substantial portion of the Angika-speaking population has settled elsewhere in India, mainly in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata,
Baroda, Surat, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jamshedpur and Bokaro.
People of Anga region in Bihar and Jharkhand prefer to go to Kolkata for jobs/higher studies or other purposes because of socio-cultural affinity with West Bengal.
The first Angika language film was released on 27 April 2007 in Laxmi Talkies, Khagaria, Bihar. The name of this film is “Khagaria Vali Bhouji”. The first ever completed feature film of Angika Language, however, is “Khissa Chando Bihula Bishari Ke”, which is still to be released. A new Angika film, “Ang Putra” was been released in April 2010. Angika folk singer Sunil Chailaa Bihari plays lead role in the film.
Suman Soorow, Naresh Pandey- ‘Chakore’, Permanand Pandey, Vidyabhushan Venu, Amrendra, Khushilal Manjar, Vimal Vidrohi, Ram Sharma Anal, Gorelal Manishi, Abhaykant Choudhary, Shri Umesh Jee, Kundan Amitabh, Chandraprakash Jagpriya are among prominent scholars of Angika Language who have contributed lots in Angika Literature. Hundreds of standard literary books are available in Angika language. Angika is taught at Post Graduation level at Angika Vibhag at Tilkamanjhi Bhagalpur University at Bhagalpur.
Grammatical comparison with other languages
Angika shows a regular contrast for animates.
Comparison of common words with related languages and dialects
Angika Hindi Bhojpuri (Purvi) Maithili Magahi Bajjika
हम्मॆ मैं/हम हम/मय हम हम हम
आपनॆ आप रउआ/आप अहाँ अपने अपने
हमरॊ मेरा/हमारा हमार/मोर हम्मर हमर हम्मर