PATNA: A delegation of the Anga Utthan Andolan Samiti (AUAS) on Saturday submitted a memorandum at Raj Bhawan, reiterating its demand that governor Devanand Konwar take steps as he deemed proper for government recognition to Angika language spoken in 15 eastern Bihar districts spread on both the sides of the Ganga.

Earlier, AUAS chief for Bihar and Jharkhand Gautam Suman had met the governor on July 12, after ending his six-day ‘amaran anshan (fast-unto-death)’ that was held on the eve of the monsoon session of the state legislature. The governor had assured the Suman-led AUAS delegation to give a hearing someday after the visit of vice-president Hamid Ansari to attend a cultural function here. “Today, we submitted a memorandum at Raj Bhawan for his perusal. We reminded the governor of his assurance and also requested him to consider our pleas that we had made before him on July 12,” Suman said.


Prior to this, during the just concluded monsoon session of the state legislature, the AUAS delegation had called on 71 members of the state assembly hailing from the 15 districts encompassed by ancient Anga `janapada’, and appealed to them to take steps for the fulfillment of linguistic and cultural aspirations of the people of the region.

The AUAS delegation submitted a memorandum and printed appeals to the MLAs concerned. “They assured us that they would raise the popular demand in the winter session of the state assembly and Bihar legislative council,” he said.

According to Suman, the most heartening fact was that the MLAs, cutting across religion, castes and political parties, were unanimous in their declaration that the government should fulfill the long-cherished demand of the people of the region and give its recognition to Angika. “The first step in this regard would be constitution of Angika Academy,” Suman said.

The current round of popular agitation organized here during this month — fast-unto-death and memorandum to governor and legislators — marks the conclusion of the fourth phase of the nearly 50-year-old agitation for government recognition to Angika.

Incidentally, Rahul Sankrityayan, who led ‘janapada andolan’ in the Gangetic belt in the 1930s, coined the name Angika. Subsequently, as the literature began to be created in this language, former state assembly speaker Lakshmi Narayan Singh Sudhanshu gave a new impetus to the popular concern from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s. The period also saw a rush of essays, literary pieces and research papers published in magazines and journals in this language. The Bihar Rashtrabhasha Parishad also published books, articles and monographs on the subject.

Given the backdrop, the then governor A R Kidwai sanctioned the teaching of Angika at the postgraduate level in Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University in 1995. In recent years, a popular feature film, ‘Khagaria Wali Bhauji’, was also made and screened.

“Audio cassettes and CDs of popular folk songs in Angika are being regularly brought out. If the state government gives recognition to Angika, then it would add to the cultural vibrancy of the state,” said Angika language writer Amarendra.


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