Angika (अंगिका) is a language spoken in Eastern Part of Bihar, Santhal Praganas of Jharkhand and Maldah District of West Bengal. Angika is an Indo-Aryan of the Anga region of India, a 58,000 km2 area approx. that falls within the states of Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
Angika is spoken in most of the Metros of India like Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, and Bangalore, most of the industrial cities of India like Durgapur, Vadodara, Surat, Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bokaro and other parts of the country.
Besides India, Angika is also spoken in Terai region of Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, and other Southeast Asian countries. A sizeable Angika speaking population migrated in other countries such as the Gulf, United States and the United Kingdom.
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 is considered as oldest language of Hindi family. 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.
Angika is closely related to Bengali, Oriya, and Assamese. It is grouped in with the Bihari languages (including Bhojpuri, Magahi, Maithili and Vajjika). Angika is highly intelligible with other Bihari languages.
It may be correlated with the Cham Language of Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and China. As Cham is the language of the Cham people of Southeast Asia, and formerly the language of Champa in central Vietnam. Champa is one of the oldest colonies of Southeast Asia, which had been established by the inhabitants of Anga Mahajanapada of Ancient India around 2000 years ago.
Classification: Indo European – Indo Iranian – Indo Aryan – Eastern zone – Bihari, Angika
ISO 639-2 & ISO/DIS 639-3 Code for Angika Language: anp
Angika is written in the Anga Lipi, Kaithi, and Devnagri scripts.
Dialects of Angika include : Deshi, Dakhnaha, Mungeria, Devgharia, Gidhhoria, Dharampuria.
Angika is among very few languages of India and world in which a Search Engine (Google-Angika) has been developed and is available for public use since 2004. Google Angika has been developed by Google Search Engine.
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. The name Angika first appeared in the 1961 census.
Verbs in Angika are similar to those of Bengali and Maithili. For example “dangaybey” in Angika is same as “daangabay” in Bengali and “dangaybai” in Maithili; “kanay chhai” in Angika is same as “kaanchey” in Bengali and “Kaanai chhai” in Maithili etc. Angika, Maithili, Assamese, Bengali and Oriya and are sister languages. Similarity between these sister languages can be observed in the following sample sentence constructions. One common feature is that the sound ca appears at the end of a verb, for instance, hamma ja’ychhiye (“I am going”) in Angika, ham ja’ychhi / ham ja’ychhiye in Maithili, ami jacchi in Bengali, mo ja’yche in Assamese, and mu ja’uchi in Oriya. Similarly, there is the sound la as the verb ending in the past tense; for example, for “I went”: hamma ga’yliyay in Angika, ham ge’yliyay / ham gel rahee in Maithili, a’mi gela’m in Bengali, man galo in Assamese and Mu Gali in Oriya. Similarly, in the future tense, the va sound occurs as a verb ending; for example, hamma ja’ybow in Angika, ham jaybai / ham jaayab in Maithili, a’mi ja’bo in Bengali and Mu Jibi in Oriya.
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.
Number of programmes are broadcasted from Patna and Bhagalpur Radio stations. Similarly, number of programmes are telecasted from Patna Doordarshan.
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:
Demography / Current Use
Angika is spoken by around five crore (fifty million) people in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
- Eastern Bihar
Katihar District, :Purnia District, Kishanganj District, Madhepura District, Saharsa District, :Bhagalpur District, Banka District, Jamui District, Munger District, Lakhisarai, Begusarai and Sheikhpura
Sahebganj District, Godda District, Deoghar District, Pakur District, Dumka District and Jamtara
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 (mainly from Munger) 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 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” has been released in April 2010. Angika folk singer Sunil Chailaa Bihari plays lead role in the film.
Suman Soorow, Ashwini, Naresh Pandey- ‘Chakore’, Permanand Pandey, Vidyabhushan Venu, Amrendra, Khushilal Manjar, Vimal Vidrohi, Ram Sharma Anal, Gore Lal Manishi (or Gorelal Manishi), Abhaykant Choudhary, Shri Umesh Jee, Shri Gorelal Manishi, Shri Bahadur Mishra, 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.
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