21 April, 2021

Odia Vs Koshali: Mischievous And Dirty Language War Triggers Debate On Splitting Odisha

The burning of Madhu Barnabodha, long acknowledged as Odisha's blue book of grammar and punctuation, by Koshal activists has opened old wounds but carving new state looks impossible

The burnt copy of Madhu Barnabodha
Odia Vs Koshali: Mischievous And Dirty Language War Triggers Debate On Splitting Odisha
outlookindia.com
2019-09-03T13:13:13+05:30

The fissures have been lurking beneath the surface since Independence. All it needed to burst into the surface was a mischievous video showing the burning of Madhu Barnabodha, the gra­m­­mar primer written by eminent Odia poet Bhaktakabi Madhusudan Rao that has initiated generations into the language. The year-old video was sha­red on Facebook, on Independence Day, by a group based in western Odisha that refuses to accept Odia as its mother tongue and is fighting for recognition of Koshali, the language spoken in the region.      

Predictably, this caused a fur­ore, with Odia writers and intelligentsia  up in arms against this wanton sacrilege aimed at a lan­guage that is one of only six Indian languages to have the ‘classical’ tag. What enraged them in particular was the use of a photograph of Padma Shri Haladhar Nag, the eminent Koshali folk poet, on the cover of the Facebook page on which the video was shared. A bitter ‘language war’ broke out, primarily on social media, between...

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