Asuras? No, Just Indians

 A common Gondi and a venerable Ravana will hopefully forge a Gond cultural identity

A motley group of eight huddles together, discussing the best Gondi word for ‘drum’ animatedly. The group’s members span five states and come from as many as seven different professions, including farming, journalism and forestry. What unites them though is their ethnicity—they are all Gonds—and their purpose to generate a shareable Gondi lingua franca that, they hope, will help forge a common identity for their community. Dispersed across Indian states and further alienated from each other by the different varieties of Gondi language that have been influenced by locally dominant tongues, the Gonds today are a fractured lot. However, long marginalised as minorities, a proud majority in central India is finally pulling its act together. Continue reading

गोंडी राष्ट्रीय स्तर की भाषा है : नरेटी

भानुप्रतापपुर | गोंडीभाषा के मानकीकरण के लिए द्वितीय राष्ट्रीय कार्यशाला गत दिनों कन्नड़ विश्वविद्यालय हम्पी कर्नाटक में हुई। इसका उद्देश्य देश के विभिन्न राज्यों में बोली जाने वाली गोंडी भाषा के विविध स्वरूपों को मानक स्वरूप प्रदान कर भारतीय संविधान की आठवीं अनुसूची में शामिल करने की दिशा में मार्ग प्रशस्त करना था।

जुलाई में प्रथम कार्यशाला दिल्ली के राजघाट में आयोजित हुई थी। कन्नड़ विश्वविद्यालय के जनजातीय अध्ययन एवं सामाजिक विज्ञान विभाग के विभागाध्यक्ष डा केएम मैत्री के मार्गदर्शन में आयोजित इस कार्यशाला में सिलेदार मयाराम नेताम (जगदलपुर) सहित देश भर के भाषाविद् शामिल हुए। कन्नड़ विवि हम्पी में आयोजित राष्ट्रीय कार्यशाला में छत्तीसगढ़ राज्य का प्रतिनिधित्व गोंड़वना समाज युवा प्रभाग के जिला उपाध्यक्ष देवलाल नरेटी ने किया। राष्ट्रीय कार्यशाला से लौटे नरेटी ने बताया कि गोंडी भाषा को अबतक क्षेत्रीय भाषा ही माना जा रहा हैं, जबकि वास्तव में यह राष्ट्रीय स्तर की भाषा है। राष्ट्रीय कार्यशाला में गोंडी भाषा, व्याकरण फोनेटिक शब्दों द्वारा पूरे देश भर में बोली जाने वाली गोंडी को एकरूपता प्रदान कर उसका मानकीकरण करना हम सबके लिए चुनौतीपूर्ण कार्य रहा, किंतु विद्वतजनों के मार्गदर्शन से गोंडी भाषा के मानकीकरण के कार्य को निरंतर गति मिल रही है। 

(Bhaskar News Network Sep 2, 2014)

Gondi: language of Unity and Diveristy

Gonds are essentially a primitive tribal community involved in hunting and food gathering, pastoral occupations,agriculture, martial assignments, basic trade and commerce, herbal medicine as well as rulers in Central India,etc.  At the same time they have perpetuated a unique tribal culture and language affiliation depending on the geographical regions. This tribal unique speciality merits a better exposure and analysis to effect satisfactory assimilation into the social mainstream.

According to 2011 census Gonds, the major tribe of the country has been notified as scheduled tribe in the following states: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and West Bengal having a total population of 1,13,44,629 as per 2011 Census. They are concentrated in the central region, popularly known as Gondwana, which includes the Satpuda Plateau, a portion of the Nagpur plain area and the Narmada Valley and are believed to belong to the Dravidian stock. This tribe has a share of 13.45 per cent of the total scheduled tribes population of India.

The Gonds generally speak Gondi dialect. Gondi is considered as a mother tongue and a member of the Dravidian family (Central and Southern Dravidian Group). According to the 1991 census Gondi language speakers are 21,24,852. Gondi is one of the Non-scheduled languages spoken in India mainly in its central part.

The Gondi spoken in Bidar, Davanagere and Bangalore districts of Karnataka, India, (commonly referred to as Koitor) is spoken by approximately 1262 Nomadic Rajgonds or Koitor as they call themselves. Bidar and Uttara Kannada districts settled Gonds dialect is local Kannada dialect. Though written here in the Kannada script, one can clearly see that the Gondi language is very distinct from Kannada. An interesting feature of this variety of Gondi is the high level of borrowing from the neighbouring IndoAryan languages particularly from Hindi and Marathi.

We have yet to come across a comprehensive Gondi dictionary in the regional script (Kannada) which could be used in schools, and also to encourage local writers to be more actively involved in commuting their cultural stories, beliefs, and local history to paper, and also to encourage development of literature in Gondi.

With reference to the invitation from Shri Shubhranshu Choudhary (www.adivasiswara.org) I have attended the workshop on standardization of Gondi tribal language at Delhi between 21st and 25th workshop was to standardize the Gondi language, spoken by the Gond Tribe in more than 11 states in India and today the Gondi language is influenced very much by regional languages like Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Telugu etc. This workshop was organized by Central Gondwana Net (CG Net), Bhopal, Gandhi Smiriti and Darshan Samithi, Rajghat, New Delhi and sponsored by Ministry of Culture, Government of India, New Delhi. This workshop was inaugurated by Shri Jual Oram, Hon’ble Minister for Tribal Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi.

During the workshop at Delhi, an elaborate discussion was done on Gondi language and it was decided to form six groups with experts groups of implementators in their respective states on the aspects of Gondi Script, Gondi Grammar and Gondi Dictionary. In the workshop it was decided to organize regional workshops, one on Gondi Dictionary at Kannada University, Hampi and another one on Gondi Grammar and Gondi Script at Indira Gandhi Central Tribal University, Amarakantak, Madhya Pradesh in September 2014.

Dr KM METRY I for Adivasi Swara I

(Professor and Head, Department of Tribal Studies Kannada University, Hampi )