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Indian Heritage & Culture

Promotion and Protection of Maithili

  • 14 Feb 2019
  • 2 min read

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has decided to apply some of the recommendations of a committee constituted in 2018 for the promotion and protection of Maithili language and its scripts.

  • The accepted recommendations include:
    • Establishment of a script and manuscript centre in Darbhanga either at Kameshwar Singh Sanskrit University or Lalit Narayan Mithila University,
    • Early completion of work pertaining to Unicode scripts of Mithilakshar by the Technology Development of Indian Languages and
    • Preparation of audio-visual materials for teaching the Mithilakshar scripts.

Mithilakshar Script of Maithili Language

  • Mithilakshar or Tirhuta is the script of broader cultural Mithila.
  • Mithilakshar, Bangla, Assamese, Nebari, Odia and Tibetan are a part of the same family of scripts.
  • It is an ancient script and is one of the scripts of the broader North Eastern India.
  • Mithilakshar script emerged during 10th Century AD as its oldest form was found in Sahodara stone inscriptions of 950 AD.
  • The script has been used throughout Mithila from Champaran to Deoghar.
  • The use of this script has been declining since the last 100 years, which is the primary reason for the cultural decline.

Maithili Language

  • Maithili is a language spoken in Bihar belonging to the eastern sub-group of the Indo-Aryan branch. Bhojpuri and Magadhi are closely related to the language.
  • The language is claimed to have developed from the Magadhan Prakrit.
  • It was the literary language of all of eastern India during the medieval period.
  • This language was popularised in fourteenth century by poet Vidyapati and solidified the importance of the language in literature.
  • Maithili language has been accorded Constitutional status in 2003 and it became one of the 22 languages mentioned in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.
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