Rajasthani Language

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    CHAPTER-l

    INTRODUCTION

    1 1 RAJASTHANl:

    DIALECTS AND CLASSIFICATION

    The present work is a grammatical description ofBagri, a dialect ofRajasthani which

    is

    a member

    of

    Indo-Aryan language family. Bagri

    is

    spoken in northern-Rajasthan

    and its adjacent areas of a r y a n ~ and Punjab ( Map-I). It

    is

    also reported to be

    spoken in Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar areas ofPunjab in Pakistan.

    In the past, the constituent regions of the present Rajasthan were known by

    different names. Many a times due to change in their rulers, the boundaries of the

    separate regions also changed. The northern of these regions was known as Jangal,

    the eastern as Matsya, the southern as Medpat, Wagad, Pragvat, Malaw and

    Gurjratra, the western as Maru, Mad, Vall, Travani, the south eastern as Sivi and the

    central part as Arbud and Sapadlaksha.

    The current name Rajasthan

    l

    was introduced

    by

    Colonel Tod in 1829 and it

    gradually replaced the old name Rajputana given by George Thomas in 1800.

    Through the course

    of

    time the name Rajasthan got established mainly after the State

    Reorganization on 1st November, 1956 and consequently, the dialects spoken in this

    state were called as the varieties ofRajasthani (Map-2).

    1 Colonel Tad (182 9)Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Part I Calcutta: Indian Antiquary

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    MAP I:

    INDIA:

    BAGRI SPEAKING AREA IN RAJASTHAN HARY ANA AND PUNJAB

    lb

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    Hist9rically, Gujarati and Rajasthani were developed from Gurjari

    Apabhramsa around 11th century A.D. Up to the fifteenth century, Rajasthani and

    Gujarati shared common literature. The literature

    of

    the early period 1050-1450

    A.D.) is thus a common heritage Munshi, 1935)

    of

    both the languages - Gujarati

    and Rajasthani. During the first half of the fifteenth century, both these languages

    began their independent growth, and consequently the modern Rajasthani came into

    being Fig.l). The development of literature in Dingal style

    of

    Rajasthani begins from

    1050 A.D. with Prithviraj Ras0

    2

    .

    Though, Rajasthani is not _enlisted

    in

    the Eighth Schedule

    of

    the Constitution

    and

    is

    still considered as one

    of

    the 48 dialects

    of

    Hindi,

    3

    yet its popularity and status

    are remarkable from the literary and linguistic points of view. Rajasthani is spoken by

    27,405,537 speakers, that is more than fifty percent of the total population

    of

    Rajasthan, comprising its eight dialects plus 13,328,581

    s p e ~ e r s of

    Rajasthani ?)

    according to the 1991 Census. Rajasthani language, literature and culture have an

    independent tendency

    of

    development.

    There are eight dialects

    of

    Rajasthani Map 2), with their respective speakers

    in

    braces according to the Census

    of ndia

    1991, these are: Bagri 593, 730) spoken in

    Hanumangarh and Ganganagar districts of Rajasthan and adjoining sections of

    Haryana and Punjab;

    Shekhawati{970,413) in Sikar and Jhunjhunu area;

    Mewati 102,916)

    in

    Alwar, Bharatpur, Dholpur area; Marwari 4,673,276)

    in

    Jodhpur, Bikaner, laisalmer, Barmer, ChufU Nagaur, Ajmer, Pali districts;

    M e \ ~ i J : i C ? J 14,622) in Udaipur, Rajsamand area; Dhundhari 965,006) in Jaipur,

    2

    Mahcshwari, H.

    L

    1960) Rajasthani Bhasha AUf Sahitya vs. 1500-1650) Calcutta: Adhunik

    3 Census

    of

    India 1991) Languages part, Annexure-I, New Delhi: Government

    oflndia

    Press

    2

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    Marwari 4,673,276

    MAP 2:

    DIALECTS OF

    RAJASTHANI

    ~ i t h their respective speakers in braces according to the Census o India

    1991

    b

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    Sawai Marlhopur, Tonk

    reglOn

    HarautiC1.235,252) in Kota, Bundi, lhalawar

    districts; and Wagri(1.420,051) in Chittorgarh, Banswara and Dungarpur region. Out

    o

    these eight dialects, Marwari

    is

    considered a dominant and standard variety

    o

    Rajasthani as a high variety

    o

    literature and a lot

    o

    work in grammar and dictionary

    have been written in this dialect.

    It

    is

    believed that when Aryans settled in Panchnad, their language at that time

    was Vedic Sanskrit and the changed form

    o

    literary Vedic Sanskrit was called

    Sanskrit. The languages in use among the common masses were known as Prakrits.

    There were two categories

    o

    Prakrits : First Prakrits and Second Prakrits. Pali and

    Ardha-Magadhi represented the First Prakrits whereas Saurseni, Magadhi and

    Maharashtri represented the Second Prakrits. With the course

    o

    time Apabhramsas

    were developed from the Prakrits. There are known to be twenty seven varieties o

    Apabhramsas.

    According to Dr. Grierson, Nagar Apabhramsa dominated Gujarat-Rajasthan

    area; whereas, Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterji called the same as Saurseni Apabhramsa

    that was spoken in lower Rajasthan and upper Gujarat area. K.M.Munshi said, it was

    Gurjari

    or

    the Apabhramsa

    o

    Gurjar Desh that was spoken

    in

    this area. The latter

    view seems more appropriate

    as

    majority

    o

    modern linguists supports this view.

    Gurjari Apabhramsa was spoken in the Gujarat-Rajasthan area. With the course o

    time Gurjari Apabhramsa gave birth to Gujarati and Rajasthani around eleventh

    century A.D. Thereafter, Rajasthani started separating from Gujarati in the fifteenth

    century and finally developed independently having its literary form known as Dingal.

    3

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    Since the beginning o twentieth century Rajasthani has been making progress

    immensely n each and every genre o literature and linguistics.

    Aryan languages

    1

    Vedic Sanskrit

    1

    Prakrits Sanskrit

    - 1

    1

    Saurseni Prakrit Magadhi Prakrit

    Maharashtri Prakrit

    _

    1 I

    Gurjari Apabhramsa Saurseni Apabhramsa

    1 1

    Old Rajasthani Gujarati

    1

    Modern Rajasthani

    I

    [Bagri Shekhawati Mewati Marwari Dhundari Harauti Mewari Wagri.]

    Fig. 1 : Development ofRajasthani and its dialects

    1.2 GEOGRAPHY:

    Out o the eight dialects o Rajasthani Bagri s spoken predominantly

    n

    Hanumangarh and Ganganagar districts o Rajasthan; Sirsa and Hissar Districts o

    Haryana; and Faridkot Firozpur and Bhatinda districts o Punjab. Bagri s also

    spoken across the border

    n

    Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar areas

    o

    Pakistan.

    4

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    ~ R

    A

    lKANEJi

    S

    \

    CHURU

    T H A

    MAP 3 : BAGRI

    SPE KING A:REA

    4b

    N

    ~ f A \ R l A N A

    r

    EtBJ

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    The name Bagri4 derived from the word Bagar which means arid and barren

    land. But this word has no relevance today as the area

    is

    fully irrigated and fertile.

    However, the language spoken in this area is continued

    to

    be called Bagri due

    to

    geographical significance of the area.

    The Bagri speaking area is

    located between 28

    4

    and 30 10 north latitudes

    and between 72 30 and 75 30 east longitudes (Map-3). Roughly, the Bagri

    speaking area consists of 48,260 square kilometres. Out of which 20,813 square

    kilometres cover Hanumangarh and Ganganagar districts; 10,180 square kilometres

    of

    Punjab; and 12,21 osquare kilometses

    of

    Sirsa and Hissar districts

    of

    Haryana and rest

    of the area of Pakistan.

    According to the CensusofIndia, there were 309,903 Bagri speakers in 1961;

    1,055,607

    in

    1971

    5

    ;

    and 593,730

    in

    1991. The data mentioned

    in

    the Census are

    misleading

    s is

    clear from the returns given above. They are changing drastically

    from 196) to 1991. The number of actual speakers is higher since Bagri

    is

    used as a

    lingua franca of majority of the population in the northern Rajasthan, western Haryana

    nd

    southern Punjab.

    1.3 ]>OLITICAL HISTORY:

    Before July 12th, 1994 Hanumangarh district was a Tehsil of Ganganagar district.

    Erstwhile Ganganagar district

    is

    named after its head quarters which .itself

    is

    named

    after Maharaja Gangasingh, the ruler of former Bikaner State, whose continuous

    efforts resulted in the advent :of Gang canal in this thirsty and arid land of this area.

    4

    Grierson, G.A.(l908) (Repr. 1968)Linguistic Survey ofindia(vol.IX, part.II)New Delhi:Motilal

    Banarasi dass

    5

    Masica, C.P.(l991)Thc Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge: Cambrid University Press

    5

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    Several Explorations and excavations have been made by archaelogical experts

    6

    .

    These have proved that the civilization

    o

    the Indus valley had extended and it was

    inhabited by the people akin to those who had flourished at Mohenjodaro and

    Harappa. The famous terra-cotta cakes were also utilized fo

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