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Languages of Bihar
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Maithili is of the family of Indo-Aryan languages, which are part of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is spoken in the Indian state of Bihar and in the eastern Terai region of Nepal. Linguists consider Maithili to be an Eastern Indic language, and thus a different language from Hindi, which is Central Indic. Maithili has been considered a dialect of both Hindi and Bengali, and in fact was classified as a mother tongue of Hindi in the Census of India. In 2003 Maithili gained the status of an independent language in India. A movement to give the language official status through inclusion in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution so that it may be used in education, government, and other official contexts, resulted in Maithili being given official status in 2003.
Maithili was traditionally written in the Maithili script (also known by the names Tirhuta and Mithilakshar, which has some resemblance with the Bengali script. It was also written in the Kaithi script, but the Devanagari script is the script most commonly used today for Maithili. An effort is underway to preserve the Maithili script and to develop it for use in digital media by encoding the script in the Unicode standard, for which a proposal, submitted by Anshuman Pandey, to allocate the script in the Unicode Roadmap has been submitted as the first step.
The term Maithili comes from Mithila, which was an independent state in ancient times. Maithili is a separate language, having a large Maithili-speaking community (4.5 crore, or 45 million, people) with a rich literature. The most famous literary figure in Maithili is the poet Vidyapati. He is credited for raising the importance of 'people's langauage', i.e. Maithili, in the official work of the state by influencing the Maharaja of Darbhanga with the quality of his poetry. The state's official language used to be Sanskrit, which distanced common people from the state and its functions. The name Maithili is also one of the names of Sita, the consort of the Rama.
Contents [hide]
1 Maithili literature
2 Modern Maithili Writers
3 See also
4 References
5 External links
Maithili literature
It is a fact that scholars in Mithila used Sanskrit for their literary work and Maithili was the language of the common folk (Abahatta). The earliest work in Maithili appears to be Varn Ratnakar by Jyotirishwar Thakur dated about 1224 AD.
The name Maithili is derived from the word Mithila, an ancient kingdom of which King Janaka was the ruler (See Ramayana). Maithili is also one of the names of Sita, the wife of King Rama and daughter of King Janaka.
The Medieval age of Maithili appears to be during Karnat Dynasty when the names of the following scholars got prominence: Gangesh, Padmanabh, Chandeshwar, Vireshwar, Vidyapati, Vachaspati, Pakshadhar, Ayachi, Udayan, Shankar etc.
Vidyapati is said to have lived in the period 1350 to 1450. Vidyapati, though a Sanskrit scholar, wrote innumerable poems(songs) relating to Bhakti and Shringar in Maithili. Though equally accepted in Bengal and Mithila, his songs are the soul of Mithila and no celebration is complete without his songs. It will not be an exaggeration to say that his songs have survived in the throats of Maithil women folk. Verses of Vidhyapati are given religious importance in the culture of Mithila.
Theatrical writings in Medieval age are not less important. The following need mention: Umapati: (Parijat Haran), Jyotireeshwar: (Dhurt Samagam), Vidyapati: (Goraksha Vijay, Mani Manjari), Ramapati: (Rukmini Haran), Lal: (Gauri Swayambar), Manbodh: (Krishna Janma)
Maithili has been preferred by many authors to write humour and satire. Writers like Dr. Hari Mohan Jha took steps to bring about fundamental changes in the centuries old Mithila Culture. His work like Khatar Kaka Ke Tarang decorated mordern maithili Literature.
Maithili has now been listed in VIIIth schedule of the Indian Constitution and thus now it is one of the 22 National Languages of India. Maithali was accepted by Sahitya Academy and since its inclusion has won awards almost every year. A number of academy awards have been won for translation from other languages.

Modern Maithili came into its own after Sir George Abraham Grierson, Irish linguist and civil servant, tirelessly reasearched Maithili folklore and wrote its grammar.

Modern Maithili Writers
Parmeshwar Jha
Sitaram Jha
Kabishekhar Badrinath Jha
Murali Jha
Surendranath Jha Suman
Kashikant Mishra Madhup
Chandranath Mishra Amar
Kanchinath Jha Kiran
Prof. Hari Mohan Jha
Ishnath Jha
Brajkishore Verma "Manipadma"
Dr. Binod Bihari Verma
Acharya Surendra Jha 'Suman'
Baidyanath Mishra Yatri (Nagarjuna)
Sudhanshu Shekhar Choudhary
Upendra Nath Jha Vyas
Prof. Radha Kant Jha
Mahamahopadhyay Umesh Mishra
Dr. JayKant Mishra
Prof. Krishna Kant Mishra
Kumar Ganganand Singh
Dr Chandra Nath Jha(Mangarauni)
Sri Gaya Nand Jha kaviji (Antour, Benipur)
Sri Hemant Kumar Jha (Antour, Benipur)
Dr. Ramanath Jha
Prof. Tantra Nath Jha
Acharya Ramlochan Saran
Dr. Laxman Jha Dr. Subhadra Jha
Achutanand Dutt
Bhola Lal Das
Baidyanath Jha
Yoganand Jha
Narendra Das
Rajeshwar Jha
Arsi Prasad Singh
Prof. Buddhidhari Singh Ramakar
Late Damodar Lal Das
Sri Brahmadeo Lal Das
Prof. Uma Nath Jha and many more.
Man Mohan Jha
Professor Vijay Kumar Jha (Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, Wardha)
babuaji jha ajnat