Folklore of Jharkhand — both oral and written — which remains confined within tribal groups, is all set to find expression in the Queen’s language, courtesy University Grants Commission (UGC).
The UGC has awarded a research project to Central University of Jharkhand (CUJ)-Brambe, through which researchers would not only unearth tribal literature but also bring out a book on the subject. As no similar work has taken place on the subject, the research project, named Multicultural Response to Lost traditions, with Special Reference to Tribal Literature in Jharkhand, is going to be the first of its kind in the field and is expected to give a new lease of life to dying traditions.
“We will try to find the place of tribal literature of Jharkhand in the context of world tribal literature as well as literatures from other parts of India,” said Bhagwati Prasad Sinha, dean of School of Languages at CUJ, who would be doing the research work.
Sinha said he would focus on four dialects — Kurukh, Mundari, Santhali and Kharia.
Tribal groups nurture rich folklore, which have continued to remain within the groups as they are in oral form, passed from one generation to another. Now, many have taken up writing in their mother tongues and creating written literature.
In Jharkhand, creating written literature has witnessed a spurt after September 2011 when the state government accorded these tribal dialects the second official language status.
UGC has awarded Rs 4.75 lakh to CUJ for the project and Sinha has to complete the research within two years and hand over the work for final publication.
Sinha, who writes books in Hindi and English, has to his credit works like Feminist Concept and My God is Dark — both in English, Jalte Huen Basement Me, Nili Aakh se Gujarte Huen in Hindi, et al.
“In Jharkhand, I would have to visit Dumka, Khunti and Simdega to learn about Santhali, Mundari and Kharia literature,” said Sinha.