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Native toIndia and Nepal
RegionBihar and Jharkhand states of India and Terai region of Nepal[1]
Native speakers
743,600 (1996)[2]
Official status
Official language in
 India (Jharkhand[3])
Language codes
ISO 639-2anp
ISO 639-3anp

Angika (अंगिका) or Chhika-Chhiki is a language spoken primarily in the Bihar and Jharkhand states of India and the Terai region of Nepal.[1]It belongs to the Eastern Indo-Aryan language family. It is closely related to languages such as Bengali, Assamese, Oriya, Maithili and Magahi.

Angika is not listed in the 8th schedule of the constitution of India. Nevertheless, Angika language movements have advocated its inclusion, and a submitted request is currently pending with the Government.[5] Angika is written in the Devanagari script; although the Anga Lipi and Kaithi scripts were used historically.[citation needed] Angika shows a regular contrast for animates.[6]


Angika is mainly spoken in eastern Bihar, including Munger, Bhagalpur, Banka and Purnia; and the Santhal Pargana area of Jharkhand.[7] Its speakers number around 15 million people.[8]

Relationship to Maithili[edit]

Angika was classified as a dialect of Maithili by George A. Grierson in the Linguistic Survey of India (1903).[9] However, the Angika speakers now assert its status as an independent language. When the proponents of the Maithili language in Bihar demanded use of Maithili-medium primary education in the early 20th century, the Angika speaking people did not support them, and instead favoured Hindi-medium education.[10] In the 1960s and the 1970s, when the Maithili speakers demanded a separate Mithila state, the Angika and Bajjika speakers made counter-demands for recognition of their languages.[11]

Maithili proponents believe that the Government of Bihar and the pro-Hindi Bihar Rashtrabhasha Parishad promoted Angika and Bajjika as distinct languages to weaken the Maithili language movement; many of them still consider Angika to be a dialect of Maithili.[10] People from mainly Maithil Brahmins and Karan Kayasthas castes have supported the Maithili movement, while people from various other castes in the Mithila region have projected Angika and Bajjika as their mother tongues, attempting to break away from the Maithili-based regional identity.[12]

Official status[edit]

Angika has the status of "second state language" in the Indian state of Jharkhand since 2018. It shares this status with 15 other languages, including Maithili.[3][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Angika". Archived from the original on 2018-03-21.
  2. ^ Angika at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ a b Sudhir Kumar Mishra (22 March 2018). "Bhojpuri, 3 more to get official tag". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018.
  4. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Angika". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  5. ^ "Languages in the Eighth Schedule". Ministry of Home Affairs. 2004-12-22. Archived from the original on 2013-04-30. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
  6. ^ Colin P. Masica 1993, p. 221.
  7. ^ Colin P. Masica 1993, p. 12.
  8. ^ Sevanti Ninan (2007). Headlines From the Heartland: Reinventing the Hindi Public Sphere. SAGE Publications. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-7619-3580-3. Archived from the original on 2018-05-11.
  9. ^ "The Record News". Archived from the original on 2014-09-03.
  10. ^ a b Mithilesh Kumar Jha 2017, p. 163.
  11. ^ Kathleen Kuiper 2010, p. 57.
  12. ^ Manish Kumar Thakur 2002, p. 208.
  13. ^ "Jharkhand gives 2nd language status to Magahi, Angika, Bhojpuri and Maithali". United News of India. 21 March 2018. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018.