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Chhika-Chhiki Maithili
अंगिका, অঙ্গিকা
Native toIndia and Nepal
RegionBihar,West Bengal and Jharkhand states of India and Terai region of Nepal[1]
Native speakers
(743,600 cited 1996)[2]
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-2anp
ISO 639-3anp
Glottologangi1238  Angika

Angika language (अंगिका भाषा/অঙ্গিকা ভাষা)[4] or alternatively classified as Chhika-Chhiki[5][6] variant of Maithili is the primary language of the Anga region of Bihar, Jharkhand and the neighbouring West Bengal[7] states of India. In addition to India, it is also spoken in some parts of the Terai region of Nepal.[1] It belongs to the Eastern Indo-Aryan language family. It is closely related to languages such as Assamese, Bengali 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.[8] Angika is written in the Devanagari script; although the Tirhuta and Kaithi scripts were used historically.


Angika or Chhika-Chhiki is mainly spoken in Anga area which includes Munger, Bhagalpur and Banka districts of Bihar and the Santhal Pargana division of Jharkhand.[9] Its speakers number around 15 million people.[10] Apart from Bihar and Jharkhand states of India, it is also spoken in the Morang district of Nepalese Terai as a minority language. 1.9% people of Morang returned Angika as their mother tongue during the 2011 Nepal census.[11]

Relationship to Maithili[edit]

Angika is classified as a dialect of Maithili by George A. Grierson in the Linguistic Survey of India (1903).[12] However,few people now assert its status as an independent language. When the proponents of the Maithili language in Bihar demanded the use of Maithili-medium primary education in the early 20th century, the few anti-Maithili people did not support them, and instead favoured Hindi-medium education.[13]

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. [13] People from mainly Maithil Brahmins and Karan Kayasthas castes supported the Maithili movement in the days when it was to be subsumed as a dialect of Hindi / Bengali, hence anti-Maithili factions branded the Maithili Language as a brahminical language while inciting various other castes in the Mithila region to project Angika and Bajjika as their mother tongues, attempting to break away from the Maithili-based regional identity.[14]

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][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Angika". Archived from the original on 21 March 2018.
  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. ^ Tosha, M., & Dwivedi, R. R. Angika Folksongs and Physical Environment: A Critical Perspective on Parallel Decline.
  5. ^ "LSI Vol-5 part-2". dsal. p. 95. Chhika-Chhiki
  6. ^ "LSI Vol-5 part-2". dsal. p. 13.
  7. ^ Kumari, K., & Upadhyay, R. K. (2020). SOCIO-CULTURAL ASPECT OF ANGIKA. PalArch's Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology, 17(6), 6797-6804.
  8. ^ "Languages in the Eighth Schedule". Ministry of Home Affairs. 22 December 2004. Archived from the original on 30 April 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  9. ^ Colin P. Masica 1993, p. 12.
  10. ^ 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 11 May 2018.
  11. ^ 2011 Nepal Census, Social Characteristics Tables
  12. ^ "The Record News". Archived from the original on 3 September 2014.
  13. ^ a b Mithilesh Kumar Jha 2017, p. 163.
  14. ^ Manish Kumar Thakur 2002, p. 208.
  15. ^ "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.