|Native to||India and Nepal|
|Region||Bihar and Jharkhand states of India and Terai region of Nepal|
|Devanagari, Anga Lipi, Kaithi|
Official language in
|Angika test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator|
Angika (अंगिका) is a language spoken primarily in the Anga region of Bihar and Jharkhand states of India. In addition to India, it is also spoken in some parts of the Terai region of Nepal. It belongs to the Eastern Indo-Aryan language family. It is closely related to languages such as Bengali, Assamese, Odia, 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. Angika is written in the Devanagari script; although the Anga Lipi and Kaithi scripts were used historically. Angika shows a regular contrast for animates.
Angika is mainly spoken in Anga area which includes Munger, Bhagalpur and Banka districts of Bihar and the Santhal Pargana division of Jharkhand. Its speakers number around 15 million people. In addition to the Anga area, it is also spoken in some parts of Purnia district of Bihar. However, in Purnia, it is a minority language as Purnia has a Maithil majority. 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.
Relationship to Maithili
Angika was classified as a dialect of Maithili by George A. Grierson in the Linguistic Survey of India (1903). 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. 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.
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. 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.
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