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Sambalpuri is an Indo-Aryan language variety spoken in western Odisha, India. It is alternatively known as Kosali (with variants Kosli, Koshal and Koshali), a recently popularised but controversial term, which draws on an association with the ancient Kosala Kingdom, whose vast territories also included the present-day Sambalpur region.
Its speakers usually perceive it as a separate language, while outsiders have seen it as a dialect of Odia, and standard Odia is used by Sambalpuri speakers for formal communication. A 2006 survey of the varieties spoken in four villages found out that they share 75–76% of their basic vocabulary with Standard Odia.
Sambalpuri is spoken in the following districts of Odisha: Sambalpur (with the city of Sambalpur, the chief cultural and commercial centre of the region), Deogarh, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Subarnapur, Balangir, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Boudh, the Athmallik subdivision of Angul district. Sambalpuri speakers are also found in neighbouring areas of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
The Devanagari script was presumably used in the past, but since the start of the 20th century the Odia script has become established, and it is currently the script most commonly used in literacy materials.
There has been a language movement campaigning for the recognition of the language. This movement has been going on for the last five decades in the districts of Western Odisha or Kosal. Persons like Prayag Dutta Joshi, Nilamadhab Panigrahi and others started this movement.
According to some, the Sambalpuri language is considered a dialect of the Oriya language. In the Census of India- 2001, the Sambalpuri language is shown as a mother tongue grouped under Oriya. There are several radio and TV programmes in the Sambalpuri language.
No written literature was created in Sambalpuri till the late nineteenth century.
Ancient stone inscriptions, writing on copper plates, palm leaves are not available in this language. The first Sambalpuri Odia writing appeared in the year 1891 in the weekly magazine "Sambalpur Hiteisani" published from Debagarh. It was titled "Sambalpur Anchalar Praachin Kabitaa", written by"Madhusudan".Following is an excerpt from the poem:
"kaha go dUtI muin kenta karsin go
nandapua kAnhAke dekhle badA kAbA lAgsi go"
"disu thisi kaliA TarTar
pindhi thisi haldiA jarjar
dhob farfarTe jAnbArirTe beke ulei hesi go"
2 – "Jatan" wrote "Bhulaaman Chautisaa" between 1900 and 1910.
3 – "Chaitan Das" wrote "Chadhei Chautisaa" between 1900 and 1910.
4 – "Baalaaji Meher" wrote between 1910 and 1920 –
II- "Gaud Gaman",
III- "Kumbhaar Pasraa",
IV- "Sunari Pasaraa".
5 – "Lakshman Pati" wrote between 1915 and 1925 -
I- Aadi Bandanaa,
II- Munush Baran,
III- Maaejhi Baran,
IV- Bhuliaa Pasaraa,
V- Kanrraa Pasaraa,
VI- Kharraa Pasaraa,
VII- Teli Pasaraa,
VIII- Sabar leelaa.
6-"Kapil Mahaapaatar" wrote "Gaunliaa Raamaayana" between 1925 and 1930.
In this way, between 1891 and 1947, a total of 35 poets wrote 64 poems only. The period up to 1891 A.D. can be termed as the dark age in the history of Sambalpuri literature. From 1891 to 1970 can be termed as the infant stage of Sambalpuri literature as very few Sambalpuri literature was produced during this period. Only after 1970 there was an awakening to develop the language. Satya Narayan Bohidar was the first man who not only created Sambalpuri literature but also encouraged others to write in Sambalpuri. He also proved in many literary forums that Sambalpuri is a separate language. From 1970 onwards people of Western Orissa realized that Sambalpuri is a separate language and literature can be produced in this language. More and more people engaged themselves in creating Sambalpuri literature. A brief account of the contribution of Samalpuri writers, whose contribution has enriched Samalpuri literature is given here. It is neither feasible nor desirable to give an exhaustive list of writers and books of Sambalpuri language. Only those writers, whose work have boosted the development of Sambalpuri literature or enhanced the image of Sambalpuri literature is mentioned below.
- Satya Narayan Bohidar (1913–1980) – His first poem "Anubhuti" was published in 1931. He wrote 119 poems and one short Sambalpuri Grammar book, named " Sankhipta Samalpuri Vyakaran ".
- Khageswar Seth – He wrote "Paerchha Sati" (1949).
- Indramani Sahu (1923–2006) – He wrote "Jharmali" (1953), " Kosali Ramayan " (1997)
- Nil Madhab Panigrahi – A strong proponent of Sambalpuri language, He gave up writing Oriya for his love for mother tongue, Sambalpuri. He founded, published and edited "Nisan", a Sambalpuri literary magazine which popularized Sambalpuri language and generated many Sambalpuri writers. He founded "Nisan Sahitya Sansad" and undertook the work of publishing Sambalpuri books written by others. His famous work is "Mahabharat Katha", the translation of Mahabharat in Sambalpuri. He co-authored "Samalpuri – Kosali Vyakaran" book with Prafulla Kumar Tripathy.
- Prafulla Kumar Tripathy – He compiled the book "Samalpuri Oriya Shabdakosha" (1987), a Sambalpuri to Oriya Dictionary. He is a celebrated figure in Oriya and Sambalpuri literature and grammar. He has also received Sahitya Academy Puraskar for his collection of Oriya short stories, "Nija Singhasana". Settled in Bhubaneswar, he continues to work towards getting Sambalpuri language an official status. He has also co-authored "Samalpuri Oriya Vyakaran" book with Nil Madhab Panigrahi.
- Prem Ram Dubey – To popularize Sambalpuri language, he published "Hame Kosali Hamar Bhasa Kosali", a Sambalpuri literary magazine, and "Kosal Khabar" a news based magazine. He wrote many articles in these magazines.
- Hema Chandra Acharya (Born 20.4.1926 – Died 26.8.2009) – His works include "Satar Sati Brundavati", "Kathani Sat Satani", "Ram Raha" (2001). Ram Raha is the Sambalpuri version of the Raamayana. He has also written a novel "Nuni". He is popular among the masses as the 'Kosal Balmiki' for his Ram Raha.
- Mangalu Charan Biswal (Born 4.5.1935) – He wrote many Sambalpuri plays, among which "Bhukha" is famous, as it was filmed and earned many awards.
- Haldhar Nag (Born 31.3.1950) – He is a God's gift to Sambalpuri language. He has written many Sambalpuri poems, such as "Mahasati Urmila", "Achhia", etc. His works has been compiled into "Lokakabi Haladhar Granthabali" and "Surata". He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2016.
- Binod Pasayat – He wrote "Kayan Baetha" (1973).
- Dolgobind Bisi – He published a Sambalpuri literary magazine "Kosalshree" and wrote "Kosali Bhasha Sundari"(1984). He published the "Sambalpuri Ramayan" written by Sri Indramani Sahu.
- Nimai Charan Panigrahi – He has written many books including "Bhugale Bakhani", "Kham Khamalo", etc. His articles "Kosali Sabad Jharan", published in "Bharni", in Kosali literary magazine was very famous.
- Chinmaya Kumar pujar(କୁମାର ଚିନ୍ମୟ ) [1963 -2013]: He has been the editor and publisher for koshali book called " kathani ( କଥାନି )" and have written number of stories in Sambalpuri language, most famous story is rampat (ରାମପାଟ) from kathani 1.
- Harekrishna Meher : He has translated the Meghaduta of Kalidas to "Sambalpuri Meghaduta".
- Surama Mishra : She has written a children book "Titi Tian. The book is popular among the children of western Odisha.
- Pradyumna Bisi :"Jharjhari" a sambalpuri kaabya written by Pradyumna Bisi. In which the poet represent a women as a brook & brook also as women.their way of living are same.The book published in 2014
- Pragnya Patnaik : She has written, “Ranga – Sambalpuri Kathani” which is a collection of contemporary short stories in Sambalpuri. Hailed by critics as first of its kind in the language, the book is regarded as a gem with high literary merit. Her stories have unfailingly struck a chord among the readers.
Below is a list of magazines published in the Kosli language:
- Dakua, Balangir, Editor:Bijan Mohanty.
- Kosal Pradesh, Sonepur, Editor: Gorekhnath Sahu.
- Beni, Bargarh,Editor: Saket Sahu.
- Suna Bahen, Jagatsinghpur, Editor: Bijay Kr. Mohapatra.
- Srijana Salita Nabaneeta, Balangir, Editor: Rajesh Jhankar.
- The Kadho, Balangir, Editor: Kshirodra Kumar Sahu.
- Bulletin of the Anthropological Survey of India. Director, Anthropological Survey of India, Indian Museum. 1979.
- Chitrasen Pasayat (1998). Tribe, Caste, and Folk Culture. Rawat Publications.
- Subodh Kapoor (2002). The Indian Encyclopaedia: La Behmen-Maheya. Cosmo Publications. pp. 4240–. ISBN 978-81-7755-271-3.
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Sambalpuri". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Sambalpuri language at Ethnologue (21st ed., 2018)
- Dash 1990, pp. 4–5.
- G. Sahu 2001, pp. 7–8.
- G.K. Sahu 2002, pp. 1–2.
- Patel (n.d.) cited in Mathai & Kelsall (2013, p. 3)
- Mathai & Kelsall 2013, pp. 4–6. This was based on comparisons of 210-item wordlists.
- G. Sahu 2001, pp. 8–9; see also Dash 1990, pp. 3, 7
- Mathai & Kelsall 2013, p. 3.
- Plea to include Kosli in 8th Schedule of Constitution
- Memorandum for Inclusion of Kosli Language in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution
- Sambalpur Hiteishini, Vol III, Issue 1500, 1891.
- Panda, Sasanka Sekhar, " JHULPUL ", Chitrotpala Publications, Cuttack, 2003, ISBN 81-86556-33-8
- "Satya Narayan Granthabali", compiler – Shyam Sunder Dhar, Friends Emporium, Sambalpur, 2001.
- Panigrahi, Nil Madhab, "Mahabharat Katha", Lark books, Bhubaneswar, 1996, ISBN 81-7375-023-8.
- Biswal, Mangalu Charan, "Bhukha", Saraswat Pustak Bhandar, Sambalpur,1984
- Poetry makes him known as new Gangadhar Meher-Peanut seller Haladhar Nag carves niche for himself as poet of Kosali language
- Nag, Haldhar, "Lokakabi Haladhar Granthabali", compiler – Dwarikanath Nayak, Bidya Prakashan, Cuttack, 2000, ISBN 81-7703-009-4 (Five PhD theses on this class III-dropout poet)
- 5 PhD theses on this class III-dropout poet
- "କବିଙ୍କ ବାବଦରେ କିଛି". (ସ୍ବର୍ଗତ) କବି କୁମାର ଚିନ୍ମୟ. 2017-07-16. Retrieved 2017-07-29.
- skpujari, Author (2017-07-18). "ରାମପାଟ". (ସ୍ବର୍ଗତ) କବି କୁମାର ଚିନ୍ମୟ. Retrieved 2017-07-29.
- Harekrishna Meher's 'SambalpuriMeghaduta' released
- Sambalpurie-Book Titi Tian for children launched
- Dash, Ashok Kumar (1990). Evolution of Sambalpuri language and its morphology (Thesis). Sambalpur University.
- Mathai, Eldose K.; Kelsall, Juliana (2013). Sambalpuri of Orissa, India: A Brief Sociolinguistic Survey (Report). SIL Electronic Survey Reports.
- Patel, Kunjaban (n.d.). A Sambalpuri phonetic reader (Thesis). Sambalpur University.
- Sahu, Gobardhan (2001). Generative phonology of Sambalpuri: a study (revised) (PhD). Sambalpur University.
- Sahu, Gopal Krishna (2002). A derivational morphology of Sambalpuri (Thesis). Sambalpur University.
- Sambalpuri language and literature
- Sambalpuri Language: A Perspective on Its Origin, Evolution and Distinction
- Biswal, Tuna (2010). "Politics of Sambalpuri or Kosali as a dialect of Oriy in Orissa" (PDF). Language in India. 10 (11).
- Registered newspapers and magazines published in Kosli language
- Datta, S.P. (2002). "Sambalpuri dialect". Linguistic survey of India: special studies: Orissa. Special studies / Linguistic Survey of India. Kolkata: Language Division, Office of the Registrar General, India. pp. 67–93.