Experiences of Rajasthan - Languages
The language of Rajasthan is Rajasthani which consists of five principal dialects like Marwari, Dhundhari, Mewari, Mewati and Hadauti. It is derived from Apabhramsa, with all its linguistic and orthographical peculiarities.
Rajasthani as a language of literature suffered a great set back during the British period. Today hundreds of poets and writers are writing in Rajasthani. Folk literature in Rajasthani is varied and rich and consists of songs, tales, sayings, riddles and folk-plays popularly known as khyals.
Rajasthani is divided into four big groups, the biggest being that of Marwari. Standard Marwari is spoken mainly in and around Jodhpur district and has some influence on the dialects in Barmer, Jalore, Pali and part of Nagaur district.
The dialect is also spoken in mixed form in the east in Ajmer, Udaipur, Bhilwara and Chittorgarh district; in the south in Sirohi district and the Palanpur district of Gujarat; in the west in Jaisalmer district and in the north in Bikaner, Churu, Sikar and Jhunjhunu districts. It is also spoken with some Punjabi influence in Ganganagar district in the north-west.
In the south-east in Mewar (Udaipur, Bhilwara and Chittorgarh districts) and its neighbourhood, there is the well-known eastern form of Marwari known as Mewari. In the southern part of Pali and Jalore districts, the whole of Sirohi district and the northern part of Palanpur, there is a southern sub-dialect. The dialect spoken in the western parts of Barmer, Jaisalmer, Thar and Parkar areas of Sind is called Thali in the north and Dhatak in the west.
Northern forms of Marwari cover Bikaner, Churu, Ganganagar, Sikar and Jhunjhunu districts. In Bikaner it is called Bikaneri while in the north-eastern part of Churu it is known as Bagri.
The second big group of Rajasthani is formed by eastern Rajasthani or Jaipuri, better known as Dhundhari. It covers the districts of Jaipur, Tonk, Kota and Bundi and parts of Kishangarh, Ajmer and Jhalawar. In the north-east, Eastern Rajasthani has the Mewati dialect of the same language, while further east, from north to south, it is Braja Bhasha in Bharatpur, the Dang sub-dialect of Braja Bhasa in Sawai- Madhopur and Karauli, Bundeli and Malvi in Jhalawar and the southern parts of Kota.
Kishangarhi is spoken in the whole of the Kishangarh sub-division and in a small belt to the north of Ajmer and Ajmeri is spoken over the eastern centre of Ajmer district. The dialect of Bundi and Kota is Harauti, which is also spoken in the neighbouring parts of the Jhalwar and Tonk districts and the Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh. In the latter region it is known as Sheopuri.
Mewati is the language of Mewat, the abode of the Meos, but it covers a larger tract than that which sprawls over the north-west of the Bharatpur and Alwar districts. It is also spoken in the south east of Haryana in Gurgaon district and in the Kot-Kasin area of Jaipur. It represents a Rajasthani dialect fading off into the Bangru dialect of Hindi.
Malvi is spoken in the Malwa tract i.e., Indore. Bhopal, Mandsor and the Ujjain area. In the east, it extends to the parts of the Jhalawar and Kota districts. In the north, Malvi has the east-central dialect of Rajasthani of which Jaipuri has been taken as the standard. To the east, it has the Bundeli dialect of western Hindi spoken in Gwalior and Sagar. In the south, it has from east to west, the Bundeli of Narsinghpur and central Hoshangabad, the Marathi of Berar and the Nemadi dialect of Rajasthani spoken in north Nimach and Bhansawar. To its north-west, it has the Mewari form of Marwari and Gujrathi and in the south-west Khandesi. Malvi is distinctly Rajasthani dialect having relations with Marwari and Jaipuri (Dhundhari).
The Bhils have a separate dialect, Bhili, spoken from the south of Merwara in the Aravalli range in Udaipur district and further south in the districts of Dungarpur and Banswara. The dialect if Dungarpur, Banswara, is a Bagria form of Rajasthani, which the Bhils also speak with slight variation. The only difference is that of pronunciation but the structure of the language is the same.
Marwari and Dhundhari are large groups of local dialects within Rajasthan while Malvi has an outside origin. Bagri and Mewati are small groups within the state. Each of these groups consists of so many sub-dialects with so many local names. On the outskirts of their respective areas these dialects also show the marked influence of Braj, Labanda, Sindhi, Bundeli, Bangru, Gujarati and Punjabi or their dialects in the adjoining tracts.
People of Rajasthan
Rajasthan is the region of the proud Rajputs who are generally regarded as the personification of Chivalry and whose exploits and bravery in battle are legendary. Rajputs are Scythian descent- a stock which moved out from the Caucasus in Central Asia towards the Indus Valley on the one side and the Germanic parts of Europe on the other.
In 'Rajasthan Ki Jatiyan' written by Bajranglal Lohia, according to 1891 census report the society in Rajasthan is divided into castes, sub-castes and group under eight broad heads. The martial Rajputs not only belong to the well-known clans such as the Sisodias, Rathors, Chauhans, Kachawahas, Bhattis, Panwars and Solankis but have-off-shoots known as Musalman Rajputs or 'Musalman Sipahis'. The Bhatti Rajputs who were forced to embrace Islam between 1193 and 1684 were called Sindhi Sipahis and the Chauhans who were subjected to this conversion around 1383 formed the sizeable group called Kaimrhani in the Shekhawati and Nagaur areas.
Besides the Rajputs and the Musalmans, western region of the state enumerates at least 34 castes and sub-castes of Brahmins and seven interesting groups under the head 'Bards and other communities' among them being the Charan - the friend, philosopher and guide of the Rajput and the Bhat, who maintains the family tree and other chronological records of his patrons.
Rajasthan has eight, communities classified as 'writers and chroniclers'. They are Kayasthas, Khatris, Orwals, Mohnots, Bhandaris, Singhis, Lodhas and Mohatas, whose members are in the field of business, industry and administration.
The seven communities namely the Dholi, Dhadhi, Hinjara, Jagri-Patur, Bhagtan, Kalawat and Bhand are grouped under 'Minstrels and Instrument Players'. Among these the Hinjaras, Kalawats and Bhands are entertainers, jokers and festers.
The trading and business communities generally called Marwaris include the Mahajans, Sarawagis, Porals, Shrimals, Shrishrimals, Agarwals, Maheswaaris, Vijayvargias, Sunlas, Bohres, Pheriwalas, Baldias and Lohias.
Carpenters, barbers, tailors, black-smith, utensil makers, cloth-printers, dyers and tiers, patwaris, weavers, washer men, potters, cobblers sweepers, stone-dressers, nats, sansis, badris and scores of other workers, all belong to the artisan community.
Two prominent scheduled Tribes of this region are the Bhils and the Meenas. The total population is about 31,25,506 of the Scheduled Tribes in the State. The Bhils are mostly concentrated in the hill-locked districts of Udaipur, Dungarpur and Banswara while the Meenas are settled mainly in the Jaipur, Sawai- Madhopur and Udaipur districts.
Other Scheduled Tribes are the Garasias and the Sahrias. The Garasias are concentrated in the Pali and Sirohi districts, while the Sahrias are limited to a pocket of two tehsils in the Kota district.
The Bhils form the most significant tribal group in the State. The Most undeveloped tribal group are the Sahrias. All the Scheduled Tribes of Rajasthan are incorporated in the Hindu social order.
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