UPSC Bodo Syllabus – Paper I
History of Bodo Language and Literature (Answers must be written in Bodo)
Section- A History of Bodo Language
- Homeland, language family, its present status and its mutual contact with Assamese.
- (a) Phonemes : Vowel and Consonant Phonemes (b) Tones.
- Morphology : Gender, Case & Case endings, Plural suffix, Definitives, Verbal suffix.
- Vocabulary and its sources.
- Syntax : Types of sentences, Word Order.
- History of Scripts used in writing Bodo Language since inception.
Section-B History of Bodo Literature
- General introduction of Bodo folk literature.
- Contribution of the Missionaries.
- Periodization of Bodo Literature.
- Critical analysis of different genre (Poetry, Novel, Short Story and Drama.
- Translation Literature.
UPSC Bodo Syllabus – Paper II
The Paper will require first-hand reading of the texts prescribed and will be designed to test the critical ability of the candidates.
Section-A (Answers must be written in Bodo)
- Khonthai-Methai (Edited by Madaram Brahma & Rupnath Brahma).
- Hathorkhi-Hala (Edited by Pramod Chandra Brahma).
- Boroni Gudi Sibsa Arw Aroz : Madaram Brahma.
- Ra j a Ni l amb a r : Dwa r e n d r a Na t h Basumatary.
- Bibar (Prose section). (Edited by Satish Chandra Basumatary).
- Gibi Bithai (Aida Nwi) : Bihuram Boro
- Radab : Samar Brahma Chaudhury
- Okhrang Gongse Nangou : Brajendra Kumar Brahma.
- Baisagu Arw Harimu : Laksheswar Brahma.
- Gwdan Boro : Manoranjan Lahary.
- Jujaini Or : Chittaranjan Muchahary.
- Mwihoor : Dharanidhar Wary.
- Hor Badi Khwmsi : Kamal Kumar Brahma.
- Jaolia Dewan : Mangal Singh Hozowary.
- Hagra Guduni Mwi : Nilkamal Brahma.
About the language
Bodo is a Tibeto Burman language and is spoken by north eastern population in India and also in the country of Nepal. The language also has importance as one of the official languages of Assam. The constitution of India has granted a special status to the language. It is a very ancient language of India.
More about the language
It is very interesting to note that Bodo did not have a written script till the later part of twentieth century. Immense contribution by Christian missionaries led to their community publishing dictionaries and grammar books for reference in the language.
The language, once moved away from its primitive existence opened doors for much more broadened forms of literary itinerary. Today Bodo finds a mention in all forms of literature like novels, short stories, drama, prose, poetry, biographies, travel diaries, etc. Earlier literature in the language was limited to folklores, rhymes and fairy tales.
The written form of the language uses the Devanagari script. Critics however call it a blend of the Roman and the Assamese script, but Devanagari is the officially credited script so far according to records. Deodhai used to be the original form of script used for writing purposes which has now become out of context within the Indian premises.
Many Bodo development forums sprung up in the later part of the twentieth century which contributed substantially for the growth and development of the language. The Bodo Sahitya Sabha set up in 1952 consists of representatives from different states like Assam, Nagaland, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Tripura and from the neighbouring country Nepal as well. They have been working long for the promotion of the language and its enrichment in terms of literature and grammar.
Bodo groups that worked for language publicity and implementing it in schools were quite successful in that regard. Starting from primary level till the secondary level, the language was accepted by officials as the medium of instruction.
Reverend Sidney Endle has authored a book on the Bodo community which stands as an outstanding work in the language and has been praised by many readers from different fields. J D Anderson was another major contributor to the language. He translated Bodo folklores and fairy tales into the English language, thus giving readers a wider access to the language.
The language has three main dialects – western Bodo, eastern Bodo and southern Bodo. An interesting feature of the Bodo language is its inherent difficulty to count anything beyond the count of five. Speakers of the language usually switch over to Bengali whenever they have to count something.
Recently UN observed the declining aspects of the ancient language and hence declared it as an endangered language of our country. The main reason why it’s declining in popularity and usage is because of the influx and gradual influence of other languages over it plus the lack of counting ability attached with it.
Hardcore speakers of the language encourage people to get used to counting by using native words from the language so that the language doesn’t become a diluted form of many neighbouring dialects.
The grammatical aspects of the language are quite interesting too. The language has a total of 6 vowels and 16 consonants. High, medium and low tones are used to differentiate between the usage of words in different contexts and situations. Western Bodo is quite popular in Bongaigaon regions.
Eastern Bodo is spoken in districts like Barpeta and Nalbari. Phonically and lexically the western Bodo and Eastern Bodo are quite different from each other, though there are similarities too. The Western Bodo language has gained acceptance as a much standardised dialect amongst the three dialects. The dialects have clear cut and distinctive differences too.
The government is doing its bit to save the language too. Recently, many universities in Bodo dominated areas have been gifted with a post graduate level course in the language. So, the language is slowing gaining popularity and momentum and the day is not far off when it becomes one of the famous languages to be preserved form ancient pages.
Udalguri district finds a mention on information pages because this region is where the language is spoken exactly in its pure essence without being dilutes with the influence of outside languages. The first popular usage of the language in written form was used as early as 1915. The first magazine Bibar was published after 1924 but in the mixed scripts of Assamese and Bengali along with Bodo itself.
Bodos are linguistic communities who settled in Assam. Kachari is known as the sub tribes of the Bodo communities. They settled near the Brahmaputra River and are known as one of the earliest starters of civilization in the state. They were the first to develop rice and rear silkworms in the region.
Bodos aren’t too religious by nature. They are generally calm and hospitable tribes and do not involve themselves into aggressive and unruly behaviours. They are peace loving tribes and have great respect and reverence for nature. In fact they worship Mother Nature and pray to Earth.
Bodos were cut off from the mainland of the country because they were concentrated in regions that isolated them from getting access to education and everyday necessities and resources of human life. So, for a long time they were entrusted to be economically and educationally backward communities in the state.
The Bhutan low areas had many Bodo inhabitants and the government then decided to work for the rehabilitation of the Bodos. Bodoland thus came into existence and was exclusively created for the Bodos. Kokrajhar town is the major concentration area of the Bodo tribals.
Bodos today have changed their ancient practices and came into accepting Hinduism as their religion. They also follow a language called Bathouism. Dowry and other social practices not acceptable by the society are barred amongst the Bodos as well.