Gujarati is the official language of Gujarat. The Gurjar community that settled in the region of Gujarat many centuries ago started communicating in this language and therefore the language came to be known as Gujarati. It is a formal language recognized in the constitution amongst the 22 languages declared as formal languages by the government of India. Gujarati is not restricted to Gujarat alone. It is also widely spoken in the union territories of Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
The language is also spoken widely outside India by NRI’s settled in countries abroad. So if we take estimates of the Gujarati speaking population worldwide, it is a good 46 million and more. Gujarati is a language that can be traced back to its origins in the Sanskrit language and many famous freedom fighters of our country had Gujarati as their native language too. Among them was M K Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhai Patel etc.
Gujarati Mains Syllabus for IAS Exam – Optional Paper
Answers must be written in Gujarati
Gujarati Language: Form and history
- History of Gujarati Language with special reference to New Indo-Aryan i.e. last one thousand years.
- Significant features of the Gujarati language: Phonology, morphology and syntax.
- Major dialects: Surti, Pattani, charotari and Saurashtri.
History of Gujarati Literature
- Jaina tradition
- Bhakti tradition: Sagun and Nirgun (Jnanmargi)
- Non-sectarian tradition (Laukik parampara)
- Sudharak yug
- Pandit yug
- Gandhi yug
- Anu-Gandhi yug
- Adhunik yug
Literary Forms : (Salient features, history and development of the following literary forms):
- Narratives: Rasa, Akhyan and Padyavarta
- Lyrical: Pada
- Fiction: Novel and short story
- Literary Essay
- Lyrical Poetry
- History of theoretical Gujarati criticism
- Recent research in folk tradition
Answers must be written in Gujarati
The paper will require first hand reading of the texts prescribed and will be designed to test the critical ability of the candidate.
- Vasantvilas phagu-Ajnatkrut
- Chandrachandravatini varta-Shamal
2. Sudharakyug & Pandityug
- Mari Hakikat-Narmadashankar Dave
- Farbasveerah- Dalpatram
- Saraswatichandra-Part-I Govar-dhanram Tripathi
- Purvalap- ‘Kant’ (Manishankar Ratnaji Bhatt)
- Raino Parvat-Ramanbhai Neel-kanth
1. Gandhiyug & Anu Gandhiyug
- Hind Swaraj-Mohandas Kar-machand Gandhi
- Patanni Prabhuta- Kanhaiyalal Munshi
- Kavyani Shakti- Ramnarayan Vish-wanath Pathak
- Saurashtrani Rasdhar Part 1- Zaver-chand Meghani
- Manvini Bhavai-Pannalal Patel
- Dhvani-Rajendra Shah
2. Adhunik yug
- Saptapadi-Umashankar Joshi
- Janantike- Suresh Joshi
- Ashwatthama- Sitanshu Yash-aschandra
Interesting facts about Gujarati language
It is a nice co-incidence to learn that the language also bears a very close resemblance with other Indian languages namely Hindi and Punjabi. Since Gujarati bears its roots from Sanskrit and through Prakrit, it’s a mix of many languages and dialects of locally spoken languages of ancient India. The earliest known traceable Gujarati literature form can be found in the religious texts of the 17th century. Even before that, there have been many literature forms in the language, mostly pertaining to religious and traditional-custom based ancient practices and relevant to culture.
The language shares a liking among people not only from Gujarat, but also in the neighboring border states like Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. So, it’s quite natural for people from different cultures to leave an influence on the language, so we can broadly say that Gujarati is a mix of Urdu, Hindi, Marwari, Marathi and some parts of Sindhi language as well.
Gujarati and its widespread usage
Gujarat being the regional language of Gujarat is practiced in every sphere of activity in the state, be it in trade and commerce, business activities, governance, tourism, education etc. It’s a rich language enhanced by later writers, poets and authors and there have been marvelous works produced in the language from time to time. The language is not just famous in India, but a big flourishing Gujarati community stays in the US and UK shores and hence Gujarati communities are almost household names even outside India.
Plenty of Gujarati magazines, newspapers, journals apart from folk songs, popular songs, and cinema, theatre, and television programs broadcast in Gujarati language making it one of the most popular languages of the country. Our beloved Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi hails from Gujarat and is a true Gujarati in all sense.
Gujarati scripts find a formal mention as early as 16th century, but it can’t be pressed to be a formal Gujarati document with regards to the written script. The language and its script look similar to Devanagari script, though it finds similarities with the Brahmi script. There are some deviations from the Devanagari script as well, but plenty of similar features can be noted as well.
Specifications in grammar forms
Gujarati grammar came into form and formal existence due to the extensive work of Hemachandra Acharya. Gujarati grammar is not very complicated and any person who understands English grammar easily can also follow the Gujarati grammar with much ease.
The language is known for its beautiful words and poetic syllables making it a very likeable language for novels and poems. The language has a rich and varied usage and delivery form of expressions, ranging from emotions, happiness, sadness, love, friendship, benevolence, kindness etc.
Literature forms in Gujarati
Some of the famous names in Gujarati literature are Padmanabh, Dalpatram, Narmad, Govardhanam Madhavram Tripathi, Rajendra Shah, Harindra Dave etc. Pannabhai Patel is a Jnanapith award winner writer in the language. Fiction and drama are his forte. Rajendra Shah has written an excellent collection of poems which he has beautifully named ‘Dhwani’. Umashankar Joshi is a very famous poet in the language.
He is not just an eminent personality, he is a great scholar too. He is regarded for the Soviet land Nehru award, which is given to some of the most prestigious writers of the country. Harindra Dave has received the Goenka award for journalism for his excellency in the language.
‘Saraswatichandra’ is a famous art work in the Gujarati language penned down by Govardhanam Madhavram Tripathi. Other famous works include Pinjar by Amritha Pritam, Manvi Ni Bhavai by Pannalal Patel, Bhadram Bhadra by Ramanbhai Neelkanth, Vishwa Manav by Jitesh Donga, etc.