The Oriya language is known as Odia, which originated from the term ‘Odra’ in Sanskrit. The term Odra was specifically used to refer to the Odrakas, who is mentioned in particular places in the epic Mahabharata. Oriya is spoken widely in the state of Orissa.
Apart from this, it is also quite popular amongst the states of Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh. It’s quite interesting to know that more than 31 million people India speak in Oriya, and it’s officially the language used in the state of Orissa. The state of Jharkhand also uses the language widely, hence considered the second official language of the state.
UPSC Mains Oriya Syllabus Paper – I
Answers must be written in Oriya.
History of Oriya Language
(i) Origin and development of Oriya Language-Influence of Austric, Dravidian, Perso-Arabic and English on Oriya Language.
(ii) Phonetics and Phonemics : Vowels, Consonants Principles of changes in Oriya sounds.
(iii) Morphology : Morphemes (free, bound compound and complex), derivational and inflectional affixes, case inflection, conjugation of verb.
(iv) Syntax : Kinds of sentences and their transformation, structure of sentences.
(v) Semantics-Different types of change in meaning Euphemism.
(vi) Common errors in spellings, grammatical uses and construction of sentences.
(vii) Regional variations in Oriya Language (Western, Southern and Northern Oriya) and Dialects (Bhatri and Desia)
History of Oriya Literature
(i) Historical backgrounds (social, cultural and political) of Oriya Literature of different periods.
(ii) Ancient epics, ornate kavyas and padavalis.
(iii) Typical structural forms of Oriya Literature (Koili, Chautisa, Poi, Chaupadi, Champu).
(iv) Modern trends in poetry, drama short story, novel, essay and literary criticism.
IAS aspirants who are targeting UPSC Exam, may check the linked article
UPSC Mains Oriya Syllabus Paper – II
Answers must be written in Oriya.
Critical Study of texts –
The paper will require first hand reading of the text and test the critical ability of the candidate.
1. Sãralã Das-Shanti Parva from Mãhãbharãta.
2. Jaganãth Das-Bhãgãbate, XI Skandha-Jadu Avadhuta Sambãda.
3. Dinãkrushna Dãs-Rasakallola- (Chhãndas-16 & 34)
4. Upendra Bhanja-Lãvanyabati (Chhãndas-1 & 2)
5. Rãdhãnãth Rãy-Chandrabhãgã
6. Mãyãdhãr Mãnasinha-Jeevan Chitã
7. Satchidãnanda Routray-Kabitã-1962
8. Ramãkãnta Ratha-Saptama Ritu.
9. Manoranjan Dãs-Kãtha-Ghodã
10. Bijay Mishra-Tata Niranjanã
11. Fakir Mohan Senãpati-Chhamãna Ãthaguntha
12. Gopinãth Mohanty-Dãnãpãni
13. Surendra Mohãnty-Marãlãra Mrityu
14. Manoj Dãs-Laxmira Abhisara
15. Chittaranjan Dãs-Taranga O Tadit (First five essays).
16. Chandra Sekhar Rath-Mun Satya-dhãrma Kahuchhi (First five essays)
Also, Check Other Optional Subject’s Syllabus
More about the Odia Language
Oriya is derived from the Sanskrit language like most Indian languages. It is also derived from the Magadhi language, branching out from the Sanskrit form. The language has many phases and some of them are noteworthy to be mentioned here.
The oldest phase of Oriya can be found inscribed on coins of ancient rulers, inscriptions, copper plates, manuscripts etc. This is the most ancient phase where Oriya language was used and researchers have been able to trace down the language from these sources.
The next phase of the language is the middle phase which is again subdivided into the old middle phase, the exact middle phase and the late middle phase. The earliest part of the middle phase brings in a new trend into the language and this is seen in the architectural marvels of the iconic Jagannath temple at Puri.
The middle phase became more synonymous with long poems, a trend setting event that took place by 5 renowned poets of Oriya fame at that time and they were popular as Panchashakhas. In the late middle phase, poems were again popular but another trend setting activity paved way for new styles and experimentation in literature.
This is the introduction of novel writing within poems. So, the middle phase was mostly about poems, but every part of the middle phase brought along its own unique style, sticking to the creation of poems with slight or big modifications within them.
The modern Oriya language paved its new feet from 1850 onwards creating new inroads for different kinds of styles, experimentations and trend setting in the modern era. Poems gave way to a huge new set of publications, stories, fictions, newspaper and magazine writing, content for the print media and much more.
The language is spoken across different states in more than one dialect. Some of the most popular forms of the language that are well known till date are Baleswari, Batri, Ganjami, Sambalpuri etc. These dialects grew as a result of tribals pouring in from across different neighboring states and developing a local flavor into the language.
This resulted in creation of different language groups, but the common baseline of the language sticking to its native Oriya in major form.
The Indian constitution recognizes Oriya as one of the 22 official languages of our country. The eastern part of our country has been greatly influenced by both Persian and Arabic cultures and that are reflected in language usage as well. The past cultures speak volumes about these two cultures leaving a lasting impression on people of that region and their cultures.
It is however noted by historians and linguistic experts that Oriya has still remained much in its pure form and has not been diluted by the effects of these two languages in any way. It is obvious to know that the language though has been derived and greatly influenced by the Sanskrit language.
Some of the masterpieces created in the ancient era of Oriya literature are given below:
- Bidagdha Chintamani by Abhimanyu Samanta Singhara
- Poems by Banamali
- Poems by Salabega
- Baidehisha Bilasa by Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja
- Kishora-Chandrananda Champu by Kabisurya Baladeba Ratha
Some of the most popular works in Oriya literature in the modern era are listed below
1. Chhamana Athaguntha by Vyasakabi Fakir Mohan Senapati
2. Prayashita by Fakir Mohan Senapati
3. Kanakalata by Pallikabi Nanda Kishore Bala
4. Kanamamu by Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra
5. Nilasaila by Surendra Mohanty
6. Matira Manisha by Kalindi Charan Panigrahi
7. Paraja by Gopinath Mohanty
8. Mati Matala by Gopinath Mohanty
9. Amrutaphala by Manoj Das
10. Ha Anaa by Kanhucharan Mohanty
It was explained by some researchers that Oriya was closely associated with the Bengali language and shows a strange connection. So, some of them came to a conclusion that Oriya was a derivative of Bengali script. It is also noted by many researchers that Oriya in the ancient days was the language used to write in temples on manuscripts and palm leaves.
So it developed a unique and distinctive written format, much different from other similar languages. In fact some even consider it a reflection of southern spoken languages in the matters of script. But many disagree with this point and reason out the use of palm leaves extensively in the ancient era that has led to the curved feature of written script of Oriya language.
The scripts of Oriya and Bengali are related. The connection lies in the roots of both the scripts going back to the Brahmi script. Oriya is also well known as a classical language. Not just a classical language of sorts, the Odissi form of dance and Odissi music is also very unique and add feathers to the language.
Many linguists consider this language a little more familiar and tilted towards the southern part of India and hence hold a distinctive relation with the Dravidian script too. The language has a rich cultural heritage and it is as old as 1500 years, so the classical status is accorded to it.
It is an esteemed status for Oriya to get the classical status from the central government as it is the 6th language in the country to enjoy this privilege. Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam stand before Oriya in the list of classical languages of our country.
Among the Indo Aryan group of languages, Oriya is actually the first entrant to be declared a classical language. It is a matter of pride and prestige for the language to be accorded a classical language status amongst the many other languages of similar origin.
Due to the classical language status, Oriya now enjoys a dedicated centre of excellence for contribution and further research into the language and its many forms. Scholars in the language are encouraged to contribute more to the language by giving special university grants in the form of scholarship and research grants for advanced studies and fellowship commissions.
The literature part of the language has 28 consonants and 6 vowels. A very unique feature of the language is its variation in local prospects within a very short range of land coverage. IT is said that in the state of Orissa, the language can be seen changed just in a matter of even two kilometers.
The state of Orissa has almost always demanded for a good research on the language as it has many phases and time periods in its literature legacy and its worth to dig deeper into them.
Oriya Ganankars were famous part of the state of Orissa in bygone days that had special subject matter expertise in navigation, geography and even astrology. It is almost always referenced that Orissa is one such language that conveniently allows a foreign word to be easily absorbed into its literature. These are some of the unique features of the language.
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