Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has kicked yet another controversy by terming Bhojpuri as a borrowed Bihari language adding that during the statehood movement of Jharkhand; the Bhojpuri language and its expletives were used to rape women and to torture agitators of the movement.
Hemant Soren remarked about Bhojpuri and Magahi while responding to a question of Kumkum Chadha of Hindustan Times during a video interview shot recently. She had asked why languages like Bhojpuri and Magahi were omitted from the list of regional languages of Jharkhand in the recently revised language and the recruitment policy for grade III and IV government jobs conducted by the Jharkhand Staff Selection Commission. Other than Bhojpuri and Magahi, Maithili and its dialect referred to as ‘Angika’ were also omitted from the list of regional languages.
Soren stated that these languages are not the regional languages of Jharkhand and have been imposed upon the people of Jharkhand by the outsiders from Bihar.
“These are the borrowed languages. These are the languages of Bihar and not Jharkhand. Madam you (Kumkum Chadha) probably don’t know that how during the Jharkhand statehood movement expletives of Bhojpuri were used while abusing agitators and raping women. A lot of those victims are still alive. We had not fought our battle with the help of Bhojpuri and Magahi. This battle was powered by the tribal languages,” the CM said.
He said that during the statehood movement, those who tortured people and raped women used to abuse them in Bhojpuri, hinting that the people who speak Bhojpuri and Magahi were outsiders who had oppressed the people of Jharkhand.
The Chief Minister continued his vile against both the languages stating that Magahi and Bhojpuri speaking people are dominating in nature whereas the local people of Jharkhand are very meek who easily get intimidated.
“This is very natural that people are influenced by the powerful. Hence, gradually they (Bhojpuri and Magahi speaking people) carried it forward and some people in order to stand with them started speaking their language. Otherwise, in the villages and rural areas, these languages are not prevalent. Why make Jharkhand a Bihar? If a lion and lamb are kept together the lamb will die one day,” Hemant Soren said.
Soren’s divisive politics called out by many
Many political leaders, the native speakers of Bhojpuri, Magahi and the social outfits of Jharkhand have condemned Hemant Soren and his party the JMM, for trying to create a linguistic divide in the state. Former CM Raghuvar Das, former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and several others have condemned Hemant Soren’s statements.
मुख्यमंत्री जी की नयी नीति "बांटो और राज करो" !!— Raghubar Das (@dasraghubar) September 14, 2021
महान झारखंड में आज बचकाना नेतृत्व कार्यरत है।
मुख्यमंत्री जी कह रहे हैं कि भोजपुरी-मगही से झारखंड का बिहारीकरण हो रहा। तो क्या उर्दू से झारखंड के इस्लामीकरण की तैयारी है❓@AmitShah @JPNadda @blsanthosh @BJP4India @BJPNagendraji pic.twitter.com/Je162TXd2A
Former CM Raghuvar Das has asked if Bhojpuri and Magahi are outside languages that are being imposed upon the people of Jharkhand, why is Urdu being included as a language by the JMM government.
As expected the Congress which is a partner of the Soren led government is silent, defensive and confused on this controversy. But some of the top leaders of the Congress Party in Jharkhand have confided to OpIndia that they are aware that Hemant Soren deliberately insulted these languages to further consolidate his tribal-Muslim vote base. Even Hemant Soren’s own party MLA and minister Mithilesh Kumar Thakur who had once demanded inclusion of Bhojpuri and Magahi in the regional language list has turned silent.
Attempt to appease vote banks and polarize society?
This is seen as a move of Hemant Soren to consolidate tribal and Muslim voters by creating radical polarization. The Hemant Soren government has already been showering freebies and concessions to Muslims and Urdu speaking people. The statements, especially on the eve of Hindi Diwas, looked rather deliberately political.
In the recruitment policy passed by his cabinet on August 5, the government had approved 12 languages including three regional languages namely Bangla, Odia and Urdu along with several tribal languages. Maithili, its dialect Angika, Bhojpuri and Magahi which were accorded the status as the second official language of Jharkhand during the BJP rule were omitted from the revised list despite having a sizable number of native speakers. Even Hindi and Sanskrit were taken out from the list of the main languages of the examination. But Urdu has been given preference.