Rajasthani Language

Rajasthani Language
Rajasthani Dolls
Rajasthani is the name given to a group of Indo-Aryan languages spoken mainly in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is distinct from Hindi, but it is counted as one of many dialects of Hindi. Besides Rajasthan, it is spoken in the parts of Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh. It is also spoken by some in the Pakistani state of Sindh and Punjab. According to the 2011 Indian census, it has more than 50 million native speakers across the nation.

The Rajasthani language group belongs to Western-Indo Aryan language family with its roots in Saurasaini Prakrit. It is also recognized as a distinct literary language by Sahitya Academy (National Academy of letters) and University Grants Commission (UGC).

Rajasthani languages are written in Devanagari Script. Rajasthani languages use 10 vowels and 31 consonants, and languages like Bagri has developed three lexical tones. There are two genders and no neutral gender in Rajasthani. Rajasthani has a pandora of folk literature consisting of ballads, folk songs, folk tales, and panegyrics.

In 2003, the Rajasthan State Legislative Assembly passed a resolution to insert recognition of Rajasthani into the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. It is yet to be passed in the Parliament of India yet. One can blame the lack of awareness about Rajasthani language, no proper grammar books, and no attention or effort to teach Rajasthani in schools for the current position of Rajasthani languages.

History of Rajasthani
Rajasthani has its roots in Vedic Sanskrit and Sauraseni Prakrit. Suaraseni Prakrit, which was first spoken in the region of Mathura only, spread westwards toward Gujarat and Saurashtra and developed modification. The modified language came to be known as Gurjara Apabhramsa or Gurjari. Around 800 AD, Maru-Gurjar, the common present-day ancestor to Gujarati and Rajasthani languages, came out of the shade of Gurjari. Around 1050 AD, Rajasthani and Gujarati started diverging from each other and around 1450, they were two distinct languages. In 1873, Samuel H. Kellogg was one of the first few linguists who described Rajasthani as a separate dialect subgroup of Western Hindi, and in 1908, George Abraham Grierson for the first time grouped all these languages under Rajasthani.

Dialects of Rajasthani
Marwari: majorly spoken in the Marwar region, which includes Jodhpur, Barmer, Jalore, Nagaur, Pali and parts of Sikar
Mewari: concentrated in Mewar, South Central Rajasthan, which includes Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Udaipur, Jhalawa in Rajasthan; Neemuch and Mandsaur of Madhya Pradesh; and some parts of Gujarat.
Dhundhari: concentrated in the Jaipur region which includes Jaipur, Dausa, Sawai Madhopur, Tonk, Northern part of Karauli.
Mewati: spoken primarily in the Mewat region, which includes Hathin tehsil and Nuh district of Haryana; Tijara, Kishangarh Bas, Ramgarh, Laxmangarh tehsil, Aravalli range in Alwar district and Pahari, Nagaur, Kaman tehsils in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan and parts of Mathura district in Uttar Pradesh.
Harauti: mainly spoken in the Hadaut region, which includes Bundi, Baran, Jhalawar and Kota district.
Malvi: primarily spoken in the Malwa region, which includes parts of Jhalawar and parts of parts of Kota, Banswara and Pratapgarh in Rajasthan, and  Agar, Dewas, Dhar, Indore, Jhabua, Mandsaur, Neemuch, Rajgarh, Ratlam, Shajapur, Ujjain districts of Madhya Pradesh.
Bagri: primarily spoken in the area of Bagar tract of Northwestern India, which includes parts of Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana. It is also spoken in some pockets of Punjab in Pakistan.
Nimadi: primarily spoken in the Nimar region shared between Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
Bhili: spoken majorly by Bhil tribes of Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh.
Shekhawati: primarily spoken in the Shekhwati region, which includes Churu, Jhunjhunu, and Sikar. It is sometimes considered as the dialect of Marwari.
Dhatki: or also known as Dhati or Thari, primarily spoken in the Thar region, the western part of Jaisalmer and Barmer in Rajasthan, and eastern parts of Sindh.
Godwari: a dialect of Marwari, spoken primarily in the area of Gorwar.
Gurgula: a dialect of Rajasthani spoken primarily in Eastern Pakistan.
Goaria: considered as a dialect of Marwari, spoken in the Sindh province of Rajasthan.
Lambadi: language of nomadic Banjara people, spoken all over India.
Gurjari: spoken majorly by Gurjar people across India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Sahitya Akademi Award for Rajasthani

Originally, Sahitya Akademi Award was given to writers of excellent work in major languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, but due to a mass movement to recognize Rajasthani as one of the major languages of India, Sahitya Akademi started an award for Rajasthani in 1974. English and Rajasthani are only two languages, which are not mentioned in the Eighth Schedule, and their writers get a Sahitya Akademi recognization.

Vijyadan Detha was the first author to win the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award for Rajasthani for his work Batan Ri Phulwari in 1974. In 2018, Dr Rajesh Kumar Vyas won the prestigious prize for his work Kaita Devai Deeth.