Andhra Pradesh

Chance discovery of Gondi script opens new vistas of tribal culture

Former Director of AP Oriental Manuscripts Library, Prof. Jayadheer Tirumal Rao at the inauguration of the Gondi school at Gunjala village on Sunday. Photo:Special Arrangement

Former Director of AP Oriental Manuscripts Library, Prof. Jayadheer Tirumal Rao at the inauguration of the Gondi school at Gunjala village on Sunday. Photo:Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: arranged

Prof. Rao said the discovery of the script had even made the Gonds rediscover their old pride and self-respect.

A chance discovery of ‘Koyaboli’ or Gondi (dialect) script recently in Adilabad district has opened new vistas in the educational and cultural development of the major primitive Gond tribe in the country besides creating scope for deeper research in Proto-Dravidian languages. The find is so recent that it has yet to gain broader acceptance, but enthusiasts like former Director of AP Oriental Manuscripts Library and Research Centre (APOMLRC) Professor Jayadheer Tirumal Rao and his team have started working on it for realisation of its full potential.

“The new find could well be the all important link to Proto-Dravidian languages. It can help in retracing the origins of these languages”, the well-known manuscript expert from Andhra Pradesh opined as he talked of the much promising event recently on the sidelines of the Akhand Bharatiya Gondwana Gondi Sahitya Darbar at Gunjala village in Narnoor mandal where the dozen Gondi manuscripts were found.

Prof. Rao said the discovery of the script had even made the Gonds rediscover their old pride and self-respect.

The extra spring in the gait of the organisers of the Darbar and the plans for future indicated his contention to be right. “The plan is to run a Gondi language school permanently at Gunjala for Gond children to learn their mother tongue up to SSC. Students at Intermediate and Degree level will learn the language at a facility at Utnoor and those at Post-Graduate level will study it at Hyderabad”, he said after participating in the inauguration of the school as the key initial measure being undertaken by the Gond community in development of their language.

“Among other developments, a temple like structure for ‘reverence’ of the Gondi script, which has been named Gunjala Gondi Lipi, will be constructed at this village. Efforts will also be made for acceptance of the language in the literary world and at international level too”, he revealed.

Professor G. Manoja of Palamur University, Mahabubnagar and Edcational Puppeteer Padmini Rangarajan from Hyderabad attended the Darbar.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 3:31:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/chance-discovery-of-gondi-script-opens-new-vistas-of-tribal-culture/article4359780.ece

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