Busting the False Claim of Discovery of Malhar and Walmiki languages by UoH Prof. Panchanan Mohanty

The news UoH Herald Blog (on Apr 6, 2018), an event of 2016 and interview given to Mr. Dipchand Bihari on the title “Linguist’s penchant for study, discovery” | Orissa POST published from Bhubaneswar communicate about the discovery of #Malhar and #Walmiki by Prof. Panchanan Mohanty of University of Hyderabad is found to be concocted and unfounded. (However, Orissa POST article has been retracted from their website, whereas and fortunately, “Dailyhunt (formerly NewsHunt)” has archived this page (Click here to read)). It is now convincingly established that these languages are already identified long back and studied by different scholars. The news was publicized widely in the media without proper verification. It can be dubbed as a classic case of public fooling due to the lapse of genuine reporting in the digital era. The Professor has made the best use of lack of public attention and discourse about these languages to make false claims of discovering them.
Malhar is a language belonging to the Dravidian Language family. It was found during the Census of 1901. The identification of this language was documented in the monumental Linguistics Survey of India edited by George A. Grierson in Volumes I.I and IV (1927 & 1906).

Walmikis are found in different parts of India. E. Thurston (1909) in his book Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Vol. I –A and B has also discussed about Walmikis. Walmiki (the name has coined by Prof. Mohanty) language is called Valmiki or Kupia in Andhra Pradesh and Balmiki in Odisha.
The Census of 1961 has documented it as a separate language. Internationally well-recognized linguist and the former founding Director of Central Institute of Indian Languages, Prof. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak (=DPP) said the earliest known study on Balmiki language was carried out by the well-known Odia novelist Shri Gopinath Mohanty in his Kubhi Kandha Bhāshatattwa (1956). Dr. Subrat Kalyan Pattanayak, an academic based in Saudi Arabia has also noted that Valmiki has been studied by different scholars such as J. E. Christmas long back in 1973 and Prof. A. Usha Devi in 2015. Professor J. E. Christmas (1973) have established that Valmiki belongs to the Indo-Aryan Language family.

Christmas, R. B. and Christmas, J. E. (1973). Sentence Patterns in Kupia (P.125). In Trail, Ronald L. (Eds.). Patterns in Clause, Sentence, and Discourse in Selected Languages of India and Nepal: Part I, Sentence and Discourse. Norman: Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of Oklahoma.

Prof. DPP also informed about the availability of the cover page of a book written in Odia. The name of the book is `Balmiki Bhasare Sanskruta ra Prabhaba.’ It is written by Shri Nilakantha Dalia in January, 2009. 
Prof. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak; Prof. Anvita Abbi (Formerly at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi) and Dr. Subrat Kalyan Pattanayak (presently at Northern Border University, Saudi Arabia) have drawn the attention of linguists about the distorted facts and the false claims by Prof. Panchanan Mohanty. They have also written letters to the appropriate authorities of University of Hyderabad where the false news was first published in their news website UoH Herald. About the terms of use of the word ‘discovery’ in Linguistics, “ No one discovers a language or a language family. These already exist in the speech communities. Linguists only identify a language or a language family primarily because neither census reporters nor linguists nor anthropologists ever identified them by a particular name”, clarified Prof. Abbi in her email to VC, UoH (see below statement as excerpted). It is thus so, both the languages were never "lying hidden from linguists", as claimed by Prof. Panchanan Mohanty.

Prof. Anivta Abbi’s email to VC, UoH on 22–04–2018.

They have requested the University authority to publish a fresh news report clarifying the distorted facts and the false claims about the discovery of the languages by Prof. Mohanty who is a faculty member there and the present President of Linguistic Society of India. People feel Prof. Mohanty might have made such a false claim with the hope of getting some awards, rewards or a big position. However, many of the linguistic community of India and especially the members of the LSI feel that after this exposure Prof. Mohanty has no moral right whatsoever to continue as the President of the LSI and he should resign forthwith on moral ground.

[Source: https://odisha.pscnotes.com/history-orrisa/orissa-languages-and-dialects/]

Refuting to the claims of Prof. Panchanan Mohanty, the first Odia article was columned “ବାଲ୍ମୀକି’ ବିବାଦ ଓ ‘ମହ୍ଲାର’ ମିଛ !” (‘Balmiki’ Bibaada O ‘Malhar’ Michha!” — (trans. Valmiki Controversy and False Malhar) published in Odia Sambad”, dt.18.05.2018. Again a feature, “ବାଲ୍ମୀକି ଭାଷା — ମିଛ ଆବିଷ୍କାର ଓ ସତ୍ୟ ତଥ୍ୟ” (Valmiki Language: False Discovery & Truth Behind) columned in Odia Sambad”, dt.06.06.2018. Further criticism to Kudos, a third article, “ବାଲ୍ମୀକି ଓ ମହ୍ଲାର’ ଭାଷା” — (trans. Valmiki & Malhar Language)] published in the Odia “Dharitri”, dt.09.06.2018.

ଲୋପ ପାଇବାକୁ ଯାଉଛନ୍ତି ଘଟଗାଁ, କେଉଁଝର ଉପଖଣ୍ଡରେ ବାସ କରୁଥିବା ଆଦିମ ଜନଜାତି #ମଲ୍ହାର ସଂପ୍ରଦାୟ …
Excepts from Zee Kalinga Samir Pradhan Coverage (07–09–2017) at Ghatagan, Keunjhar, Odisha. A place 165 KM from Bhubaneswar.

These authors have brought the truth to the people of the World which was falsely claimed by UoH Professor Mohanty.

A List of Earliest Research found

Malhar/Kurukh/Kurux (Language & Community available in Odisha)

(1) Grierson, George A. (1927). Linguistic Survey of India, Vol-I, Part-I, Introductory. Calcutta: Government of India Central Publication Branch. (Source: (Full volume) https://archive.org/stream/LSIV0-V11/LSI-V1-1#page/n0/mode/2up) (Malhar-Kurukh-P.91) Munda & Dravidian Languages).

(2) Grierson, George A. (1906). Linguistic Survey of India, Vol-IV, Munda & Dravidian Languages. Calcutta: Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing. (Source: (Full volume) https://archive.org/stream/LSIV0-V11/LSI-V4#page/n0/mode/2up) (Malhar-Kurukh-P.410).

(3) Hahn, F. (1900). Kurukh Grammar. Calcutta: Bengal Secretariat Press. https://archive.org/stream/kurukhgrammar00hahniala#page/n0/mode/1up (Talks about O. Flex’s (1984) book on Introduction to Uraun Language (p.I). Gives justification why Kuruh should be used instead of Orao or Urao (p.II).

(4) Hahn, F. (1911). Kurukh Grammar. Calcutta: Bengal Secretariat Press. https://archive.org/details/kurukhgrammar00hahnuoft (Talks about Angul, Khondamal, Balasore in p.X).

(5) Ota, AB & Mohapatra, SC. (2015). Demography Profile of Scheduled Tribes in Odisha. Bhubaneswar: SCSTRTI, Govt of Odisha. [Describes about on Malhar people & India Census recorded from 1961–2011.]

(6) Adivasi Bhasa Prasikshyan Bhavan (Govt of Odisha), Unit-I, Bhubaneswar, Odisha http://www.atlcodisha.org/index.php?r=tribe%2Fview&id=Koli [Recorded about Koli Demography Concentration: Dhenkanal & Ganjam Population consisting: 5366 (Male: 2726 & Female: 2640)].

(7) The word “Malhar” has been used in Odia Sarala Mahabharat.

Valmiki/Walmiki/Balmiki/Boya/Kupia/Koya (Language & Community available in Odisha)

(1) https://www.omniglot.com/writing/kupia.htm

(2) http://multitree.org/codes/key

(3) Kupia Population — Koraput, Orissa Kupia is a medium-size village located in Boriguma Block of Koraput district, Orissa with total 175 families residing. The Kupia village has a population of 720 of which 361 are males while 359 are females as per Population Census 2011. http://www.census2011.co.in/data/village/428244-kupia-orissa.html

(4) Christmas, Raymond B. & Christmas, J. Elisabeth. (1973). Sentence Patterns in Kupia (Pp.125–196). In Trail, Ronald L. (Eds.). Patterns in Clause, Sentence, and Discourse in Selected Languages of India and Nepal: Part I, Sentence and Discourse. Norman: Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of Oklahoma. https://ia801301.us.archive.org/21/items/ERIC_ED087206/ERIC_ED087206.pdf

(5) Christmas, R. B. & Christmas, J. E. (1973). Kupia Texts (Pp.3–108). In Trail, Ronald L. (Eds.). Patterns in Clause, Sentence, and Discourse in Selected Languages of India and Nepal: Part III, Sentence and Discourse. Norman: Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of Oklahoma. https://www.sil.org/system/files/reapdata/68/39/36/68393618042246770897198253954814542591/10409.pdf

(6) Christmas, R. & Christmas, J. E. (1975). Kupia phonemic summary. Kathmandu: Summer Institute of Linguistics and Institute of Nepal and Asian Studies. https://www.sil.org/resources/archives/37223 OR https://www.sil.org/resources/search/language/key

(7) Gustafsson, Uwe. (1973). Clause patterns in Kotia Oriya. Oklahoma: Summer Institute of Linguistics of the University of Oklahoma. http://prod.nepal.sil-dev.info/resources/archives/8740

(8) https://www.sil.org/system/files/reapdata/68/39/36/68393618042246770897198253954814542591/10409.pdf

(9) Christmas, R. & J. Christmas (1975). Kupia Phonemic Summary, (66 pages total) Kathmandu: SIL and Institute of Nepal and Asian Studies, Tribhuvan University.

(10) https://www.sil.org/resources/archives/37223

(11) Valmiki language (Chapter-4, pg.124–129) in a book by M. Aruna Kumar. (2010). Decentralised Governance in Tribal India: Negotiating Space between the State, Community and Civil Society. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/cspub/dgti/2010/00000001/00000001/art00005;jsessionid=ha4ytgdec86q.x-ic-live-02 OR https://books.google.co.in/books?id=TE0aBwAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&ots=9VppbiDYo7&dq=Decentralised%20Governance%20in%20Tribal%20India%3A%20Negotiating%20Space%20Between%20the%20State%2C%20Community%20and%20Civil%20Society&pg=PA127#v=snippet&q=Valmiki&f=false

(12) Simons, Gary F. and Charles D. Fennig (Eds.). (2018). Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Twenty-first edition. Dallas, Texas: SIL International. http://www.ethnologue.com

(13) The Scheduled Tribes of Andhra Pradesh (December, 1963). Hyderabad: Tribal Culture Research and Training Institute.

(14) Usha Devi, A. (2015). Kupiya. In Devy G. (Ed.) People’s Linguistic Survey of India, Vol. 3 Part I. Languages of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana (In Telugu). Hyderabad: Emesco Publications. (Chapter 14. Pp.419–434) http://www.peopleslinguisticsurvey.org/publishing-PLSI.aspx

(15) Thurston, E. (1909). Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Vol. I — A and B. Madras: Government Press. https://archive.org/details/castestribesofso01thuriala (Discusses about Bedar or Boya equates with Walmiki. The word Walmiki appears in pp.187, 188, 190, 196).

(16) Rao, Raghava D. V. HAVE. (1968). Domb Kinship Terms. Man in India 48 (2): 115–123. [Kupia, or Valmiki.]

(17) Dalia, Nilakantha. (2009). Balmiki Bhasare Sanskruta ra Prabhab. (cover page attached). Sunabeda, Koraput, D. Shakuntala.

(18) http://scriptsource.org/cms/scripts/page.php?item_id=language_detail&key=key

(18) Documentary (Reported by Samir Pradhan) in Zee-Kailanga https://www.facebook.com/samirgtn/videos/1627853807245173/

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