History of Bhasa andolon or Language Agitation of Manbhum

The Bhasa Andolon (ভাষা আন্দোলন ) also known Language Agitation was a movement in erstwhile  Manbhum district, present day (Purulia and Dhanbad districts), during the late 1940s to mid-1950s, to fight for Bengali language and to protest against the forcible imposition of Hindi language to the Bengali speaking people.

The Partition of Bengal (Banga-Bhanga) was started in 1905 but due to agitations it was stopped in 2011 and an affect of that a new state or Province “Bihar-Orissa” was formed in 1912. The Manbhum District was included to the newly formed Bihar-Orissa. The whole district started protesting against the inclusion of Manbhum to Bihar-Orissa. The language movement or Bhasa Andolon had started as a demand to include Manbhum District as a part of Bengal. However the popularity of the freedom struggle restricted that of Language movement.

Independence brought the sufferings to the Manbhum Bengalis

At the time of independence of India in 1947, Manbhum district was a part of Bihar state. From 1948 Bengali speaking peoples of Manbhum district started suffering as restrictions on Bengali language as well as forcible imposition of Hindi on the Bengali Speaking population had started. Then the serving Bengali officers of Manbhum district were transferred to the others districts of Bihar, D.I. of school issued notice to teach Hindi from Primary classes, Bengali department was closed in zilla school. Installation of notice board in Hindi language become Compulsory for the schools and business establishment. Presenting the Domicile Certificate became mandatory for the Bengalis of Manbhum District. Hindi was declared as official language of Manbhum District. So you can imagine how the Bengalis suffered there after independence. When rest of the country was celebrating the Independence, dreaming with new hopes, the Manbhum District Bengalis were just fighting for the imposition of Hindi.


The Bihar Government violated the language policy and the education policy of the National Congress Party for Bengali speaking people of Manbhum.

Depriving Mother Tongue Medium Education is the violation of Human Rights. Then Bihar Govt. did so by forcible imposition of Hindi on the Bengali speaking people of Manbhum. Bengali was the official language of Manbhum prior to Independence,  Over night it was changed to Hindi by the then Bihar Govt. when Manbhum became part of Bihar after Independence.

Source : The post is  compiled from various sources from Internet, Wikipedia and http://www.purulia.gov.in. Any suggestion for addition, deletion, alteration for more authenticity of the article will be welcomed and acknowledged with thanks.

About Anil

Loving nature, traveling, reading and little bit of painting in my leisure. My love for nature & travel has lately developed a passion for photography which is reflected in my Blogs, especially showcased at my Blog "Nature & Travel Photos" (http: exxtracts.wordpress.com).
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