Bodo, pronounced as Bo-Ro, is one of the famous languages of Northeast India. It is the major language of the Bodo group and comes under the Assam-Burmese group of languages. It is said to have branched off from the Tibeto-Burman family of languages and is spoken by Bodo people of Nepal and Bangladesh, apart from North-eastern India. Infact, the Bodo language happens to be amongst the official languages of the Indian state of Assam and is one of the 22 languages recognized by the eighth schedule of the Indian constitution.
There are no records indicating the origin of bodo language. However, it is known to be a branch of the Sino-Tibetan family of language. A highpoint in the history of the Bodo language is the socio-political movement that was launched by local Boro organizations, from 1913 onwards. It was due to their relentless effort that this language was finally introduced as the medium of instruction in the primary schools in Bodo dominated areas, in 1963. In present times, the language serves as a medium of instruction in educational institutions, up to the secondary level. Recently, it has proudly been included as the part of a post graduate course in the University of Guwahati.
Literature & Writing Style
Bodo language boasts of a very rich literature, comprising of numerous famous books on poetry, drama, short story, novel, biography, travelogue, children's literature, etc. The last couple of decades have especially proved beneficial in the evolution of Bodo literature, as its development received due attention from all corners. As for the writing style, Devanagri script is officially used to write the Bodo language, although it also has a long history of using the Roman script as well. Many Bodo intellectuals even suggest that this language originally used the Deodhai script, which is now completely lost.
Asam Sahitya Sabha & Bodo Sahitya Sabha
A pioneering effort in preserving and popularizing the Bodo literature is being played by Asam Sahitya Sabha, the biggest literary body in Eastern India. Infact, this organization has been playing a crucial role in coordinating efforts of the Bodo poets, scholars and authors, by introducing local people to their works. They hold a congregation every year, which is attended by numerous big and small names in the literary field of Bodo language, from both far and near. Another unit working for the betterment of the Bodo literature and people is the Bodo Sahitya Sabha.
Bodo language shares some common features, in respect of vocabulary, phonology, morphology and syntax, with its sister languages of the Bodo group. For instance, it is closely related to the Dimasa language of Assam and the Garo language of Meghalaya. It is also a very strongly related to the Kokborok language spoken in Tripura. The spoken language (bodo) has also been affected by other communities, especially the Bengalis and Kokrajhar; but in and around Udalguri district, it is still to be heard in its pure form.