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Title: Finding Mithila between India’s centre and periphery
Authors: Singh, Prabhakar
Keywords: Mithila History and Culture
Bihar Politics and Culture
Issue Date: 31-Dec-2011
Citation: Journal of Indian Law and Society, Vol.2 (2011) 147-181
Abstract: The linguistic region of Mithila has been one of India’s many cultural ‘Others’. Part of the erstwhile Presidency of Bengal, Mithila’s intellectual identity was largely subsumed by larger cultural region of Bengal. Before the Indian independence in 1947, Mithila’s local intellectuals demanded its sovereignty citing inadequate attention to specific issues like the floods of North Bihar. After the Indian independence this demand diminished into a call for a separate province/State. Such demands for a cultural self-determination, the authors argue, originate from an intellectual Othering or alienation. A sense of pride in one’s intellectual history, culture, language and literature create a linguistic identity as with Bengal, and Tamil, among numerous others, drives one’s cultural self-esteem. It often results in demands for political separation within or without a nation. This article studies the case of Mithila and unearths some of its intellectual currents though it does not advocate the political viability of a separate Mithila state. In the process it uses Levi-Strauss’ study of myth to find an instance of Mithila’s early feminism.
Appears in Collections:JGU Research Publications

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