Sadri Language of North Bengal in Crisis: A Thunderclap in Language Diversity

Debabrata Debnath

Language is the most important communicative tool. The Sadri language is an important tool of communication among the tea labourers of North Bengal. The present study focuses on present situations of the Sadri language in Sadri affected area of North Bengal. The findings show some important issues related to the Sadri language in North Bengal, which are to be noticed that there are various developmental problems such as lack of education through this language, there are no linguistic institutions, lack of adequate literary resources, no written form of Sadri language, detachment of governmental policies in the development of Sadri language, problem of participation in decision making process through this language, etc.

Key -Words: Sadri, Language, North Bengal, Development, Influence, Linguistic, Problem.

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The Sadri language originated in southern Bihar and brought to Tarai and Dooars in North Bengal, is a modern Sanskrit rooted language. Now Sadri is the main link-language among the tea workers in North Bengal. Through this language the tea workers communicate to each other and uphold their cultural aspects. But now in presence of modernization and dominance of Bengali and Hindi, the cultural diversity of Sadri has been decreased. This report has been prepared on the basis of interview and secondary information of developmental problems of Sadri language and how to overcome it.

Objectives of the Study
The main objectives of the study are:
i) To know the present situation of the Sadri language in the protection of linguistic
ii) To know the realistic application of this language.
iii) To know which cultural aspect is uphold through this language.
iv) To know the Sadri based literary components.
v) To know how to fulfil their cultural and social needs through this language.
vi) To know how much satisfied they are in their linguistic enrichment.
vii) To know the needs of their linguistic development in social sector.

Methodology of the Study
The study has followed qualitative method that has helped to combine qualitative data. Data of this study have been collected from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data have been collected from selected samples through interview schedule and Focus Group Discussion (FGD). Secondary data has been gathered from published and unpublished reports, books, etc. The interview method is the best way to reach the problematic area of this language for primary data collection. Observation has also been done beside interview. Through the interview and observation over 40 people of Gangutia Tea Garden under Alipurduar District of North Bengal, the data have been collected which indicates the flow towards degradation of this language. Five representatives among 40 people had answered the interview schedule and all of them participated in the group discussion process.

Analysis of Data
Through the interview of 5 representatives of Sadri people if we analyze the collected data, then we can see that 40 questions have been asked to everyone regarding needs of developmental aspect and problematic aspect of this language, therefore total observation has been done 40 X 5 = 200 nos. In this the positive (yes) answer is 80% and the negative answer (no) 18 %. 2% answer is neutral.

Table No. 1

No. of questions regarding needs of development and problems in area Percentage of ‘Yes’ Percentage of ‘No’ Percentage of can’t ‘Say’
200 80% 18% 2%

We can analyze these through pie diagram –
Table for Pie Diagram

No. of questions. 200 items (100%) Radii of circle



1cm. to 2unit

Total Degree Categories of responses
Yes (160 Items i.e. 80%) Yes (36 Items i.e. 18%) Can’t Say (4 Items i.e. 2%)
200 7.98 3.99cm 360o 288 o 64.8 o 7.2 o

Table No. 2

Age Group No. of People People under Influence of  the  Sadri language % (Percentage) People Under Influence of other than Sadri language % (Percentage) Total Percentage (%)
>40 years 20 16 80 % 4 20% 100%
<40 years 20 4 20% 16 80% 100%

We can analyze these through pie diagram –
Table for Pie Diagram

Age group No. of People Radii of circle



1cm to 1Unit

Total Degree Categories of Influence
People under influence of Sadri People under influence other than Sadri
>40 years 20 2.52 2.52cm 360o 288 o 72 o
<40 years 20 2.52 2.52cm 360o 72 o 288 o

Problematic Aspects and Needs of Linguistic Development
First pie diagram shows that most of the answers regarding the need of development of this language is positive which indicates the need of development of this language and also showing the problematic area. Regarding problematic aspects and needs of development of this language, total 200 questions have been asked among 5 representatives. Out of 200 questions 160 nos. i.e. 80% answer is positive i.e. ‘yes’ and 18% answer is negative i.e. ‘no’ and 2% has come ‘can’t say’. The result of this interview mostly indicates towards the problematic area and needs of development of this language. The people of the Sadri language want education and communication through this language. They are worried about their linguistic future. Beside the education and communication, they also want literary resources and written form of their language. For this they also want governmental help and proper developmental institutions.

Age Wise Linguistic Influence
The second pie diagram shows that people less than 40 years are highly influenced by the language other than Sadri because of their educational needs, and people more than 40 years are highly influenced by the Sadri language because they are older and so they are influenced by their native language. This diagram shows that the people of new generation are mainly the students moving towards the Bengali and Hindi languages because of their education and lack of educational opportunities through the Sadri language.

On the basis of the above discussion and data analysis the findings are –
i) There is no linguistic institution of the Sadri language.
ii) No arrangement of education through this language.
iii) There is lack of adequate literary resources.
iv) There is no written form of this language.
v) This language is floating through mouth to mouth.
vi) No governmental help can be found to develop this language.
vii) New generations are moving towards the languages other than the Sadri language like
Bengali, Hindi for their educational needs.
viii) It can be seen that there are lack of all kind of facilities to form the language its
strong basis.

Conclusion and Recommendations
In the above discussion it can be seen that now-a-days the situation of the Sadri language of North Bengal is in crisis and the future prospect of this language is uncertain. So, necessary steps regarding the development of this language should be taken immediately for the protection of this language in the context of linguistic diversity.

With considerable attention to the welfare of the Sadri language, some measures can be considered more effective. These are:

i) To protect the Sadri language, the central and the state governments should take
necessary plan immediately.
ii) In Sadri centred areas, education should be provided in schools and colleges through the
Sadri language besides the other language.
iii) With the help of planning to protect the Sadri language, various necessary steps can be
iv) Adequate text books should be written on the Sadri language.
v) For linguistic development of the Sadri language, linguistic institutions should be
vi) Overall governmental acceptance of the Sadri language can be considered as an effective
step to protect the Sadri language of North Bengal.

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The writer is the Debabrata Debnath, M.A. (Geography), B.Ed., NET (Geography), CTET, WBTET, Bakshirhat, Coochbehar, WB.- 736131, Email:, Cell : 09749338292