The Bihar government has decided to take a slew of measures for promoting Kaithi, a historical script that was widely used in northern and eastern India, an official said on Wednesday.
The Kaithi script was used for writing legal, administrative and private records, and was used for a variety of Indo-Aryan languages such as Angika, Bajjika, Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Magahi, Maithili and Nagpuri, Deepak Anand, the additional secretary in the Art, Culture and Youth Department of Bihar government, told PTI.
"The state government has decided to preserve and protect this script. We will soon chalk out a plan for the revival of this script after a detailed discussion with experts of Kaithi," he said.
"The matter was discussed at the governing body meeting of the North Central Zone Cultural Centre (NCZCC) held last week in Lucknow. The meeting was chaired by Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and was attended by representatives of UP, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Delhi. Later, I separately discussed the issue with NCZCC director Suresh Sharma," he added.
The Bihar government will work on a revival plan for the Kaithi script, and soon come out with it, Anand said.
NCZCC Director Suresh Sharma said several issues pertaining to the vanishing art forms, languages and steps to bring out the cultural kinship between the states were discussed at the governing body meeting of the NCZCC.
"Besides, efforts to encourage folk and tribal arts and to frame special programmes for the preservation and strengthening of the vanishing art forms and languages, including Kaithi script, were discussed at length," he said.
NCZCC, a wing of the Union Culture Ministry, is one of the seven zonal cultural centres in the country that work to promote various art forms and enrich the consciousness of the people about their cultural heritage, Sharma said.
Kaithi was widely used in the present-day states of Bihar, UP and Jharkhand during the Mughal rule, experts said.
In the 1880s, it was recognised by the British Raj as the official script of the courts of Bihar. Among the three scripts widely used in the region, Kaithi was perceived to be neutral as it was used by all communities, they said.
Professor Vidyarthi Vikas of the AN Sinha Institute of Social Studies in Patna lauded the government's move to promote Kaithi.
"Earlier, records of government offices and courts were mostly written in Kaithi script, but now one can hardly find people who can decipher them. There are reports that suggest that Kaithi was used in a few districts of Bihar till the 1960s. Languages and script play a vital role in the preservation, maintenance, and promotion of cultural heritage," he said.