The Voice of Mithila Mihir

The Making of the Idea of Mithila

  • Devanand Kamat (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


The demand for a separate Mithila has recently resurfaced. This is however also an older demand that first emerged in the 1940s. Maithil linguistic nationalism in the early decades of the 20th century played an essential role in contributing to the generation of a movement led by Maithil intellectuals, for whom the prestige and heritage of the Maithili language took precedence over all other concerns. To understand this process better, this paper peruses the literature on Mithila, Maithil, and Maithili that underlies the emergence of Maithili nationalism and the demand for a separate state. Many of these books were initially published through Maithili language and literary magazines. For instance, the Mithila Tattva Vimarsha published in 1949 was first released as a series of articles in the Mithila Mihir Magazine between 1912 to 1914. In this paper, I discuss questions of Maithili, Maithil, and Mithila in the way it emerged in the Mithila Mihir. This study, which draws on hitherto unavailable information from official and archival sources, fills a substantial gap in the literature on Mithila, historicizing the movement for the Mithila State in the context of the State Reorganisation Commission (henceforth SRC). This article also seeks to delve into why the demand for a separate Mithila failed. Though it is common to recount success stories of state-formation in the context of post-independence India, explaining why such demands failed, is also equally important.


Mithila, Maithili, Bihar, Panji, Darbhanga