Doctor Ram Dayal Munda – We Mourn His Demise

Share this...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someoneShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponDigg this

When we talk about one of the beloved sons of Jharkhand, Professor Ram Dayal Munda takes his rightful place among the select group of people who have made a difference in the lives of many Jharkhandis. Today we mourn his death, along with his family members, several friends and countless well-wishers spread all across the globe.

Prof. Dr. Ram Dayal Munda (23.08.1939 - 30.09.2011)
Prof. Dr. Ram Dayal Munda (23.08.1939 – 30.09.2011)

We take a moment, to share with you, few excerpts from his inspiring journey, in life.

Father’s Name: Late Shri Gandharb Singh Munda

Mother’s Name: Late Shrimati Lokma Munda

Date of Birth: 23 August 1939

Place of Birth: Village Diuri, District Ranchi (Jharkhand)

Marital Status: Married on 28 June 1988

Educational Qualifications: M.A., Ph.D., Educated at Ranchi University, Ranchi and University of Chicago, U.S.A.

Profession: Farmer, Traditional Adivasi Artist, Traditional Adivasi Musician, Social Worker and Academician

Positions Held:

  • 1985-86 Pro Vice-Chancellor, Ranchi University
  • 1986-88 Vice-Chancellor, Ranchi University
  • 1989-95 Member, Committee on Jharkhand Matters, Government of India Member, Anthropological Survey of India
  • 1990 Member, National Education Policy Review Committee
  • 1990-95 Member, Executive Committee, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • 1993-96 Member, Executive Committee, North Eastern Hill University.
  • 1996-2000 Member, Steering Group, Planning Commission
  • 1997-2000 Member, Expert Committee, National Commission for Women Member, National Advisory Board, International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • 1998-2001 Member, Standing Committee, Human Rights Education, University Grants Commission Member, National Committee for Promotion for Social and Economic Welfare
  • 1999 onwards Member, Expert Committee, Sahitya Academy
  • 2000-2003 National Council for Teachers Education
  • 2000-2005 Chairman, Working Group on Empowerment of Scheduled Tribes, Planning Commission
  • 2007 Member, Technical Support Group for Formulation of Rules to Operationalise the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act,
  • 2006, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India Member, Committee to set up Central Tribal University March
  • 2010 Nominated to Rajya Sabha
  • Aug. 2010 onwards Member, Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Tribal Affairs

Books Published:

(i) Hisir (Necklace, Modern Mundari Songs), Sahkari Prakashan, Ranchi, 1967,

(ii) Seled (Miscellaneous Poems in Mundari, Nagpuri and Hindi), Sahkari Prakashan, Ranchi, 1967,

(iii) Proto-Kherwarian Sound System, Department of South Asian Languages and Civilization, University of Chicago, 1967

(iv) Mundari Gitkar, Shri Budu Babu Aur Unki Rachnae, Adivasi Sahitya Parishad, Ranchi, 1974,

(v) Ocean of Laughter, English translation of Hasyarnava (The Sanskrit Play by Jagadishwara Bhattacharya), Writers Workshop, Calcutta 1975 (with David Nelson),

(vi) Kalyani, English translation of the Kalyani (Hindi novel by Jainendra Kumar), Department of South Asian Studies, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1976 (with Paul Staneslow and Mark Johnson),

(vii) Holy Man from Jamania, English translation of the Hindi novel Jamania Ka Baba by Nagarjuna, Writers Workshop, Calcutta 1977 (with Paul Staneslow),

(viii) Kuchh Nae Nagpuri Git (Songs in Nagpuri), Nagpuri Sahitya Parishad, Ranchi, 1978,

(ix) Mundari Vyakaran (Mundari Grammar), Mundari Sahitya Parishad,, Ranchi, 1979,

(x) Dhruwa Swamini, English translation of Hindi Play by Jaishankar Prasad, Department of South Asia Studies, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis,

(xi) Eea Nawa Kaaniko (seven new stories), Mundari Sahitya Parishad, Ranchi, 1980,

(xii) Titli, English translation of the Hindi Novel by Jaishankar Prasad, Department of South Asia Studies, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1980 (with Paul Staneslow),

(xiii) Nadi Aur Uske Sambandh Tatha Anya Nagit, Jharkhand Sahitya Parishad, Ranchi, 1980,

(xiv) The Sun Charioteer, English translation of Hindi long poem Rashmirathi by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Department of South Asia Studies, University on Minnesota, 1981 (with Paul Staneslow and David Nelson),

(xv) Language of Poetry, Classical Publication, Delhi 1981,

(xvi) Birsa Munda, Hindi translation of the Bengali Birsa Munda by Mahasweta Devi, Ekta Prakashan, Chaibasa, 1981, Second edition, Sail Rakab Puthi Centre, Calcutta, 2000,

(xvii) Wapasi, Punarmilan Aur Anya Nagit, Jharkhand Sahitya Parishad 1985,

(xviii) All Jharkhand Students Union Ka Samvidhan, Ranchi, AJSU, Ranchi, 1986 (with S. Basu Malik, Suraj Singh Besra and Deosharan Bhagat),

(xix) Introduction to Indigenous and Tribal Solidarity, ICITP, Delhi, 1997,

(xx) Adivasi Astitva Aur Jharkhandi Asmita Ke Sawal, Prakashan Sansthan, Delhi, 2001,

(xxi) Adandi Bonga (Wivah Mantra), Jharkhand Prakashan, Ranchi, 2001 (with Ratan Singh Manki),

(xxii) Ji-Tonol (Man Bandhan), Jharkhand Prakashan, Ranchi, 2002, (xxiii) Ji-Ranara (Man Bichhuran), Jharkhand Prakashan, Ranchi, 2001 (xxiv) Eneon (Jagaran), Jharkhand Prakashan, Ranchi, 2002,

(xxv) BA (H) Bonga (Sarhul Mantra) Mundari – Hindi Version, Jharkhand Prakashan, Ranchi, 2002,

(xxvi) Gonoe? Paromen Bonga (Shraddha Mantra), Mundari Hindi Version, Sail Rakab Puthi Centre, Calcutta, 2003 (with Ratan Singh Manki),

(xxvii) Adi Dharam, Bharatiya Adivasiyon Ki Dharmik Asthayen, New Delhi, Rajkamal Prakashan, 2009,

(xxviii) Sosobonga (Bhelwa Pujan) Punarnavikrit, New Delhi, Rajkamal Prakasha, (in press), contributed several articles on social and cultural issues of Jharkhand in various journals

Social and Cultural Activities, Literary, Artistic and Scientific Accomplishments and other Special Interests: 

  • Participated in

(i) Festival of India in USSR, 1987 as leader of the delegation

(ii) International Music Workshop, Bali, Indonesia, 1988,

(iii) International Dance Alliance, Manila, Philippines,

(iv) International Folk Dance Festival, Taipei,

(v) Adivasi Campaign in Europe, 1993 and

(vi) Dalit campaign in Europe, 1994;

  • Played a key role in starting a tradition of pageant in Ranchi as a greater Jharkhand Regional Adivasi Sarhul during his days in Ranchi University;
  • During 18 years of his foreign residence (U.S.A. and Europe), successfully participated in the music and dance programmes as a member of 25 member leading team of South Asia Folk Performers in the course of study and teaching of linguistic and Bharat Vidya;
  • Started cultural renaissance in Adivasi Bharat along with the setting up of a Department of Tribal and Regional Language under Ranchi University;
  • Successfully presented Jharkhandi cultural programmes in international cultural organizations held in the East Asia (Taipei/Japan) and South East Asia (Indonesia, Philippines);
  • Prominently participated in the Mumbai (2004) and Delhi (2007) sessions of world social forum;
  • Played a leading role in the installation of a huge statue (18 feet) of Birsa Munda, the great Adivasi hero and 80’s Martyr’s Pillar on the Dombari mountain (Distt -Khunti, Jharkhand) in co-ordination with the Government of Jharkhand;
  • Played a remarkable role in giving the renaissance and expansion work of Akhra (village cultural centre) form of a movement for protection and development of folk arts in the cultural field of Jharkhand;
  • As a recognition of this effort, was awarded by the Sangeet Natak Academy at the hands of the President of India;
  • Successfully participated in various programmes of mass development specially in the field of forest expansion and conservation in co-operation with the Government of Jharkhand and voluntary organizations;
  • Actively participated in drafting Acts of the Adivasis public interest at national level, especially in formulating the village autonomy (PESA), Adivasi Policy and Forest Policy;
  • Devoted for establishment of Adi Dharm, a symbol of faith related mission trying to maintain the symbiotic relationship between nature and human being at national level and proposed ‘Adidharm’ for tribal population of the country;
  • Concerned about the increasing extremism in the tribal areas of the country and took efforts towards bringing them into the mainstream.

Other Information:

  • Research Assistant, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago 1963-70;
  • Assistant Professor-Associate Professor, South Asian Studies, Univesity of Minnesota, Minneapolis 1970-81;
  • University Professor, Tribal and Regional languages; Ranchi University 1981-99;
  • Visiting Professor:

(i) Australian National University, Canberra, 1983,

(ii) Syracuse University, New York, 1996

(iii) Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, 2001;

  • Fellowships:

(i) American Institute of Indian Studies, 1977-78,

(ii) United States Education Foundation in India, 1996 and

(iii) Japan Foundation, 2001;

  • Chief President, Indian Confederation of Indigenous and Tribal People (ICITP), 2000-2008;
  • Chief Advisor, Indian Confederation of Indigenous and Tribal People, 2000-08;
  • Chief President, Jharkhand Peoples Party, 1991-98;
  • President,

(i) Adim Jaati Seva Mandal since 1990,

(ii) Ranchi University PG Teachers Association, 1998-2000,

(iii) Binrai Institute of Research and Action since 1997 and

(iv) All India Literary Forum since 2005;

  • Secretary, Bharatiya Sahitya Vikas Nyas since 1998;
  • Participated in,

(i) International Conference on Indigenous Economy, Copenhagen, Denmark 1997,

(ii) United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations, Geneva, 1987 (Leader of the delegation,

(iii) International Alliance for Indigenous Peoples of the Tropical Forests, Nagpur, 1998,

(iv) Asian Indigenous Peoples’ Conference on UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples, Indore, 1999,

(v) International Conference on Hunting and Games, Berlin, 2000,

(vi) International Conference on Indigenous Peoples, Upsala, Sweden, 2002,

(vii) Asian Indigenous Peoples Conference on UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Bangkok, 2002 and

(viii) The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, New York 2002; active member of the Committee on Jharkhand Matters, Government of India (1989-2000) and played a key role in it, resulting in formation of the state of Jharkhand

Two of the most enduring memory of Professor Ram Dayal Munda is forever etched in our memory,

One, with his long-flowing hair he is riding a high-powered motorbike on the less congested roads of Ranchi in the mid-1980s, he was teaching in Ranchi University (R.U.) and later he joined Ranchi University as its Vice-Chancellor.

Two, when he used to play ‘mandar’ and sing-along in various Adivasi festivals (including Karma and Sarhul). One could see and feel the sheer joy oozing out.

With heavy heart and tearful eyes, we bid Professor Ram Dayal Munda goodbye, but we know that he shall continue to live in our midst and inspire all of us.

Pray, he rest in peace.

Team Focus

Team Focus

We are bunch of commoners and our bloggers' e-magazine focuses on the AlterNative Voices from Jharkhand, India.
Team Focus
Share this...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someoneShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponDigg this
Team Focus

Written by

We are bunch of commoners and our bloggers' e-magazine focuses on the AlterNative Voices from Jharkhand, India.


Loading Facebook Comments ...

1 comment / Add your comment below

Do share your thoughts