Ram Dayal Munda
|Died||30 September 2011 (aged 72)|
Diuri village, Tamar, Ranchi, Jharkhand
|Resting place||Diuri village, Tamar, Ranchi, Jharkhand|
23.046 N, 85.680 E
|Alma mater||Ranchi University, University of Chicago|
|Occupation(s)||Anthropologist, Linguist, Folklorist, Music Exponent, Academician, Agriculturalist, Vice-Chancellor,|
|Organization(s)||Indian Confederation of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (ICITP)|
|Known for||Work on Indian languages and literature|
|Awards||Padma Shri, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award|
Ram Dayal Munda (23 August 1939 – 30 September 2011), known as R. D. Munda, was an Indian scholar and regional music exponent. He was awarded the Padma Shri of the year 2010 for his contribution to the field of art.
He was a vice-chancellor of Ranchi University and a member of the upper house of the Indian Parliament. In 2007, he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. He died in Ranchi on 30 September 2011.
Ram Dayal Munda was born in the tribal village Diuri in the Ranchi district of Bihar (Now in Jharkhand) India. Ram Dayal Munda got his primary education at the Luther Mission School in Amlesa. He obtained his secondary education in the sub divisional town of Khunti. As the heartland of the historic Birsa Movement for autonomy in the British Empire, the Khunti area attracted scholars from all over the world, particularly from the discipline of anthropology. Munda, along with his other friends, often acted as guide to the distinguished visitors this formed the basis for developing of his experiential world. Opting for anthropology as his subject for higher education with a focus on linguistics opened an altogether new world.
Munda got an opportunity for getting higher education in linguistics in an interdisciplinary atmosphere, from an ambitious research project of the University of Chicago, on the Indic group of the Austroasiatic languages under the guidance of Norman Zide. Munda received his PhD from the University of Chicago and was subsequently appointed in the faculty of Department of South Asian Studies. Later, at the request of then Vice-Chancellor, Kumar Suresh Singh, he started a Department of Tribal and Regional Languages. The department was the rallying point for all social politico activists engaged in finding out ways to change the internal colonial situation the people of Jharkhand were faced with. Many students passed out from the department and formed a body "All Jharkhand Students Union" (AJSU) pushing for formation of an intellectual base for the maintenance of the Jharkhand Movement which was already going at that time. This indirectly contributed to Munda's appointment as Vice-Chancellor of Ranchi University in 1985. As a result, he became a medium of political dialogue between the state and the movement of the people. Therefore, the Committee on Jharkhand Matters was formed to initiate the formation of the new state of Jharkhand.
Munda retired in 1999 but he continued to his involvement with the cultural mobilisation of the people. He was also the policy maker at the UN Working Group on Indigenous People at Geneva and the UN Forum of Indigenous Issues in New York, as a senior official of the ICITP, all India tribal led and managed movement.
Munda has written several books and was a consultant and participant in important issues of the adivasi people of the country. He represented his country in the Festival of India in the USSR, and other cultural events in China, Japan and South East Asia.
Munda was awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2007 and Padma Shri in 2010 by the government of India to recognise his contributions.