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Stars that died 2010

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ram Dayal Munda, Indian scholar and activist, died he was 72.

Ram Dayal Munda [1], 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.[1]
He was a vice-chancellor of Ranchi University[1] and a member of the upper house of the Indian Parliament.[2] In 2007, he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. He died in Ranchi on 30 September 2011.[1]

(1939 – September 30, 2011)


Munda was born in the tribal village Diuri in the Ranchi district of Jharkhand, India.[1] Munda got his primary education at the Luther Mission School in Amlesa. He obtained his secondary education in the sub divisional town of Khunti.[1] 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.[1]

Education and career

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 Austro-Asiatic Languages under the guidelines of Norman Zide. Munda received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago [3] and was subsequently appointed in the faculty of Department of South Asian Studies. Later, he became Vice-Chancellor, Kumar Suresh Singh, to start a Department of Tribal and Regional Languages. The department was 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 Student's 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.[2]

Retirement and later work

Munda retired in 1999[2] but he continued to his involvement with the cultural mobilization 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.[2]
Munda has written several books and was a consultant and participant in important issues of the adivasi people of the country. [2] He represented his country in the Festival of India in the USSR, and other cultural events in China, Japan and South East Asia. [2].


Munda was awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2007 and Padma Shri in 2010 by the government of India to recognize his contributions.[1][2]

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