He was an Indian scholar and regional musical exponent whose contribution to Indian art and tribal progress is unmatched. Ram Dayal Munda was a vice-chancellor of Ranchi University and a member of the upper house of the Indian Parliament. In 2007, he was one amongst those were the proud recipients of Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
Early Life of Ram Dayal Munda
Born in 1939 in the tribal village Diuri in Ranchi District of Jharkhand ( then Bihar), Ram Dayal Munda went through his primary schooling at the nearby Luther Mission School at Amlesa where he had the first glimpse of the outside world as foreign guests frequently visited his school. His secondary schooling at the sub divisional town of Khunti, 40 km away from home, further expanded his experiential horizon to other tribal and ethnic communities and their cultural activities.
Career of Ram Dayal Munda
Through these he came in close proximity to the state's dignitaries like the Governors and Ministers. 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. Ram Dayal Munda, along with his other friends, often acted as guide to the distinguished visitors this formed the basis for sprouting of his experiential world. Opting for anthropology as his subject for higher education with a focus on linguistics opened an altogether new world.
Ram Dayal 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 (Santali, Mundari and others) of the Austro-Asiatic Languages under the directorship of Dr. Norman Zide. Dr. Munda obtained Ph.D from the University of Chicago and was subsequently appointed in the faculty of Department of South Asian Studies.
Later, Ram Dayal Munda was offered a position by the then Vice-Chancellor Dr. Kumar Suresh Singh to start a Department of Tribal and Regional Languages. The department became 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. A number of students, passed out from the department, formed a student body All Jharkhand Student's Union (AJSU) pushing for formation of an intellectual base for the maintenance of the Jharkhand Movement already going at that time. This indirectly contributed to Ram Dayal Munda's appointment as