February 27, 2015
GOI must apologise to Santal community: D Bandyopadhyay | Transcript
Trinamool MP in Rajya Sabha, Debabrata Bandopadhyay criticised the Government for disrespecting the Santhal script on the occasion of Matribhasha Divas.
The Government of India, through the Ministry of Human Resources Development, had published a message in a popular English daily on Matribhasha Divas. The advertisement had the 22 scheduled languages of India. But, Santhali was represented in the Devnagari script.
Mr Bandopadhyay pointed out that this was a great insult to the Santhal community of India as well as to ‘Guru Gomkey’ Pandit Raghunath Murmu, the inventor of Ol Chiki script. The Santhal community has a long history of struggle and has contributed to our freedom movement too, through the Santhal Rebellion.
West Bengal has given second language status to the Santhal language. Schools with Ol Chiki as the medium of instruction have been set up by Mamata Banerjee’s government. A university named after Sidhu, Kanhu and Birsa has also been set up in Purulia district of West Bengal. The West Bengal Government has also set up a separate department for the welfare of tribal people, Mr Bandopadhyay informed the House. He pointed out that this was truly an example of unity in diversity.
He urged that the Government must provide a suitable explanation for that lapse on the floor of the House and issue an apology to all Santhal-speaking people of India.