D Bandyopadhyay raises the issue of representation of Santal language in Devnagri Script by GOI | Transcript

Sir, at the very outset I wish to congratulate the Government of India for paying a tribute to the 22 scheduled languages of India on the occasion of Matribhasha Diwas.

The Government of India, through the Ministry of Human Resources Development, had published a message in a popular English daily on Matribhasha Diwas. The advertisement had the 22 scheduled languages of India. But, Santhali was represented in the Devnagari script.

Sir, this is a great insult to the Santhal community of India as well as to ‘Guru Gomkey’ Pandit Raghunath Murmu, the inventor of the Ol Chiki script. Sir, the Santhal community has a long history of struggle; they have contributed to our freedom movement too, through the Santhal Rebellion.

The legends of Birsa Munda and Sidhu-Kanhu are popular in Bengal. You would be happy to know that 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.

This has been truly appreciated, and this is true unity in diversity

Sir, through you I wish to make my grievance known to the Government. It must provide a suitable explanation for that lapse on the floor of the House and issue an apology to all the Santhal-speaking people of India.

Thank you.