Letter of ASECA, WEST BENGAL to Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Hon'ble President of India, Sri Atal Behari Vajpayee, Hon'ble Prime Minister of India and Sri L. K. Advani, Hon'ble Deputy Prime Minister on inclusion of Santali Language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India on 6.8.2003.
Adibasi Socio-Educational & Cultural Association (W.
(Regd. No. S/8586/67-68)
Head Office: 14/1, KUNDU LANE, P.O. BHOWANIPORE, KOLKATA - 700 025
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, The Hon'ble President of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Hon'ble Prime Minister, Shri L. K. Advani, Hon'ble Deputy Prime Minister
Sub: Inclusion of Santali Language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India
With due respect, this is brought to your kind notice that the demand for inclusion of Santali Language with its Script 'OL-CHIKI' in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution pending since 1992. It is mentioned here that in the year 1992 - Nepali, Manipuri and Konkani languages were included in the 8th Schedule, the speakers of which are much less than the Santali speakers. A deputation for inclusion of Santali Language to the Constitution was made to the Hon'ble Prime Minister on 17.12.1999 when his kindself assured the delegation to consider the case. But no information for inclusion of Santali Language has been received till date. Communications have, however, been received from Sri I.D. Swami, IAS (Retd.), Under Secretary to the Govt. of India, Ministry of Home Affairs vide his memo No. D.O. No. 1-14033/7/2001-NID.1 dated 11th June 2001 addressed to Sri Salkhan Murmu, Hon'ble M.P. (L.S) and the President, All India Santali Bhasa Morcha, intimating that the matter has been referred to the National Commission during December, 2000. Your kindself as Hon'ble Prime Minister also wrote a letter to Sri Basudeb Acharia, Hon'ble M.P. intimating him vide letter No. 11018/7/2001 dated 12.6.2001 that the matter was referred to the National Commission. Contrary to the above, the decision has been taken in the Cabinet on 31.7.2003 for inclusion of the Bodo Language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution in the current session of the Parliament. This development is most welcome. But in case of Santali Language despite referring it to the National Commission and persistent demand for its inclusion it has not been included in the 8th Schedule. Incidentally, it is worth mentioning that the rank of Santali Language is 13th in India and 94th in the World and more than 1 (one) crore people of the Country are speaking in this language. Also no Austric Language has been included in the language schedule. The non-inclusion of Santali language in the 8th Schedule is, therefore, injustice and discrimination to the Santali Language and its speakers.
This Organisation therefore, strongly demands that the Santali Language be included with its Script 'OL-CHIKI' in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution along with Bodo Language.
(B. N. Saren)
( D. R. Hansda )