Joint Secretary to
the Prime Minister
Tel : 2301 5697
PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE, NEW DELHI - 11 0 011
D.O. No. "840 \21\ \C \ 1 \03-Pol 12th September, 2003
I am desired to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated 09th September, 2003, addressed to the Prime Minister, regarding the inclusion of Santali language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India.
Shri Prithibi Majhi, Speaker,
Assam Legislative Assembly, Dispur
Guwahati - 781006.
September 09, 2003
Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee Hon'ble Prime Minister of India South Block, New Delhi
Shri L. K. Advani, Hon'ble Deputy Prime Minister, South Block, New Delhi
Sub: Inclusion of Santali Language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India.
Most Respected Sir,
At the very out set let me to congratulate and appreciate for taking up the matter for inclusion of Bodo Tribal language of the State of Assam for inclusion in the Eight Scheduled of the Constitution of India.
Sir I would like to bring to your kind notice and for your kind intervention for inclusion of a very important tribal language, the Santali in the Eight Schedule of the Constitution of India.
That Sir, Santali language is the most important and rich language amongst tribals. From the point of population it is the largest amongst tribals and it is also shares in overwhelming majority comprising 24 languages (Annexure - 1 of the Indian population). According to 1971 census, the Santali Speakers were 36,93,554 (excluding the State of Assam) and now-it has gone up to 7 to 8 million. The Santals derives from the Austro-Asiatic family, the aboriginal tribes of India. The Speakers of this language are spread over in the States of Jharkhand Orissa. West Bengal,Tripura and Assam. Not only that the Santali speakers spreads across the boarder area namely Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar.
Sir, the Santali language has its own Script named "OL CHIKI" which was-invented-by the Santali Scholar Pandit Raghunath Murmu who was adorned with award by Sahitya Academy, Orissa, and the script started developing-since 1925.
Many development of the language vis-à-vis implementation takes place from its inception of the development of the Santali Script .OL CHIKI". Some of these may be mentioned as below. \
(a) Primary Education in Santali has already started in the States of West Bengal and followed by the State of Orissa' and Jharkhand. In Assam also Santali is recognised as alternative language up to Matriculation in Roman Script from 1972, under Secondary Education Board of Assam.
(b) Santaii Script 'OL CHIKI' has been recognised officially by the Government of West Bengal since 1979 and also has been introduced in the Secondary Board Examination in West Bengal.
(c) Sidhu Kanhu Murmu University, Dumka, Jharkhand offers the BA and MA course in Santali.
(d) Ranchi University offers MA course in Santali.
(e) Vinova Bhabe University, Jharkhand offers Santali language in Intermediate of Arts.
(f) Santali Language has so many Dictionaries also. The most important is the Santal dictionary compiled by Rev. P.O. Bodding which recognised as one of the largest dictionaries of the world having Five Volumes and published before Indian Independence, in Roman Scripts. Campbell's Santali Dictionary is also an important one.
(g) A number of Books both literary and Text books, journals, periodicals etc. are published in Santali language.
(h) It is a livinq language- and as older as the developed language of our counter.
It may be mentioned that the Santali language possesses all criteria for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. It will also not be out of place to mention here that the language of having lesser population have also find place in the VIII Schedule of the Constitution of India.
In this regards, many organizations of Santals and personal concerned have been continuously demanding for inclusion of the Santali language in the VIII Scheduled of the Constitution of India.
I, therefore, request your honour to use your good office by giving kind attention and consider by taking necessary action for inclusion of the Santali Language in Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India and open the way for overall development of the rich language of the huge chunk of population.
With warm regards,
Speaker, Assam Legislative Assembly, &
Honourary Member, AIl lndia Santali Writers Association