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Pandit Raghunath Murmu
 
Pandit Raghunath Murmu is the inventor of Ol Chiki script. He was born in a village, called (Dahardih)Dandbose, on 5th May 1905 on the day of full moon in the district of Mayurbhanj, Orissa. After a brief stint in technical profession, he took up the job of teaching in Badomtolia high school. During this time, his interest was drawn into Santali literatures. Santali is a language with its own special characteristics, and has a literature which dates back to the beginning of the 15th century.  Naturally, he felt that Santals with their rich cultural heritage and tradition also need a separate script to preserve and promote their language, and therefore, he took up the work of inventing Ol Chiki script for writing Santali. The epoch making invention of Ol Chiki script was unveiled in 1925. In the novel Bidu Chandan, he has vividly described how god Bidu, and godess Chandan who appear on Earth as human being would have naturally invented the Ol Chiki script in order to communicate with each other using written Santali.  He wrote over 150 books covering a wide spectrum of subjects such as grammar, novels, drama, poetry, and story in Santali using Ol Chiki as a part of his extensive programme for culturally upgrading the Santal community. "Darege Dhan", "Sidhu-Kanhu", "Bidu Chandan" and "Kherwal Bir" are among the most acclaimed of his works.


Pandit Raghunath Murmu
Born on 5th May, 1905 and
expired on 1st February, 1982
 
Pandit Raghunath Murmu is popularly known as GURU GOMKE among the Santals, a title that was conferred on him by the Mayurbhanj Adibasi Mahasabha. Besides the Govt of West Bengal and Orissa, several other organizations/associations including Orissa Sahitya Academy have honoured him in various ways and Hon D. Litt. was conferred on him by Ranchi University. The great thinker, philosopher, writer, and dramatist breathed his last breath on 1st February, 1982.
 
Pandit Raghunath Murmu made considerable contribution in making the Santali Ol Chiki script.
In earlier times, all Santali writings were in Bengali, Devanagari, or Roman script. Although there have been impressive number of works by foreigner and non-Santal writers on dictionary, grammar, collection of folklore etc., these works are mostly intended for research purposes. Roman script was in extensive use for writing Santali and several books in Santali have been published using Roman script.  But most of the creative literatures were written by the native speakers in Bengali or Devanagari script. The use of different scripts for writing Santali has hindered the development and utilization of Santali language. This, in turn, has effectively marred the progress of Santali language in several fields such as philosophy, history, religion, science, novel, prose, poetry etc. The problem of using different scripts for the same language necessitated the invention of a new script for Santali, and it finally led to the invention of Ol Chiki by Pandit Raghunath Murmu.
 
After the invention of Ol Chiki, a large number of books have been written by various authors in Santali using Ol Chiki script. Types of books include  (i) novels and short stories, (ii) poetries, songs, and religious sermons, (iii) books on Santal society, (iv) primary books for learning Ol Chiki, (v) books for learning primary mathematics, (vi) books on Santali grammars and related topics, and (vii) books on great tribal persons. Santali magazines in Ol Chiki are also being published regularly.
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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