Pandit Raghunath Murmu is a name that most of us are familiar with. He is the inventor of the Santali language’s own script, Ol Chiki. Guru Gomke is the pen name given to Pandit Raghunath Murmu. He was mostly engaged in poetry and writing.
Pandit Raghunath Murmu Biography
Pandit Raghunath Murmu was born in a village named Dahardih, presently called Dandbos in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. At that time British rule was in full swing. The story of Pandit’s birth is as follows.
It was the full moon night of Vaishakhi month when the Pandit was in his mother’s womb. She had just finished her meal and was washing the plates in the wash basin when she suddenly went into labor.
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She gave birth to the child there. Pandit’s grandmother took the newborn to her home in a half-washed plate. Myth says that a bright light emanates from the baby’s body which shocked everyone in the family. According to the ritual, he was named Chunu Murmu.
Childhood of Pandit Raghunath Murmu
Nine days after Pandit’s birth, some half-naked Naga sadhus from Kanyur Disom in the erstwhile Assam-Nagaland region came to his house. Villagers gathered to see the sadhus. When asked, the Naga sadhus replied that they were there to bless and see the newborn baby. He was informed by some supernatural forces that a unique child had been born in the village.
After blessing the child, the monk went to his home. On his way back home, he stopped at a village to rest. The village head’s son offered him water. The boy who gave them water was also named Chunu Murmu, which was similar to Pandit’s former name. In return, the sadhus gave the boy a gold and a silver coin and advised him not to spend the coins, but to keep it safe. Coins will bring him prosperity.
After the sadhus left, the young Pandit cried day and night without any specific reason. His father consulted an exorcist. Ojha suggested to change the name of the boy. Another ritual was instituted to change the name of the child and eventually the boy’s name was changed to Raghu Murmu. Raghu was also the name of Ojha who suggested to change the name of Pandit.
Growing up, Raghunath Murmu attended school. At his young age, he wondered why there would not be a separate script for the saints. He kept asking his father about this. And finally, his thought process led him to invent ‘Ol Chiki’, which became the Santali language’s own script.
Birth of Pandit Raghunath Murmu
Pandit Raghunath Murmu is the inventor of? Ol Chiki script. He was born in a village, called Dandbos (Dahardih) on 5th May 1905. After a brief stint in the technical profession, he took up the job and worked while teaching at Badomatolia High School, this time turning his interest to learning Santali literature.
The introduction of the Ol Chiki script
Santali is its own language. Language is special, features and literature, which goes back to the beginning. Naturally after the 15th century, he realized that the Santals with their rich cultural heritage and tradition also needed a separate script to preserve, and promote their own language, and he was instrumental in the invention of the Ol Chiki script. The invention of the epoch-making Ol Chiki script for writing Santali was unveiled in 1925.
In the novel Bidu Chandan he vividly describes how Lord Bidu, and the goddess Chandan being a human appearing on earth as a human being would have naturally invented Olay, using Santali written with Chiki script to communicate.
She wrote more than 150 books covering a wide spectrum of topics such as grammar, novels, drama, poetry in Santali, and Kahaani using ol chiki as a part of her extensive program to culturally uplift the Santal community.
Darge Dhan, Sidhu-Kanhu, Bidu Chandan and Kherwal Bir are among those most appreciated for their works. Pandit Raghunath Murmu is known among the sages as Guru Gomke, a title conferred by him.
Apart from this, the Government of West Bengal and Orissa, Orissa Sahitya Akademi including many other organizations/associations has honored him, great thinker, philosopher, writer has honored him by Ranchi University.
Why do we need Ol Chick’s script
In earlier times, all Santali were in writing. Bengali, Devanagari or Roman script. Although there have been an impressive number of works of foreign and non-Santal authors on dictionaries, grammars, collections of folktales, etc., these works are mostly intended for research purposes.
The Roman script was in Santali and the widespread use for writing many books in Santali has been published using the Roman script. But most of the compositional literature was written by natives, speaking in the Bengali or Devanagari script.
The use of various scripts for writing hindered the development of Santali, and the use of the Santali language, in turn, has effectively hindered the progress of the Santali language in many fields such as philosophy, history, religion, science, novels, prose. , poetry, etc. The problem of using different scripts for the same language necessitated the invention of a new script for Santali, and this eventually led to the invention, of Ol Chiki by Pandit Raghunath Murmu.
After the invention of Ol Chiki, a large number of books were written by various authors in Santali using the Ol Chiquio script.
Books by Pandit Raghunath Murmu
Types of books include
(i) novels and short stories,
(ii) poems, songs, and religious sermons,
(iii) books on Santali society,
(iv) primary books for ole learning,
(v) primary education. Books for Mathematics,
(vi) Books on Santali grammar and related subjects,
(vii) Books on great tribal people.
Santali magazines Ol Chiki are also being published regularly. Problems of Indian Scripts: Problems of correctly representing sounds in Santali Indian scripts, e.g., Bengali, Devanagari and Oriya are explained here.
Santali language cuisine
Firstly, in the Indian language, some phonetics like checked consonants k’, c’, t’, p’/ do not exist. If one tries to suppress the underlying vowel of the consonant /KA/, /CA/, /TA/ & /PA/ of any Indian script, it will only produce /k/, /c/, /t/ & /p . There is no mechanism to represent these unique Santali sounds.
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Secondly, there is a difficulty in representing Santali vowels. Currently, the Santali language uses eight or nine vowels which may be short or long and nasal, while Indian scripts provide only six vowels. By using diacritic marks in Indian script vowels, Santali vowels can be represented to some extent, but when such vowels are used at the beginning of a word, they do with the vowels closest to Indic Estimated script.
Third, there is no mechanism. Santali represent the glottal stop of sounds that Santals use very often. Problems of Roman Script: Although the Roman script may well represent checked consonants, it is not without drawbacks. The Roman script cannot distinguish between short and long vowels. It is worth noting that Santali long vowels are more pronounced.
Longer than English and other Indic languages, another problem with the Roman script is that there is no clear mechanism for representing the glottal stop. Hence the need to use a script, to maintain the beauty, the characteristic, the peculiarity and sweetness of the Santali language.
Which can represent all sounds of Santali language accurately and naturally is attractive to all. Santal, and it is of course the Ol Chiki script, which meets these requirements. Brief Introduction to Ol Chiki Script Very basic information about the script is given here.
The tutorial is meant to provide information about the unique features of the Ol Chiki writing system, which is often misunderstood, due to the lack of organized information about its script. Here, an attempt has been made to provide enough information about the features and functions of different letters: talk vowels, consonants and diacritics.