Droupadi Murmu bats for Santali

Baripada: President Droupadi Murmu stressed Monday on creating awareness among tribal communities and urged Santali writers to be involved in it. The President said that literature is a mirror of the culture of a community and urged writers to write about the lifestyles of tribal communities so that others know about their life values.

Most of the Santali literature is available in the oral tradition and writers play a big role in popularising any language, Murmu said while addressing the 36th Annual Conference and Literary Festival of All India Santali Writers’ Association. “Authors are vigilant watchdogs of the society. They create awareness in society and guide it through their works.

Many litterateurs showed the path to our national movement during the freedom struggle. Building a strong and vigilant society is possible only through continuous development of awareness,” Murmu said. Murmu, who spoke in Santali during the entire programme, said language and literature are subtle threads that bind the nation together. “Literature is enriched by extensive exchange between different languages which is possible through translations,” Murmu said. “Readers of Santali language should also be introduced to the literature of other languages through translation.

Similarly, there is a need to make Santali literature reach the readers of other languages,” added the President. Murmu said natural co-existence of humans with nature is seen in tribal lifestyle as the tribal communities believe that the forest does not belong to them but they belong to it. This is important as climate change is a huge problem in modern times and nature-friendly living is very important to tackle it. Appreciating writers and researchers who are contributing to Santali language and literature, Murmu said the use of the language has increased in government and non-government sectors since its inclusion in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution in December 2003. The President also appreciated that the All India Santali Writers’ Association for promoting the Ol Chiki language since its recognition in 1988 and remembered former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during whose tenure Santali language was included in the Eighth Schedule. “First we should ourselves give importance to our Santali language before expecting others to recognise it. Santali children should be encouraged to interact in the language among themselves,” the President asserted. Odisha Governor Raghubar Das, many prominent Santali academia from Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Assam attended the conference. Odisha Ministers Sudam Marndi and Jagannath Saraka were also present.

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