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Language talk at Santhal conclave

Jamshedpur, Dec. 22: The 4th International Santhal Conference at the Tata Auditorium, XLRI, today concluded with a call for second language status to the tribal language in state.

After two day of deliberation the delegates approved the seven point resolution. The delegates claimed that the resolution is important for development of Santhali culture and language.

The organisers said Santhali form the major portion of the tribal population in India, found mainly in the states of Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, and Orissa.

“Apart from Jharkhand, the delegates called for second language status to Santhal in all state where the community is present in large number. Inclusion of the language in state list would ensure development of Santhal script Ol-chiki too,” said general secretary of International Santhal Council Fagu Soren.

He said Santhali has been included in the Fifth and Eighth schedule of the Indian Constitution, however, state governments have failed to provide it the status of rajbhasa or second language in their respective state.

The other resolutions were citizenship for the people of the community who are residing in other countries.

“At present, many Santhali people are residing in countries like the UK and the US. The resolution passed today would ensure that they get citizenship of the country where they are residing,” said another delegate.

The international conference witnessed participation of delegates from various countries like the UK, Bangladesh and Nepal.

“At present we have the status of Scheduled Tribe (ST) but are not recognised as tribal in states like Assam. At the conference it was decided that we would get the status of ‘indigenous people of India’ and if we get it, the ST status would directly apply to us across the country,” said Soren.

The conference also highlighted on the issue of Sarna. A resolution was passed to recognise Sarna as a religion in the country and enforce Majhi pargana system of administration in regions where the Santhals are dominant.

“In Majhi pargana system of administration the tribal have their own court and judge,” said a delegate at the conclave.

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