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Subject: Santali Alphabet

BSB Baṅladisom Santal Bạisi
(Bangladesh Santal Council)
Jhano An’car, Mahle Para, Khanjanpur, Sadar Road, Joypurhat-5900, Bangladesh
Ph: (+088) 0571 62420, 01715 804746, 01720040626, 01731 953131, 01713 384060, 01715093981, 01742 879679
December: 10.2012


Mr. M M Neazuddin
Hon. Secretary (Acting)
Ministry of Primary and Mass Education
Government of Bangladesh

Subject: Santali Alphabet

Dear Sir,

Greetings from BSB Baṅladisom Santal Bạisi (Bangladesh Santal Council- working for the greater unity, solidarity and development of the Santals in Bangladesh).
We are happy to know that the Government of Bangladesh has decided to publish pre-primary class books in Santali for the children of Santal ethnic community of Bangladesh. We are grateful to the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and also to the Government of Bangladesh for this.
But we, the Santal people of Bangladesh have been observing  with the deep sorrow that government is heading with NGOs, donor agencies, non-Santal scholars and some other self-seeking people to publish the  Santali primer books in Bangla alphabet!.
Most probably, the international organizations, donor agencies and the scholars do not know that Santal Nation have been practicing Santali Language and Literature in Bangladesh in Roman Santali Alphabet. Some self-seeking people (Santal and non-Santal) are making propaganda that we have no any Santali alphabet.   For your kind in formation, we would like to inform you that we have been practicing Santali Language and Literature with "Roman Santali Alphabet" since 1863 in this sub-continent and since 1925 in Bangladesh. This modernized alphabet is already been adopted in Santali Language and Literature for Santali language in Bangladesh. Santali Language, Literature, Dictionary and all other books and many documents were and are written with this alphabet. We hope that this real fact is well known to the Linguistics and Scholars of Bangladesh.
Secondly, we have come to know that some consultants and consulting firms and  NGOs arranged meetings for publishing  Santali primer books for the Santal children. But not a single Santali Language and Cultural expert or any Santali writers was invited as consultant to publish the Santali primer books in those meetings. Prof. Dr. Sourav Sikdar is well informed that there are some Santali Language and Cultural experts or Santali writers in Bangladesh. It seems that, some profit based Bengali NGOs and NGOs related some consultants are misguiding the Hons. Minister and Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and also the Government of Bangladesh for their long term profitable business.
Gono Sakhyarota Obhijan [Campaign for Popular Education-(CAMPE)] published a book "SAOTAL OITIJJOGATHA" in Bangla alphabet in 2009 for the primary level Santal students with the help of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherland(EKN), Swiss Embassy for Development and Co-operation(SDC) and Oxfam-Novib. The Santals of Bangladesh specially- scholars, professionals, students, researchers and writers are very much agitated against the related consultants, planners and also NGOs’ and donor agencies to publish these books, for using Bangla alphabet in Santali Language with wrong pronunciation, spelling and literature. The common Santal people have been protesting for this condemnable task till now and will continue to do so.
We are requesting all the donor agencies, NGOs and NGO workers/planners, consultants to stop such kind of sensitive issue for the Santals of Bangladesh and their generations. We know that pre-primary and primary education through mother language is very important for blooming and developing the language and literature for the related nation. At the same time alphabet is also plays very important role for right pronunciation in the in the opinion of the Santal. Bangla alphabet is not worthy and correct for Santali Language.

Now-a-days, some non -Santal NGOs and non-Santal self seeking experts are publishing Santali books in Bangla alphabet for their self-seeking purposes, which is very much disrespect for others’ mother tongue.

So, please help us to culture, preserve and develop our language and literature with proper and right way.

BSB Baṅladisom Santal Bạisi(Bangladesh Santal Council) is going to organize a daylong workshop and a view exchange with Santal writers, social leaders, cultural workers, teachers and students at Dinajpur for the same. Within very short time. There the decision will be made regarding the alphabet for Santal language and literature decide there about alphabet for Santali Language and then a delegation will meet with Hon. Minister and Ministry of Primary and Mass Education to inform about the decision.
BSB Baṅladisom Santal Bạisi (Bangladesh Santal Council) is also requesting the Swiss Embassy for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Bangladesh and Oxfam-Novib to consider the sentiments of Santals. Because, we the Santals of Bangladesh are already using this “Roman-Santali” alphabet for our language and literature.

We hope that the donor agencies, NGOs, consultants, scholars and well wishers related with the developments of Santals in Bangladesh will try to comprehend the sentiments of the Santals. You all are also requested to cooperate and share your any plan and development ideas for the Santals with this organization to implement your plans successfully.

With kind regards,

(Peter S Tudu)                         (SC Albert Soren)                               (Sontosh Soren)
Secretary General, BSB          Convener, BSB                                   Executive Advisor, BSB

CC to: For your kind information and necessary action;
1. Dr. Md. Afsarul Amin, MP , Hon. Minister, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education
2. Mr.Rashed Khan Menon, MP, Hon'ble Chairman, Standing Committee on Ministry of Education
3. Mr. Mohammad Mohsin, Education and Development Officer, unicef, Bangladesh
4. Development Officer, the Swiss Cooperation Office Bangladesh
5. Development Officer, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherland,Bd
6. Development Officer, OXFAM, Bd
7. Hon. Executive Director, Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE)
8. Mr. Murshid Akhtar, Research Officer, NCTB
9. Prof. Dr. Shourav Sikder
10. Mr. Sanjeeb Drong,Secretary,Bangladesh Adivasi Forum,Bd
11. Mr.Robindranath Soren,Chairman,JAP,Bd
12.Mr. Anil Marandy, Ex. President. JAP,Bd
13. Prof. Dr. Prashanta Tripura

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