Raghunath Murmu

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Raghunath Murmu
Raghunath Murmu.JPG
Murmu's stone idol in Odisha Tribal Development Society (OTDS), Bhubaneswar office.
Born (1905-05-18)18 May 1905
Mayurbhanj, Odisha, India
Died 1 February 1982(1982-02-01) (aged 76)
Occupation Ideologist, Playwright, and Writer
Nationality Indian
Subject Writer and Linguistic

Pandit Raghunath Murmu (18 May 1905[1] – 1 February 1982[2]) was the inventor of the "Ol Chiki" script used in Santali language.[3][4][5]

[6]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.[7] 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.[8]  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 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.[9]