Raghunath Murmu

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Raghunath Murmu
Murmu's stone idol in Odisha Tribal Development Society (OTDS), Bhubaneswar office.
Murmu's stone idol in Odisha Tribal Development Society (OTDS), Bhubaneswar office.
BornBaishakh Kunami, (Full Moon of May)Year1905[1]
Mayurbhanj State, British India (present-day Mayurbhanj, Odisha, India)
Died1 February 1982(1982-02-01) (aged 76)
OccupationIdeologist, playwright, and writer
SubjectOl Chiki alphabet

Pandit Raghunath Murmu (May 5 or 18[2], 1905[3] – 1 February 1982)[4] was an Indian Santali writer and educator, best known as the inventor of the Ol Chiki script used in Santali language.[5][6]

As well as books of his songs and plays,[7] Murmu also wrote school text books in the Ol Chiki script.[8]

Early life[edit]

Raghunath Murmu was born in Dandbose village[9] 6.4 km from Rairangpur, Mayurbhanj State (now in Odisha) on 5 or 18 May 1905 (Baisat Kunami[clarification needed]). His father, Nandlal Murmu, was village head and his paternal uncle was Munsi in the court of King Pratap Chandra Bhanjdeo. In 1912, he started his education at the Odia-language Gambharia Primary School, 3 km from his village. During his studies he wondered why was the school not operating in the language in which he spoke, Santali. In 1914, he was admitted to Bahalda Primary School, 7 km from his village. In high school at Baripada, he wanted to go Kapi Buru for secret research. In 1925, he created the Ol Chiki script at Kapi Buru.[10]

He passed 10th exam in 1928 from Patna University and married Nuha Baskey. Then he started job at Baripada Power House as an apprentice. After completing his apprenticeship, he went to Kolkata for Technical Education. After completing his education, he enrolled at Baripada College as a teacher and he also joined Badamtalia Primary School.[citation needed]

The first book printed in Ol Chiki was Bindu Chandan, Kherwarbir, Hital (Geet Granth), Sidu Kanhu Hool(Drama). 1st Weekly Magazine was “Sagen Sakam”. In 1942, Swadeshi Andolon Pandit Raghunath Murmu campaign about Ol Chiki script.

On 22 December 2003, Santal language secured a place in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution.

Murmu passed away on 2 February 1982.[2]


Murmu was honoured by Mayurbhanj State Adivasi Mahasabha with the title "Guru Gomke" (the great teacher).[8][11]

In honour of his creation of the Ol Chiki script, every year full moon day on the month of May which is popularly called as "Guru Kunami", "Guru Purnima" and "Basant Kunami" is being observed as an "optional holiday"[12][5] as birthday of Pandit Raghunath Murmu Declared by the Odisha C.M. in 2016. Pandit Raghunath Murmu was honoured by Mayurbhanj State Adivasi Mahasabha with the title "Guru Gomke" (The Great Teacher).


  1. ^ "Video". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  2. ^ a b ":: BCW Department-Govt of West Bengal, Pandit Raghunath Murmu ::". 28 July 2012. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  3. ^ Nayak, Dr. Rajkishore (10 May 2017). "ପ୍ରଣମ୍ୟ ପୁରୁଷ: ପଣ୍ଡିତ ରଘୁନାଥ ମୁର୍ମୁ". Suryaprava. Archived from the original on 27 June 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  4. ^ "Pandit Raghunath Murmu". Retrieved 13 November 2015.[dead link]
  5. ^ a b "Naveen declares birthday of Raghunath Murmu a holiday". Times of India. 5 May 2016. Archived from the original on 22 May 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Odisha Government Portal" (PDF). Orissa.gov.in. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  7. ^ Hembram, Phatik Chandra (2002). Santhali, a Natural Language. U. Hembram. p. 165.
  8. ^ a b Pathy, J (1988). Ethnic Minorities in the Process of Development. Rawat Book Sellers. p. 174. ISBN 9788170330554.
  9. ^ "उड़िया समझ नहीं आई तो रघुनाथ मुर्मू ने जल-जंगल, जमीन से जुड़े वर्ण गढ़ बना दी लिपि". Dainik Bhaskar (in Hindi). 22 December 2018. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  10. ^ An Inspiration - a documentary on Pt. Raghunath Murmu on YouTube
  11. ^ "Indian Linguistics". 47-50. 1987: 18. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  12. ^ "Odisha Government Portal". Odisha Government Portal. Retrieved 4 July 2020.

External links[edit]