In News: Recently Santhali made its debut in Rajya Sabha.

  • Sarojni Hembram of BJD from Odisha spoke in Santhali to raise the matter during Zero Hour.

Zero Hour: 

  • The time immediately following the Question Hour has come to be known as "Zero Hour". 
  • It starts at around 12 noon (hence the name) and members can, with prior notice to the Speaker, raise issues of importance during this time.


About Santhali Language:

  • Santhali is the language from the North Mundari group of the Austroasiatic-Munda family.
  • It is primarily spoken in India (Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and Assam), Bangladesh and Nepal.
  • The Ol Chiki script for Santhali was created by Pt. Raghunath Murmu in 1925.
  • Pt. Murmu is revered by tribals and is recognised as a big cultural icon in the state.
  • Santhali, written in the Ol Chiki script currently has content of about 70,000 words.

Recent Development in Santhali Language :

  • By 92nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2003, 4 new languages (Bodo, Maithili, Dogri & Santhali) were added to the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  • Shikha Mandi, a radio jockey, became India’s first to host a show in the language in November 2017. 
  • It got a Wikipedia edition in its own script, in August, 2018. 

Santhal(Santal) Tribe

  • The Santals form the third largest tribal group in India.
  • They call themselves Hor ko ("Man") or Horhopon ko ("sons of Man").  They are also known as Manjhi
  • In Jharkhand, Orissa, and West Bengal, the Santals are classed as a Scheduled Tribe, but not in Assam.
  • Santhal Rebellion, 1855: Santhals began protesting their mis-treatment by landlords, moneylenders, and traders. Failing to get any redress from government officials (the settlement was located in territory administered by the East India Company), the protest turned into a full-scale rebellion.


  • The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution consists of the following 22 languages:- (1) Assamese, (2) Bengali, (3) Gujarati, (4) Hindi, (5) Kannada, (6) Kashmiri, (7) Konkani, (8) Malayalam, (9) Manipuri, (10) Marathi, (11) Nepali, (12) Oriya, (13) Punjabi, (14) Sanskrit, (15) Sindhi, (16) Tamil, (17) Telugu, (18) Urdu (19) Bodo, (20) Santhali, (21) Maithili and (22) Dogri. 
  • Of these languages, 14 were initially included in the Constitution. 
  • Sindhi language was added in 1967. 
  • Thereafter three more languages viz., Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were included in 1992. Subsequently Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santhali were added in 2004.