The nation’s fifteenth president, Draupadi Murmu, has been chosen. Murmu is the first tribal person and the second woman to hold the office of President. She is a member of the Santhal tribe. After the Gonds and Bhils, the Santhals are the third-largest tribal group in the nation. In this context, let’s know more about this tribe.
Santal is another name for Santhal. Aala means man and Santha denotes effort. The majority of the Santhal community’s members reside in Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal. Draupadi Murmu is originally from the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, which is home to a sizable Santhal population.
The Santhal community’s precise period of origin is unknown due to a lack of written documents, however it is thought that they came from the Champa Kingdom in North Cambodia. Linguist Paul Sidwell estimates that the Santhals came in India between 4000 and 3500 years ago from the coast of Odisha. The Chota Nagpur plateau in Bihar, Odisha, and Jharkhand was progressively established by this nomadic population by the end of the 18th century.
The Santhali language is used by members of the Santhal tribe. The Ol Chiki script was used to record this language by Santhal scholar Pandit Raghunath Murmu. The Constitution’s 8th Schedule now includes Santhali written in Ol Chiki script. They also speak Bengali, Oriya, and Hindi in addition to Santhali.
The Santhals have the greatest rate of literacy, which is higher than the average for tribal communities living in states other than the North East. This is due to increased public awareness of education during the 1960s. Due to this, the Santhal tribe in Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Odisha has the highest rate of literacy. The percentage of educated Santhalis is 55.5 percent.
Divorce is not seen as taboo in Santhal society. Every man or woman has the right to divorce. If a Santhal woman is shown to be a witch or refuses to follow her commands, the husband may file for divorce.
A Santhali woman, on the other hand, has the right to divorce her husband for both her desire to wed another man and his inability to care for herself. However, the guy whom the woman marries in her second marriage is obligated to make restitution to her first husband. In addition, Santhal society’s daughters-in-law do not don veils.
- Dance and music:
Santhals are renowned for their traditional music and dancing. At gatherings and activities for the community, they do this. They perform on instruments including the flute, kamak, dhol, and sarangi.
Karam is Santhal’s primary celebration. It occurs between September and October. They hope to grow their wealth and get rid of all of their opponents by doing this. After the cleansing procedure, it is customary for the Santhals to plant Karam trees outside their residence.
The Santhals, despite their social advancement, are typically rooted in their past. They revere nature, and you can witness them doing so in their communities’ zaher (holy groves). Their traditional attire often consists of a short-check sari for women and a dhoti and gamcha for males. Women also design tattoos.
- Distinctive home colour:
Olahs are the name for the Santhals’ homes. On the exterior walls of their home, a unique design comprised of three colours is seen. Clay is painted black on the lowest portion, white on the middle, and red on the upper portion.
Role in freedom struggle:
The Santhal tribe of Jharkhand raised the flag of rebellion against the British in 1855, even though the first fight of independence against the British is thought to have begun in the year 1857. It is known as Santhal Hul.
Under the leadership of Sidhu and Kanhu, the uprising got underway in the village of Bhagnadih in the Sahibganj area on June 30, 1855. After reaching Bholnadih village, more than 50,000 people from 400 villages had declared war. In addition to not paying the tax, the Santhals at this location proclaimed the British should leave our country under the leadership of the tribal brothers Sidhu and Kanhu.
The British, meanwhile, went beyond the pale of cruelty to stop them. The British seized Sidhu and Kanhu, who were executed by hanging them from a tree in Bhognadih hamlet on July 26, 1855. Every year on June 30th, Hool Kranti Diwas is observed in honour of these sacrifices. About 20,000 individuals died as martyrs during this massive revolt.