MLAs question delay to get Khasi language listed in 8th Schedule

Shillong, March 14: The demand to include Khasi language into the 8th Schedule of the Constitution is yet to see fresh follow up with Centre by the state government.

Replying to a question raised by HSPDP MLA from Mawshynrut, Witting Mawsor in Assembly today, Arts and Culture Minister, Ronnie V. Lyngdoh said that the Main Committee that looked into the inclusion of Khasi Language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution which was notified on November 28, 2014, has submitted its recommendation to the state government’s political department on November 14 last year.

Mawsor however asked the state government if the Meghalaya Sahitya Akademi has been formed as a step to get Khasi language included in the 8th Schedule, and whether MLAs can speak in Khasi in the House under the Meghalaya State Official Language Act.

The Minister left it to the Speaker to decide if members can speak in Khasi in the House, to which the Speaker, said that members have to follow according to Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

Mawsor also questioned the government as to why Khasi subject which is one of the modern Indian language (MIL) was not made compulsory for students who write their board exams in the state, especially when the demand has been made for promotion and inclusion of Khasi language into the 8th Schedule.

Ronie said that stated that matter related to exclusion of Khasi as compulsory subject was a matter being dealt with by State Education department.

Other MLAs also sought to know the delay in getting Khasi language included in the eight Schedule which has taken a long time.

UDP MLA from Nongthymmai Jemino Mawthoh recalled that the demand for inclusion of Khasi language into the 8th Schedule had started way back in the early 1970s, and expressed dismay that the demand is yet to see light of day till today.

Mawthoh said that other languages like Nepali, Konkani, Assamese, Bodo, Santhali and Manipuri have included into the 8th Schedule.

Independent legislator, Saleng A. Sangma sought to know if the State government was pursuing with the Centre to also include Garo and Jaintia languages in the 8th Schedule, adding that any benefit coming to the state should be for the promotion of languages of the three major tribes of the state – Khasi, Garo and Jaintia.

The Minister replied that that preliminary work was on for inclusion of the Garo language also.

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