Govt plans resolution on Khasi, Garo languages

SHILLONG: The state government is likely to table an official resolution in the upcoming session of the Assembly to press for the demand for inclusion of Khasi language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
Speaker Donkupar Roy, while addressing a gathering at a function on the occasion of Literacy Day on Tuesday, said he had already spoken to Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on the issue.
The function also celebrated 39 years of the Khasi Authors’ Society (KAS) and a seminar on the topic “Haba im ka ktien, im ka Jaitbynriew (If the language is alive so are the people)” was organised at Khasi National Dorbar Hall.
Prior to the function, Roy spoke to Sangma over phone to relay him the message to come up with an official resolution in the Assembly.
“We can influence and convince political leaders of the country to consider our demand. Once they are willing, the criteria will follow suit. That is the usual course,” Roy said.
According to him, criteria are usually not followed even in the state as he cited the examples of creation of civil sub-divisions, districts wherein criteria were not followed.
“Fortunately, here in the state, we have a state government which is very close to the NDA government at the Centre. And I believe, the present time is very favorable for us to approach the central leaders to consider the aspirations of the people,” he said.
Mawphlang MLA S K Sunn said any language not passed by the State Legislature through a resolution will pose difficulty in later processes.
“After a resolution is passed in the State Legislature, the recommendation will then be sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which is entrusted to prepare constitutional amendment with regard to the Khasi language,” he said.
He added that the constitutional amendment in this regard must be effected by 2/3 majority in Parliament, following which the language will be recognised in the Eighth Schedule.
Garo language
When Roy spoke to Sangma, he was asked whether it would be possible to move for the inclusion of Garo language too, to which Roy said, “Yes.”
“The Chief Minister asked if Garo language can also be included in the English Schedule of the Indian Constitution. It is good if both Khasi and Garo language gets into the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution,” he added.
Welcoming the move, KAS president DRL Nonglait said, “We have no problem with that. In fact, we will be delighted. We achieved statehood with the companionship of Garos.”
“The message from the Khasi Authors’ Society that we will be delighted when Khasi is recognised in the Eighth Schedule and we will be equally delighted if Garo also becomes a scheduled language,” he added.
Resolution withdrawn in 2014
During the Assembly Budget session in June 2014, Sohra legislator TW Chyne had tabled a resolution in the Assembly for the recognition of Khasi and Garo as scheduled languages.
Roy, who was then the Leader of the Opposition, called upon the government to convince and pressure the Centre to include the languages in the Eighth Schedule.
The then chief minister Mukul Sangma had said the government was taking steps in this direction.
Chyne who withdrew his resolution had asked the then government to come up with an official resolution in this regard.

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