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KSU urges govt to push for language recognition

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, May 15: The KSU has urged the NPP-led MDA Government to push for the inclusion of the Khasi language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
KSU general secretary, Donald V. Thabah, said on Tuesday that the Khasi language has fulfilled most of the criteria required for its inclusion in the Eighth Schedule in terms of literary activities and the total population who speak the language.
He said that the inclusion of the Khasi language would help motivate authors to write books in various subjects like Science and Economics in the Khasi language, which would benefit the students.
According to him, there are books on botany, zoology, and chemistry written in Bengali language.
“We would like to see this long-pending aspiration of the people become a reality,” Thabah said.
It may be mentioned that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had not given any assurance regarding whether the Khasi and Garo languages would be included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
MHA deputy secretary P. Venukuttan Nair, in a reply to the demand made by the Hynñiewtrep Achik National Movement (HANM) for the inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages, informed that there are 22 languages included in the Eighth Schedule and there are demands the for inclusion of more languages, including Khasi and Garo.
Nair also pointed out that it is difficult for the ministry to fix criteria for languages. “As the evolution of dialects and languages is a dynamic process, influenced by socio-cultural, economic, and political developments, it is difficult to fix any criterion for languages, whether to distinguish them from dialects or for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution,” he had said.
The ministry further stated that the earlier attempts, through the Pahwa (1996) and Sitakant Mohapatra (2003) committees, to evolve such fixed criteria have remained inconclusive.
“The Government of India is conscious of the sentiments and requirements for inclusion of other languages in the Eighth Schedule and that such requests have to be considered keeping in view these sentiments and other relevant considerations,” the ministry said.

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