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Efforts on to include Khasi language in 8th Schedule

FROM A REPORTER
SHILLONG, Jan 31: The aspiration of the people of Meghalaya to include the Khasi language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India has progressed as the Special Committee has forwarded its findings to the State government which it will later sent the findings to the central government to examine it, before taking any fil call on the matter.
Dr. Sylvanus Lamare, Principal of St. Edmunds College, Shillong, who is also a member of the Special Committee constituted by the State government, while speaking to this scribe, informed that the government had constituted the committee and appointed Dr RC Laloo as the Chairman who is also currently holding the portfolio of Minister of Education. According to Lamare, the Minister as of now will have to answer the queries of the central government whether it is appropriate or not to entry the Khasi language into the 8th Schedule of the constitution of India.
Lamenting on the fact that the local representatives from the state had not raised their voice in the Lok Sabha, Dr. Lamare said, “After the Khasi Author Society (KAS) had visited Ma Vincent Pala, MP from Shillong Parliamentary Constituency in Delhi to discuss on the issue and we had also prepared a Power Point presentation, however till date everything has ended without reaching any proper conclusion.” “Till date I have yet to hear any motion moved on the floor of the Lok Sabha concerning the issue by our MP and it’s high time for the Khasi language to be included in the 8th Schedule,” he said.
He added “It something very discouraging or us (Khasi Community) especially after witnessing that Bhohpuri and Kokborok languages which is 30 years younger than the Khasi language is getting the recognition.” He said the Local MP should put forward a started question in the floor of the house on the demand to include the Khasi language in the 8th Schedule.
“When the Union Minister in-charge education delivers his reply on the questioned posed by the MP then only we will understand the idequacy of the language,” he said, adding that it is depressing and sad that the Khasi language is still lagging behind despite the demand to include it in the 8th Schedule had started since the time when there was a demand for inclusion of Nepali and Konkani language in 1974 and now both the language are in the 8th Schedule whereas the Khasi language is still not included.
He said if the Khasi language is included in the 8th Schedule of the constitution of India it will bring various benefits to the people of the state especially in terms of employment, etc. Stating that Officers from outside coming into the state are the main stumbling block in getting the Khasi language included in the 8th Schedule, he said, “We have observed that the stumbling block is not from the state government however it’s from the IAS officers coming into the state from outside as they don’t want to learn the local language if the central government has recognised and included it (Khasi) in the 8th Schedule.”
Lauding the contribution of veteran jourlist Sumar Sing Sawian toward the Khasi language, he said, “I’m filled with great joy and respect towards Sawian who has enriched the Khasi language by bringing to light various ancient Khasi texts. If we want our sub dialect to remember for generations to come then the Khasi language should be included in the 8th schedule otherwise it will soon be erased.” Informing that there was a proposal in the year 2001 to release a Khasi dictiory which included Khasi text translated into English including Khasi sub dialect, he said, “We have suggested this to the then Late MP from Shillong Ma P Ripple Kyndiah however it never materialized.” “Now it rest solely on the state government and the department of Arts and Culture whether it’s ready or not to release the dictiory,” he said. Meanwhile, Prof. Streamlet Dkhar, Head, Khasi department North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) told The Sentinel that the Special Committee had suggested that there is a need to have the Shillong Sahitya Sabha of Meghalaya.

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Ankur Kalita