Shillong, Aug 2: Less than a week after Meghalaya TMC leaders raised state specific issues in the national capital, today the Parliament listed one of the most crucial topics, that of inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the Eighth Schedule for discussion in the Zero Hour.
On July 26, 2022, a delegation of Meghalaya TMC leaders including Dr. Mukul Sangma and MLA George Lyngdoh along with TMC MPs held a protest outside the Parliament demanding the repeal of the Assam Meghalaya border pact and the inclusion of Garo and Khasi languages in the Eighth Schedule.
During the Zero Hour on Tuesday TMC MP Sudip Bandopadhyay took up the demand for inclusion of Garo and Khasi languages in the Eighth Schedule of the constitution.
Bandopadhyay said that Article 29 of the constitution states that a section of citizens having a distinct language, script, or culture has the right to conserve the same. Under the Meghalaya State Legislature Act 2005, Garo and Khasi have been declared associate official languages.
According to him Khasi is an Astro-Asiatic language spoken primarily among the tribe in Meghalaya and hilly areas of Assam.
He also said that Garo is a Tibeto-Burmese language of the Boro-Jingpko group, spoken in Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura, Nagaland.
According to the Census 2011, there are over 13 lakh (46.5%) Khasi speakers and 9 lakhs (31.5%) Garo speakers.
“The issue in inclusion of the two languages has been the lack of their own original script,” the TMC MP said
Bandopadhyay also informed that on September 27, the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly adopted a resolution to petition the Central Government to include the Khasi and Garo language in the eighth schedule of the constitution.
“We urge the Union Government to take cognisance of the state’s demand to include Garo and Khasi in the eighth schedule,” the MP said.
Meanwhile, TMC MLA George B Lyngdoh thanked all the party leaders, especially chairperson Mamata Banerjee, National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee, all the leaders in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha who have really stood by the people and citizens of Meghalaya.
“They have raised a very important demand of including the Garo and Khasi languages under the eighth schedule,” Lyngdoh said.
The TMC MLA said that never before one has seen a national party taking the voices of the MLAs and MPs who represent the people of the state and the union, to a protest outside the Parliament on the demand of the inclusion of Garo and Khasi languages in the eighth schedule of the constitution of India.
Lyngdoh said that this kind of an effort would continue beyond the inclusion of languages.
“We would raise all pertinent issues of the state, giving a voice to the people. We once again thank the people who are standing by us, standing by the party, and standing the important cause of including Garo and Khasi as languages listed under the eighth schedule of the constitution of India,” he said.