Panel to study Khasi demand

The demand to get Khasi language included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution is moving at a slow pace in Meghalaya.

By Rining Lyngdoh in Shilong
  • Published 13.10.17
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Mukul Sangma at the meeting on Thursday. 
Picture by UB Photos

Shillong, Oct. 12: The demand to get Khasi language included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution is moving at a slow pace in Meghalaya.

Chief minister Mukul Sangma - during a meeting with a delegation of the Khasi Authors' Society, led by its president D.R.L. Nonglait, at the main secretariat here today - said the issue must be studied further by an advisory committee.

Mukul told the delegation that such a committee would be constituted soon for an in-depth study of the issue.

While mounting pressure on the state government to speed up initiative to get the Khasi language listed in the Eighth Schedule, the organisation told Mukul that more experts, particularly linguists, should be included in the advisory committee.

"The chief minister has assured us of constituting an advisory committee soon," Nonglait told reporters here.

Iterating that their demand is genuine, Nonglait said to fulfil the criteria laid down by the Union ministry of home affairs, the government should have a "political will".

While pursuing the long-pending demand, the organisation asked the state government to intervene and take steps to ensure that the Modern Indian Language (Khasi) is restored as a compulsory subject for students of classes XI and XII of arts, science and commerce.

The Meghalaya Board of School Education, through a notification (No.629) dated September 5, 2013, had made MIL (Khasi) no longer a compulsory subject in classes XI and XII of the three streams.

Khasi and Garo languages were recognised as "associate official languages" in the state under the Meghalaya State Language Act, 2005.

Stating that other tribal languages in the region such as Manipuri and Bodo have been included in the Eighth Schedule, the organisation told Mukul that "the unfortunate reality lies in the fact that Khasi language, which has a longer history in terms of academic development, is yet to be given its due recognition".

An official committee, notified on November 28, 2014, had submitted its report to the state government on November 14 last year, but the report is still lying with the state political department.