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BJP MP of Darjeeling seeks Nepali language council

The demand of the establishment of Nepali language has been made to the Union human resource ministry

By Vivek Chhetri in Darjeeling
  • Published 20.03.20, 3:08 AM
  • Updated 20.03.20, 3:08 AM
  • a min read
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Raju Bista Telegraph picture

Raju Bista, the BJP MP of Darjeeling, on Thursday demanded the establishment of a Nepali language council to preserve and promote the language.

Bista said in a written statement: “Today, I raised the issue of establishing a Nepali language council to preserve and promote the language spoken by over 1.5 crore Gorkhas across India.”

The demand has been made in the Lok Sabha to the Union human resource ministry.

The Nepali language was recognised as one of the 22 national languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution on August 20, 1992.

The language movement spanned for almost four decades before Nepali was recognised in Parliament. The then MP from Sikkim, Dil Kumari Bhandari, had played a pivotal role in the language movement, which had united the Indian Gorkhas throughout the country.

“Even though it is recognised as a second language in West Bengal and Sikkim in theory, yet very little has been done for the promotion and preservation of the language,” Bista said in a statement.

The Darjeeling MP also batted for a dedicated Nepali television and radio channel.

“It is tragic that even after almost three decades since the inclusion of Nepali under the scheduled languages of India, there is not even a single dedicated Nepali television or radio channel,” Bista said.

The MP also demanded that Nepali be taught in the central universities in Bengal.

“No central university offers Nepali language as a subject in West Bengal where Nepali is an official state language (in the Darjeeling hills). Schools and students in the Darjeeling hills, Terai and the Dooars, where majority of people are Nepali speakers, lack teachers and learning materials in the subject,” Bista said.