SHILLONG, Sep 27: The Meghalaya Assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution on inclusion of the Khasi and Garo languages in the Eight Schedule of the Constitution of India.
Speaking after the Resolution was passed Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma said, “There was lot of discussions and debate in the House, but this is a wonderful way to end the session.”
Conrad said that the House was united on the Resolution as it was a long pending aspiration of the people of the state even as he recalled his late father Purno Agitok Sangma had raised the matter in the Parliament.
However, the Chief Minister admitted that there were hurdles and passing of the Resolution is just the beginning.
Earlier, Members from the Opposition Congress, Process T Sawkmie and Himalaya Shangpliang dubbing the Resolution as “historic” thanked the Government for moving it.
Sawkmie said that after passing the Resolution efforts must be taken to lobby with the Centre that these two languages are included in the list of other eight schedule languages. He said that if needed all the 60 Members can go to New Delhi and place its demand to the Centre.
SK Sunn an Independent Member said that in 1960 people opposed the introduction of Assamese as the official language and that gave rise to the Statehood movement. He said that after a long time such a move to recognize Khasi and Garo has been taken.
However, the government Resolution states that the main hurdles in recognition of the two languages in the Eight Schedule of the Constitution of India as of today are that, Khasi and Garo are not a medium of instruction upto the Higher Secondary or higher education and also the non existence of a Sahitya Sabha for respective language will be difficult for Khasi and Garo to get through in the Lok Sabha if not taken care of in due time.
The Resolution also states that Khasi and Garo languages have fulfilled many of the required criteria. These are ancient languages which have rich tradition which are unique and different from other languages in India.
“Khasi has a system of sending communication known as Kyrwoh made of a ring of chain from bamboo but became extinct due to lack of popular usage,” the Resolution states.
The Resolution also states that languages not having a script of its own also have been recognized such as Bodo.
“Hence, Khasi and garo also can be recognized. The speakers of Khasi and Garo language have sizeable population and are confined to a large continuous geographical zone,” the Resolution further states.
Khasi has a language population of 13, 82, 278 while the Garo has a language population of 9, 36, 496, as per 2011 census.