AYWO submit memo to CM for inclusion of  Khasi- Garo language in the eight schedule

Shillong, Nov 03: The organization AYWO from Garo Hills region has submitted memorandum to the Chief Minister Mr Conrad K Sangma in Tura, urging the MDA Government that they should take it seriously to see that the Khasi and Garo language included in the Eight Schedule on the Indian Constitution.

The AYWO in the memorandum, thank the state government for bring the resolution in the floor of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly to be sent to the Union Government that, the Khasi and Garo language be included in the Eight Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

The AYWO feel that the inclusion of Garo language in Eight Schedule will definitely be a boon to the people of Garo Hills in Particular and A’chik people as a whole. Garo Hills is one of the backward region of the country and landlocked, where its potential for growth to its fullest is restricted due to its geographical location.

Despite all the advantages that they have naturally they are lagging behind in all spheres of development, be it Infrastructural, Economically, Socially and Politically. The organization strongly believe that the inclusion of Garo language in Eight Schedule will open up the genuine avenues for literary scholars, writers, poets and even the Civil Service aspirants and others.

The Garo language if included in the Eight Schedule, a Garo person can be a member of Official Language Commission, monetary benefits can be tapped and utilize specifically for Literary Promotions, Civil Service Aspirants can opt for Garo Subject in several National Level Civil Service Exams etc.

The AYWO said that, Garo speaking population is around 20,00000 in India and around more than 1,00,000 in Bangladesh. In Kamrup and Goalpara district of Assam bordering Garo Hills region and in partial pockets of Dispur District, total Garo speaking population is 4,00,000.

There are about 80,000 Garos in Khasi Hills too. Taking into account all these contiguous areas in parts of West Bengal, Assam, Bangladesh and certain pockets of Khasi Hills where there is concentration of Garo speaking populace, total approximate population will not be less than 20,00,000.

The Garo/A’chik language is also used as a “Medium of Instruction” in the Elementary Section of Government Run Schools in Garo Hills. Even in government run Secondary Section too, most of the schools do adopt Garo as medium of Instruction except minimal number of Private Schools.

In some schools, where English is mandatory as Medium of Instruction, Garo is used alongside English, making the system more or less bilingual in nature,  Garo is taken as a subject, Modern Indian Language (MIL).

Meghalaya, one of the Seven Sister states of NE,  even though Sikkim was included, is inhabitated mostly by three major tribes the  Garo, Khasi and Jaintia. After Khasi, Garo population was predominantly comprised the largest population of tribes of Meghalaya.Most of our tribes resides in the Western Parts of Meghalaya in Garo Hills region, as the name depicts itself.

Other than Meghalaya, the sizeable amount of our population can be traced till Bengal in West and Bangladesh in South viz, West Bengal, Assam, Tripura and Bangladesh. It is also noteworthy that more than ten(10) A’khing land is also there in Khasi land and in addition to that, Garo/A’chik language is also given the status of ‘Associate Official Language’ main official being English  under five districts of Garo Hills district of Meghalaya under Meghalaya State Language Act 2005.

The  AYWO is of the opinion that the Garo language is partially ready to be in Eight Schedule and even if lacks in certain ‘brownie’ points, MDA govt should  immediately initiate ground works  and make necessary rectification in the process instead of solely rely on Union Government to pick the lacunae and asked to correct the same.

The Constitution of India does not mention any criterion for a language to be included in Eight Schedule. Languages have to be used in conformity with modern needs and demand. When the Commission for Linguistic Minorities recommends any language to be included in Eight Schedule, Union Government includes that language through an amendment to the Constitution.

Even though the Constitution does not prescribe any specific criterion for inclusion of any Language, one can presume that to be considered as parameter for selection,  the Language’s representatives must have the support of Cultural Association and other Organisations.

It is understand that it must belong to a particular language group and have a large number of speakers, It should have a large corpus of literature, recognised by Kendra Sahitya Sabha  and it must have its own script and publications as Newspapers, magazines etc. besides being taught in Schools and colleges.

India is a country where Diversity is appreciated and boast in ‘UNITY IN DIVERSITY”. As we mentioned in foregoing paragraphs, Garo/A’chik language is well spoken in a well defined area and as such AYWO very much convinced that the present”bilingual system’ should be respected, since majority of our population is Rural Population and many of our students, scholars is not very fluent in English/Hindi.

The Constitution of India recognises the linguistic rights of linguistic minorities and the very idea of ES is to honour the linguistic rights of language communities of India. Eight Schedule of our Constitution is a step towards linguistic diversity of our country and recognised the role of ‘Regional Language’ in better administration of a federal set up.

In keeping all these factors into account, AYWO wants MDA government to be pro active while dealing with such an important issue which will determine the recognition of ‘linguistic minorities’ and clear all the hurdles, which is acting as a ‘barrier’.

The organization urged the government to take up the issue seriously to ensure that the Khasi and Garo language included in Eight Schedule of the Indian Constitution.


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