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Constitutional recognition to Khasi language demanded

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: Considering the fact that the Khasi language has grown over the past few decades and deserves its due, however, the language is yet to find a space in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, rued Urban Affairs Minister M Ampareen Lyngdoh.

Expressing concern over the non-inclusion of the Khasi language in the Eighth Schedule, Lyngdoh said, “This issue was taken up at several intervals in Parliament in the late 90s, however, we are yet to get recognition. We continue to rally on this important agenda in the Parliament till today.”

Addressing the gathering at the Bhasha Samman, an award ceremony for the laureates of the country organised by the Sahitya Akademi held at U Soso Tham Auditorium here on Monday, Lyngdoh urged the Sahitya Akademi to rally on this issue on behalf of the people of Meghalaya.

The Urban Affairs Minister also observed that ‘though folklore is engrained in our culture, it is slowly disappearing due to lack of documentation coupled with the onslaught of the internet and media which have threatened and endangered our culture’.

“We urge the Sahitya Akademi to support our experts and help preserving our culture, language and our identity which is reserved by our mother tongue,” she said, while adding, “At present we have matured enough to preserve our language at all cost.”

In relation to the North East Centre for Oral and Literature which was shifted to Tripura from Shillong, Lyngdoh said that a request should be made by the Akademi on behalf of the State to re-consider Shillong as the centre for the institute.

Speaking at length about the strength of the language and the need to preserve the same, President of Sahitya Academy, Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, said that about 24 languages are being recognized by the Akademi.

“Considering the fact that there are more than a thousand languages, written and oral, in a multi-lingual country like India, the academy’s activities should be extended beyond the 24 recognized ones by acknowledging and promoting literary creativity as well as academic research in non-recognized languages,” he said.

Observing that language and its development is crucial for the human race, he said, “Writers are rare species who break the limitations and boundaries through communication and the world would continue to look beautiful until they exist.”

On the day, the Akademi honoured six laureates from all over the country who included Narayan Chandra Goswami of Assam and Hasu Yajnik of Gujarat for their contribution to classical and medieval literature; Tabu Ram Taid of Assam for his contribution to missing language and literature, Addanda C Cariappa and late Mandera Jaya Appanna of Karnataka for their contribution to Kodava language and literature and Meghalaya’s own Sondar Singh Majaw for his contribution to Khasi language and literature.

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