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Thousands take part in KAS rally demanding 8th Schedule status for Khasi language


SHILLONG: Thousands participated in the rally called by the Khasi Authors’ Society (KAS) on Saturday to press for their demand for the inclusion of Khasi language in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

School students, College students, politicians, lecturers and professors, different organisation chanted their way down the busy thoroughfares till they settled down in Malki ground only to be disrupted by the rain.

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Speaking to reporters after the end of the rally, president of KAS, DRL Nonglait expressed confidence about the inclusion of Khasi language in the Indian Constitution.

“There were some queries from that Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to the state government like the number of population speaking Khasi and whether there has been around five lakhs and above people who speak this language,” he said.

He said according to the census of 2011 the number of people speaking Khasi in India is up to 14, 31, 344 which is much higher than the limit set by the MHA.

Another important criterion the MHA had set is that the language should be a medium of instruction in schools and colleges for which Nonglait said Khasi has been the medium of instruction of examination from Nursery to PhD.

“There are languages which have been included in the Eighth Schedule but they have not even opened the PG courses. So when we consider academically and the literary tradition of the Khasi language is considered, then they should not neglect the stature of Khasi language as we are far ahead than the stature of Bodo and Santhali which had already been  included in the 8th Schedule,” he said.

Commenting on the Cabinet decision to pass an official resolution in the Assembly to include not only Khasi but also Garo, Nonglait said “We have been fighting for statehood together with the Garo and we will be glad if Khasi is included and we don’t have any problem if Garo is included but one thing I should make very clear, it has to go by merit.”

He added, “And the attempt to include Garo in the Eighth Schedule should not be a stumbling block for the consideration of Khasi as the language which has got better and higher stature than the Garo language.”

Nonglait stated that Khasi has been there in the list of 38 languages which the Ministry of Home Affairs is considering for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule but on checking the website of the Home Ministry, he found that Garo has also been there in the list of new languages to be considered for inclusion

Asked on the next step if the central government did not Schedule Khasi language  in the upcoming session in the Parliament, he said. “We will not stop to voice our demand. We will have to make our demands heard by the concerned authorities and we will have to plan our strategy how to make the government realize that the Khasi people should not be neglected.”


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