Inclusion of Khasi, Garo in 8th schedule will be message of recognition: Meghalaya CM

SHILLONG: Appealing for the inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the 8th schedule of the Constitution, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma told the Assembly on Wednesday that such recognition is a clear message of inclusion and that the Government recognises and respects the identity of the people in this diverse country.

The chief minister also urged Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh to allow members to speak in Khasi and Garo in the House during debates or while participating in a discussion.

He himself spoke in both Khasi and Garo briefly.

“Getting our two languages included in the the 8th Schedule of Constitution will be a big message of overall inclusion in this diverse country, of its different tribes and communities in this beautiful country of ours,” Conrad said replying to a call attention motion tabled by suspended Congress MLA Mayralborn Syiem.

“I have expressed that this step ensuring that the languages are included is not just about the languages but a message that the Government of India recognises the identity of the people,” he said.

The inclusion of the two languages in the 8th schedule will send a message of “overall inclusion” and a message that the "Government of India respects each one of us irrespective of our tribes and communities".

Syiem too spoke in Khasi and thanked the chief minister for his exhaustive reply.

“Nga ai khublei kyrpang eh ia u CM u bah Conrad iba la shim khia na ka bynta kumno ban pyrshang kumno ba ka Khasi bad Garo kan rung ha ka khyrnit kaba 8… (I express my gratitude to Chief Minister Conrad who has taken steps to ensure that the two languages are recognised by the Constitution of India),” he said.

"I have no doubt that the unanimous resolution by all 60 MLAs in 2018 will be a blessing for the people and that we will reach our goal,” Syiem added.

Conrad said that both languages fulfill all the requisite criteria for inclusion in the 8th schedule. “The demand for the inclusion of the two languages keeps on increasing from all quarters because of the funds tha are allotted allotted for implementing the status and job opportunities for its users. The languages then become a subject in the UPSC exam … They are preserved and promoted in all aspects".

The House had in 2018 passed a resolution urging the Government of India to accord recognition to the two languages of the state.

Sangma said the Centre had officially written to the state government saying that the matter is pending with it.

“At least 38 other languages are awaiting inclusion in the Schedule,” he said.

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