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[Sh. Bhogendra Jha]
degree have chosen this languages as the medium of their studies. in the entire teral area of Nepal border Maithili is spoken by all the people there and it is a link language of people living on both the sides. It helps us. All people know the ancient Janakpur. The Dot- Dwara which was annexed with India after the Sugoli treaty by the Britishers is now in my constituency. But Dot-Dwara is regarded as a part of Cultural heritage by the people. The people go round of it.
We need no passport to enter In Nepal. So we should treat Nepal as a friendly country.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, constitution amendment Bill was introduced in this regard in this House for discussion in 1971. It was discussed for two fortnights, ultimately It was postponed on the request of Shri Raj Bahadur who was the then Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.
Because he assured that the Government would consider it. it is very unfortunate that the Government of India has adopted an anti-language attitude. This is not a case of opposing Maithili. It is a case of opposing language policy. In the census of 1921,1931,1951,1961, these people were registered as Maithili speaking people. 1941 census was cancelled due to the Second World War.
I think that the Government of India has violated the Constitution? The persons who mentioned their mother tongue as Malthily but It has been written as Hindi. It is a different thing.
The cases In which Maithili has mentioned as mother tongue have not even been published. Two years back I came to know that its publication had been stopped through a secret order. In my opinion, it is a mockery with the Constitution. it is a crime. You are talking of providing a new right but in the way, you are snatching away the existing right too. Who has the authority to snatch away the right during the publication of census. If I ask for my right. Can you refuse for it? I Would like From the hon.
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Minister when he will reply, he should keep all these things in mind and clarify also all these things. The Government of Bihar has also committed this mistake on the same line. The Government of Bihar has decided, not to allow the Maithili language for the examinations for Public Service Commission. In the sate conference of the Communist Party of India, Bihar., It has been passed unanimously that the said decision is not correct and the Government should withdraw it.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, this Maithili language has a rich literature since 12th century. Folk literature of Ludic and Shailsh is very popular. Shailsh means the Leader of the Mountains. People come from far of places and enjoy these folk songs. The people have been singing these songs for centuries. As I have already said that Maithili it taught in universities at post-graduate level. In view of these facts how the Government of Bihar has taken such a decision? I think that it will Impede our development.
I hope that the Government of India as .well as the Government of Bihar should change their decisions with regard to Maithili language.
I hope that the entire House and the lovers of democracy will give their full cooperation in improving the situation. As far as the question of Including it in the Eighth Five Year Plan is concerned we had also met the hon. Prime Minister. Our hon. friend has mentioned about Manipuri. I submit that the hon. Minister of Home Affairs should give an assurance to the students who are sitting on hunger strike so that they may call off their strike. You should not give an opportunity to anyone to be an opponent of Hindi. On the name of Hindi language we should have Hindi as a national link languages. No nonHindi speaking person should feel it like a burden on his shoulder.
As far as Maihili is concerned: Maithili, Nepali, Orria, Bangle, Assamese are all the languages of one family. For example we say 'jeachi' in Maithily, 'Janchu' in Nepali and 'Jachi' in Bangle. All these languages belong to the same family.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, the hon. Prime Min-
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ister has also assured us that a decision will be taken early in this matter so that some action may be taken in this regard during the next session. I hope that the youths of Manipur who are on hunger strike, will call off their strike In view of this assurance, and we will solve that Issue of language In the Eighth Five year Plan. I go beyond it. So I have given a notice regarding the Constitution Amendment. My Bill is till under consideration of this House. Last time it was on No. 4 in ballet but this time It is lagging behind.
I have mentioned In this bill 20 or 25 languages are Included in the Constitution, It will not be a surprise for our country having the population of more than 85 crore, because languages are the heritage of culture and the backbone of social life. The inclusion of these languages will make our country more prosperous and strong. No country can be stronger by repressing any mother tongue. It will weaken our unity and particularly when there is an external threat to our unity and integrity from foreign dividing forces. In the end I would like to point out to Shri Indarjit Gupta that there will be no objection if his voters from Darjiling and people of Sikkim decide to change the name. But don't create a foreign phenomena towards Nepali by constantly saying It a foreign language. The language is the same either you say it Nepali or Gorkhali, therefore 'foreign' world should not be used in it and the hon. Minister should assure the House about it. Again supporting this resolution I request that all the other deserving languages including Malthili may be Included in the schedule. With these words, I conclude.
SHRI SRIBALLAV PANIGRAHI (DEOGRAH): Mr. Chairman, at the outset, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to participate in this debate. I also thank Mrs. Dilkumaroji, for having moved this Bill demanding inclusion of two languages-Nepali and Manipuri in the eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
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Sir, there has been no opposition to this Bill In substance.
There is only one dissentIng voice that we have heard and that is of our learned friend honourable Shri InderJit. He, in fact, laboured hard to prepare his speech and put his argument for a different name.
But, as you know, Sir, there has been no opposition to this demand that these languages-Nepali or Gorkhall or Gorkha Bhasha-should be included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. These lan- guages should be Included In the Constitution as quickly as possible.
It is rather over due.
You know, Sir, Dr. Sunit Chatterjee was the famous linguist of our country. He was also the President of Kenddya Sahitya Akademi for quite some time. In his Report on the Official Language Commission, Dr. Sunit Kumar Chatterjee commendect inclusion of other Indian Languages. Now, I will quote what he had said: 'The other Indian languages are to be added in this Eighth Schedule following the wishes of their speakers and their Importance, viz. Sindhi and Nepali.
'These two languages were recommended to the given berth in the Eighth Schedule. But, in 1967, Sindhi could be Included and Nepali was left out. I do not want to go into the details. Nepali has been given recognition by different organisations including the Sahitya Akademi in 1974. When Sahltya Akademi accorded its recognition to the Nepali language as a major literary language and when there was merger of Sikkim with India, this language could also have been given this Constitutional status, visit could have been included in the Eighth Schedule.
In 1911, the Allahabed University had introduced Nepali as a vernacular subject. In 1921, the Calcutta University had introduced this. Later on the Banaras Hindu University Introduced it. It offers Nepali as a subject for Post Graduat and PhD studies. There are several other Boards in other places which have provided this facility in education Take
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the example of Central Secondary Education Board. Not only this, thereafter, the importance or significance of Nepali is well- established by the fact that, it is the principal language of Gangtok and kurscong Stations of all India Radio. A special programme is being broadcast by the Guwahati Station of All India Radio and an internal service news in Nepali is broadcast by the New Delhi Station also. The Calcutta Doordarshan Kendra telecasts a 15-minute Nepali programme every day and a few Nepali feature fitnes are telecost, New Delhi at times. The News in Nepali are broadcast by BBC, Beiging, Moscow and Bangladesh Radios. So, the significance of this language is established. This is an old language. We had our first Census in 1871.
The predominant population of Darjeeling was shown as Nepali speaking population. Sahitya Akademi, West Bengal and also North East University, have set up Nepali sahitya Akademi.
About more than 10 million people we have got in our country who speak Nepali either as their first or second language; it has rich literature. And particularly, as you know, language is a very sentimental subject, very sentimental issue. It is spoken in our border areas, hilly areas; and that also has its own strategy and significance. Sikkim. West Bangal, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, all the Hindi States, Assemblies have unanimous passed resolution for constitutional status to be given to this language. And I also quoted from Sunity Chatterjee's Report. In this background, it is now overdue that Nepali language should find a place, should be included in the eighth Schedule.
In this connection, I would like to know from the hon. Minister that, when the Constitution came into being, in the Eighth Schedule we had first 14 languages included; and later on the 15th member in this family was the Sindhi; Sindhi Language joined this group in 1967.
What was the criterion of selecting these languages.
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As you know, India is a unique country; It is a country of very large population, large area and also so many communities, castes.
religions and languages; that way, it cannot be just called a country; it is much more than a country; it is a sub-continent; it is more than a sub-continent; I call it a mini world; India is a mini world with all varieties, culture, languages, It is our prime duty, all of us, to keep the country together in the midst of such diversity; to maintain unity, to ensure unity is a great problem. We have also got to address ourselves to this.
Language is such a sentimental issue that our leaders immediately after independence also had to think about it; and there was Reorganisation of States; on the basis of language. Of course, the wisdom behing it is now disputed by some. The wisdom that we should have gone for Reorgainsation of States or formation of States on the basis of language. It gives rise in certain cases to lingual troubles and all those things. Therefore, the wisdom is disputed sometimes.
But, anyway, we have given due importance to the language issue; and I would like to quote-I cannot resist my temptalon to quotea famous Orieya Poet of my area. Swabre Kavi Gangadhar Meher has written Matra Bhoiome Matru Bhasha Reya hirudy Mamta Janarninai Taku Yadi Giani Panara Ganiba; Agyana Rahibe Kanhi. Although it is in Oriya, it is very lucid, very clear. One cannot claim himself to be educated, to be learned who does not develop liking, love, respect for, (1) Motherland and (2) mother tongue; Motherland and mother tongue are very dear to us, very close to our heart. Therefore, we all love our mother tongue; and in a country of India's size and with so many languages. it is our duty to develop a spirit of tolerance to a I languages, not only tolerance but also to create a situation so that we respect also other languages.
We respect other languages. It is a question of co-existence of all languages. They should have their due place in the country, in the Constitution, in the Kendriya Sahitya Akademi, everywhere. So, I would
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say. about the name, lot us not do something in a hurry.
Shri Inder JR has also come forward with his arguments. Nepali, It is also the ancient name, probably it is also Gorkhali, but It had got momentum after this agitation.
SHRI INDER JIT: Originally it was the 'Khas' language.
SHRI SRIBALLAV PANIGRAHI: The present nomenclature may be
different. It is not a big thing.
The hon. Home Minister should sort out his problem and this cannot be allowed to go on for a long time; nor can we do something which will distance another section of the community. We have about ten million people who speak Nepali language. There is always a solution for any problem. The language can be Nepali, Gorkhali, or Gorkha Bhasha, anything. For language there is no opposition. Shri Inder Jit the hon. Member from Darjeeling has also supported this.
There is no question about it. This problem can be sorted out.
Again, about Manipuri also there is no problem. It is the main language, or the official language of manipur. It is the first language of Manipur, we may say.
Similarly, Konkani also. Although there is no reference to it in the Bill Konkani is the main language of Goa. That also deserves consideration for Inclusion in the eighth Schedule.
What was the criterion for including languages in the Eighth Schedule? Of course, the main languages are spoken by a sizeable population. Even on that consideration Sindi must have been considered. But now neither there is a Sindh Province in India not is it the official language of any State. But there are a large number of people who speak that language.
Similarly, there are other languages, which on the same analogy, deserve consid-
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oration for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule.
I will now conclude by mentioning one more point. As I said, about language, we should not be rigid. About the policy of the Government of India there should be some criteria. There should be some basis for consideration. Otherwise also, I am pained to understand that there is an agitation being carded on now, to pressurize the Government for inclusion of Manipuri. Who is sup- porting It? But at the same, I am afraid, a section of the population also is for another nomenclature, not Manipuri, but they are suggesting something else.
Therefore, there can be some discussion on this question and this can be sorted out and this language may be included.
Again, there are languages like Mythily. Our hon. friend Shri Bhogendra Jha had also mentioned it. Also about Nicobari language also there was a reference by our friend, Shri Manoranjan Bhakta. It is time now to give a fresh look at these Things, these things cannot directly go to the Eighth Schedule. The Kendriya Sahitya Academy and the concerned State Sahitya Academy have to accord recognition to these languages first. It has to go stop by step, ladder by ladder, phase by phase.
On Orissa, we have a language called "Sambalpuri language' . It may be called 'sambalpuri language" or " Kosali language". Every body talks about Sambalpur saree, Samba1purl music, etc. this language has got a rich Literature About 10 million people speak nepali and we are discussing about its inclusion in the Eighth Schedule. The Sambalpuri language also spread over large areas, five to six districts. And about one crore population speak this language. This language is different from the standard oriya language.
Now we are talking about removal of illiteracy and universalisation of primary education. the child 'is to be
Taught, is to be given education at the
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primary stage, in his own mother tongue, which is naturally not the standard language of that place. In the taribal areas , many children are not attracted to schools and they treat the standard language as a foreign language. In the tribal belts, we should make arrangement for Imparting education In their own mother tongue.
The Sambalpuri language is spoken by one crore population, spread over five western districts in Orissa. This language has a good and a rich literature. This language also should be treated as a separate language. The concerned authorities should give recognition to this language. First to start with Sahitya Academy should give recognition to this language.
I do not want to make a lengthy speech because several Members are Interested to give their viewpoints on this.
Sir. language is a very sensitive issue and It is something which can be Instrumental to strengthen our national solidarity. It is like atom. If not properly handled. it can do a lot of harms. The language issue is a very emotional issue and a sensitive issue. So, It is time to give a fresh look at these things.
According to Science of language. at a distance of every one hundred Kilometres, there is some change in the language. Eventhough substantially the same language is spoken, there are some variations.
you may call it as dialect or something like that. But it is not the same language that is spoken throughout the State. And wherever is spoken by a large number of people, but it has a literature behind it, it has a distance features, of a separate language. then it is entitled to be called a separate language. Therefore, the concerned authorities should liberally consider these things. And In the process, our literature, our language and our much sought national solidarity. will be strengthened and not weakened.