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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Angika language must be used in education and included in the 8th Schedule to the Constitution of India

Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Updated: Feb 20, 2018, 04.00 AM IST
The demand is CLEAR; Equality of languages
A two-day seminar on ‘Linguistic rights and language equality in India’ kicked off in the city on Monday. Representatives of 30 languages from across India will frame the Bengaluru Resolution of Linguistic Rights which will be announced on February 21 which happens to be the International Mother Language Day.

Kannada, Kodava, Tulu, Beary and Lambani were the languages represented from Karnataka.

The seminar is being organised by the Campaign for Language Equality and Rights (CLEAR) and Banavasi Balaga, a city-based organisation. Two such seminars were previously held in 2015 and 2016 in Chennai and New Delhi. With the Union of India focussing exclusively on promoting Hindi, many feel ancient native languages are facing extinction.

Sanjay Singh, representing the Bagheli language spoken in UP and Madhya Pradesh, said, “Baheli is much richer than Hindi but only Hindi is considered official due to its closeness with power in Delhi.” Similar sentiments were expressed by representatives of many other languages which are not even recognised as languages as they have been subsumed by Hindi.

Ex-member of parliament, Baishnab Parida from Odisha said, “The common people of Odisha are deprived of their democratic rights by being denied consumer services and legal services in Odia language. Only 3 to 4 per cent of work in the state is in Odia. If your language dies, your nationality and your identity dies, too.”

Hemanth Hemanshu, representing the Angika language spoken in Bihar, said that it was one of oldest languages of the Indo-Aryan group with a history of over 1,000 years. He demanded that the Angika language be used in education and included in the 8th Schedule to the Constitution of India which lists the official languages of the Republic.

Gana Kurinji from Tamil Nadu explained how many countries across the world have multiple official languages but not India. He demanded that all scheduled languages should be declared official languages of the Indian Union. He said that it was a shame that, while even the British provided administration in the native languages, the Indian government was not doing so. He cited the example of use of Tamil in the Madras High Court which was not supported by the Union government.

A consensus was emerging on the need for a ‘Language Commission’ at the national level that can implement all government services in the native languages of India instead of in just one or two languages.

Representatives from Sourashtri, Baduga, Beary, Tamil, Assamese, Banjara, Gujarati, Bhojpuri, Bagheli, Vajjika, Odiya, Konkani, Kosali, Malayalam, Maithili, Bangala, Purvanchali, Punjabi, Angika and other languages participated in the seminar.

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