By Our Reporter | Shillong, Sep 27, 2018:
In a show of political unity, the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a long-sought after resolution to urge the Government of India to include Khasi and Garo languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India.
Participating in the discussion on the resolution moved by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on the last day of the Autumn Session, members of the Treasury and Opposition felt that this long-pending demand for linguistic recognition should see the light of the day for the benefit of the people of the Meghalaya.
“We will have to work hard but the fact that the Opposition and Ruling have come together on the matter will give a strong message to the Central Government,” Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said.
“It is a historic decision and everybody is united,” said Conrad while recalling his Late father, Purno A Sangma’s continuous effort to push the matter in various sessions of the Parliament.
The Chief Minister, however, admitted that there will be many hurdles; passing of resolution is just the beginning while adding that there are demands to include 42 other languages of the country in the 8th Schedule.
Later, while talking to newsmen, Conrad Sangma said that it is an emotional and historic moment while assuring to follow it up with the Home Ministry.
It may be mentioned that the first fuel for the demand dates back to 1960 when the people resisted to use Assamese as an official language. After the attainment of statehood in 1972, the demand took the shape of a movement and continues to be so.
Earlier, participating in the discussion, Leader of Opposition, Dr Mukul Sangma said that the state has come a long way as far a getting two languages included in the 8th Schedule and a lot of work has gone into the matter. He also hoped that the concerned department must work on all the minute details to ensure that the resolution is adopted by the Parliament.
Similarly, Mawsynram MLA, HM Shangpliang said that both Opposition and Ruling will join hands on the matter and all 60 MLAs will go to New Delhi if the need arises to voice their demand for inclusion of Khasi and Garo language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.
Echoing similar views, Opposition Chief Whip, PT Sawkmie said that pressure must be put on the Ministry of Home Affairs to fulfill the long pending demand. “We will try to ensure that the Khasi and Garo languages are recognized within our tenure,” he said.
On the same emotional note, Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong reiterated that the MDA government will pursue it aggressively with the Centre.
Meanwhile, Raphael Warjri, a member of the Khasi Author’s Society (KAS), an organisation which has been spearheading this movement, felt elated that the resolution have been approved by the State Assembly and said that this will take go a long way in achieving the demand of the society.
It may be mentioned that the demand for inclusion gained momentum on Sep 22 as thousands of people turned up to the mass rally organised by the KAS to press their demands.