LOK SABHA - 10.4.2003

17.33 hrs.

Title: Resolution regarding inclusion of "Santhali" Language in the eighth Schedule. (Reolsution withdrawn)

DR. RAM CHANDRA DOME (BIRBHUM): Sir, I beg to move:

"That this House urges upon the Government to bring forward a suitable legislation to include Santhali language in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution."
Sir, I thank you for allowing me to move this Private Members Resolution seeking a suitable legislation for inclusion of Santhali language in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. This is the main text of my Resolution.

When I am standing to move this Resolution, I must quote what our vishwakavi Rabindranath Tagore has said. In one of his writings, he has told as "Matri Bashi Matri Dughdha". It means that mother tongue is equal to the breast milk of the mother. So, I am for the recognition of mother tongue being spoken by no less than a crore of Indian population, the aboriginal population speaking Santhali language in our country.

MR. SPEAKER: With the permission of the House, till the House rises for the day, I want to appoint Shri Anadi Sahu as Chairman. He is requested to come and occupy the Chair.

17.36 hrs (Shri Anadi Sahu in the Chair)

DR. RAM CHANDRA DOME : Sir, I wanted to say that in the 19th century, the word nationalism, in the European sense referred to a political movement or a process of going through self-consciousness based on the feeling of common ethnicity. Of the several criteria of ethnicity, common language has been the prominent one with religion taking the second place. Thus, when we speak of German or Italian nationalism, we mean primarily the growth of political consciousness of the people swearing by the same language.

Mr. Chairman, Sir, why am I for the Resolution? The total Scheduled Tribe population is about 7.5 per cent of the total population of the country, which comes to eight to nine crores in total. Out of those eight to nine crores of tribal population in our country, the Santhali population is about eight to ten millions. They usually stay in various States. The Scheduled Tribe people have been subjected to various kinds of social disparities and economic deprivation for ages. The framers of our Constitution considered it necessary to make special provision in the Constitution for enabling them to join the mainstream by providing for their equitable share in the governance, through the policy of reservation, protection against exploitation, and enhanced specific financial allotments for expediting their socio-economic development.

Sir, Dr. Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar said that justice social, economic and political has to be ensured by this special provision in our Constitution. At present, what is the status of Adivasis in regard to education and literacy in our country? While talking about their present status in regard to educational, social and economic development, I must refer to their literacy rate. Among the Adivasi people, the male literacy rate is 41 per cent and female literacy is only 18 per cent.

This is the position as per 1991 Census. The Fifth Report of the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes clearly says that many of the tribal communities have their own languages or dialects and often they are quite different from the mainstream language in which education is imparted. It is therefore necessary to develop teaching material in their own languages at least for primary level so that they are able to have a better understanding of what is taught to them. But unfortunately this has not happened even after 56 years of Independence. Many languages of various ethnic groups have been recognised by our Constitution like Manipuri, Nepali, Sindhi, Konkani, Kashmiri etc., but Santhali language, which has been spoken by a vast majority of our tribal Santhal population has not been recognised so far. They are demanding for recognition of their language for a long time now, but till today their demand has not been fulfilled. They are being denied their legitimate claim for social, cultural and linguistic development in this country. By not proper recognition to their language, an important aspect of social justice, namely linguistic development, is being denied by our country.

Therefore, the time is very ripe now to bring a suitable legislation to provide recognition to this very rich language and include it in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. Nationalism in our country may be called sub-nationalism in the Indian context. Most of the Indian States fall into a single typological State, that is, nation State or ethnic State. In majority of the Indian States where they share common ethnicity, they also share one of its major components, that is, a common language like Oriya in Orissa, Bengali in Bengal, Tamil in Tamil Nadu, Marathi in Maharashtra, Hindi in Uttar Pradesh etc.

There are multi-ethnic States in our country. But the so-called multi-ethnic States in India do not have a uniform history. There are about 1,500 to 2000 mother tongues in our country. According to our Census, these mother tongues are spoken in true geo-political States either as an official language of an ethnic State or a majority language in a multi-ethnic State.

Sir, the minority language present an array of problems, which differ from language to language. A minority language maybe the language of minority population in more than one State. For example, our Santhali language, which is spoken in Orissa, Assam, West Bengal and Jharkhand and many other States like Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Maharashtra, etc. may be a minority language. All these languages like Konkani, Gondi and Santhali fall into Category 4. So, similar traits should be there with regard to the development of the languages.

Santhali, when compared to Sindhi and Kashmiri, is linguistically more stable and democratic, much more numerous, but did not get due protection by virtue of its being not included in the Eighth Schedule of our Constitution. Therefore, lakhs of Santhali speaking people are struggling for their linguistic identification in our country. So many political parties are organising democratic movements for recognition of these languages. I must say that the language plays an important role in all their movements, either overtly or covertly, for language alone can provide the single most important solidarity bond. All the borrowing tendencies, which flow from rank consciousness plus external pressure and encroachment hurts the population, which is geographically non contiguous, and it tends to diminish the solidarity of this ancestral society.

The question, however, remains that how long the Santhali, in the greatest of solidarity bonds, can withstand the indiscriminate borrowing from the dominant groups to the lesser ones without destroying the mutual intelligibility. In the process the major bond languages like Santhali are being simultaneously exposed not to one dominant language but to more than four languages, that is, Assamese, Bengali, Hindi and Oriya. The failure of the rebellion of the 1855, demanding relief from rapacious money lenders, freedom from personal and hereditary debt bondage, did not mean the end of Santhal reaction but only the beginning of a new consciousness, which has been manifested in various subsequent movements, which were developed in the 19th century, in a period of great economic suffering.

I must say that the movement of Santhali is a cultural movement, an economical movement and a political movement, which is called Khairwar Movement, which is also important in the modern age. It was Pandit Raghunath Murmu, who himself invented the original Santhali script, Orichiki.

Formerly, all Santhali writings were in Devanagari, Bengali, Oriya or Roman script as developed mainly by the missionaries. Sir, in this respect, I must refer the great authors Rev. P.O. Bodding, Cambel etc. They have contributed a lot by writing the dictionary of Santhali. Thousand of words have been collected and included by them.

The Santhals are highly creative people. They have built up a strong indigenous literature. The distinguished Santhal, Pandit Raghunath Murmu invented the script "Ol Chiki" which has been recognised by the only State Government, West Bengal State Government. West Bengal State Government has already implemented that script to teach our students in the primary level for some time past.

Sir, but no other States are doing that which is primarily necessary. In West Bengal a few years back, our West Bengal Assembly has already passed a unanimous Resolution seeking recognition of this great language and sent a similar Resolution to the Central Government for taking appropriate action. But till today, we do not know what is the position about the recognition of that language. What Government is thinking about that, we do not know.

In Ol Chiki script, which is a very rich script, so many Santhali literatures have been written by so many authors of Santhal community. In West Bengal, there are so many creative writings. Hundreds of creative writings are there. In Calcutta, in the National Library or in the Asiatic Society there are hundreds of collections of Santhali literature. In the past, Dr Suniti Kumar Chatopadhyay also recommended and opined that Santhal language is a very rich and creative language that should be developed for the overall development of a large component of our tribal population in India. Sir, Dr. Pavitra Sarkar, who is also an expert of language, has already given his opinion that Santhal language should get due recognition for overall development of this community.

Sir, therefore, for recognition of this language, there are so many legitimate grounds for development of this language; and without recognition and inclusion of this language in the Eighth Schedule of Constitution no language can be developed, no language can be brought to the mainstream of our linguistic development, cultural development.

Therefore, Sir, I urge upon the Government, through this House, to make a suitable legislation seeking inclusion of this Santhali language in the Eighth Schedule of our Constitution.

We should not lose further time. We should not hesitate to do this because there is an agitation. Santhali people are very much emotive. Any emotions may go astray. There are one crore Santhali population throughout the country. They are a very important component in our society and they should be brought to the mainstream. For that reason, their linguistic identity should be recognised by this august House. If we do that, then we can fulfil one of the greatest tasks. Therefore, we should take up this long-pending demand now and we should not lose further time, we should not delay much to recognise their legitimate demand. So, I urge upon this Government to bring forward a suitable legislation for the recognition of this Santhali language and to include this language in the Eighth Schedule of our Constitution.

With these words, I conclude.

MR. CHAIRMAN : Motion moved:

"That this House urges upon the Government to bring forward a suitable legislation to include Santhali language in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution."

SHRI KHARABELA SWAIN (BALASORE): Mr. Chairman, Sir, though not a tribal myself and though not a Santhal myself, I take great pride in participating in this debate.

All over India you have tribals named Munda, Ho, Jwang, Gond, Sabar, Bhumij, Bathudi etc. Likewise, Santhals form the most dominant caste among the tribals. Mostly they are in the Eastern part of India, that means in the States like Orissa, Assam, West Bengal and Jharkhand. Their number is more than six million. Just like Urdu speakers who are scattered all over India, Santhali speakers are also scattered all over the Eastern part of India. Sir, in my constituency, there is a very large population of these Santhals. I am very proud to say that not only they have a spoken language but they also have a script. A person called Pandit Raghunath Murmu invented the script. I proudly say that he belongs to my constituency. He is not a brahmin. From his name you might think that he is a brahmin but he is not a brahmin. But because he invented this script, that epitaph Pandit has been added to his name.

In the world, you have more than one lakh spoken languages. In India, you are having 12,000 spoken languages. But do you know how many scripts all over the world? You will be surprised to know that there are a total of 20 scripts all over the world. The entire North and South America have a single Roman script. The entire Europe has only this Roman script. Russian script is slightly different. Just like difference in Hindi and Gujarati scripts, Russian script is slightly different from Roman script. Then, in Africa, you do not have any script at all. In the Northern Africa, you are having Arabic script, where mostly Muslims stay. In the Eastern and Southern parts of Africa, there are so many African languages but the script is the same, that is, Roman.

18.00 hrs.

A number of scripts are there in Asia. You have Chinese script, you have Korean script, you have Japanese script, you have Thai script, and you have Singhalese script. All the other scripts are from India. We have nine scripts. India is having the largest number of scripts in the world. No other country is having so many scripts. Why there are only a few scripts? It is only because it is very difficult to invent it. So, a person who has invented the script and the people who speak that language with that script deserve a place in the Eighth Schedule because they had invented it with a lot of difficulty.

Why the percentage of educated people among the tribals is very low? It is only because we start teaching them in a language which is alien to them. He is speaking in Santhali, but we start teaching him in Oriya. We start teaching him in Bengali or in Hindi or in some other language. But in the beginning, if he starts reading and writing in his own language with which he is totally associated from his birth, then it will be comparatively much easier on his part to learn.

You know, it is the education which brings in economic prosperity. Education does not make a person fatalistic. He never says, the God has given me this poverty and I cannot extricate myself out of this. He never says that. An educated man never says that. It is only an uneducated person, a poor man who says so.

Sir, since you are from Orissa and you also belong to the same area, you know this. In Rayagada district, at Kasipur when there was starvation death last year, many journalists went to that place. They asked them why they were eating the Ambokoyala. In Oriya, we call the mango kernel as Ambokoyala. They were asked why they were eating all these things. They said, "What should we do? The God has asked us to eat it. It is our fate." Why are they saying so? Do you think that any educated tribal will say like this? He never says so. It is only an uneducated person who thinks that it is the God who has heaped poverty on him. He always thinks that development should come from the top and somebody will heap money on him so that he can develop and he cannot do it on his own. But if he is educated, if you provide him with proper education, he will never depend upon God for his growth. He will try all the time to extricate himself.

Specifically, this Santhal community is a very fun-loving community and the people are very, very cultured. Sir, I do not know whether you know this. Since they belong to my area, I know that they are having so many drama competitions continuing for three days or four days or five days. Sir, 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 parties are coming and they are participating. They write the drama in Santhali. They perform it and there is a competition. Of course, in the competition, ,as the first prize, as rewards, will be given something like a pig or a hen but still there are competitions. They participate in art, culture and literature competitions very enthusiastically. They are having so many opera parties. You will be surprised to know that like Oriya Jatra parties, they are also having Santhal Jatra parties in Orissa. When they perform, they charge even Rs.5,000 or Rs.10,000 per night.

So, when they are having this type of culture and interest in drama, art, literature and music, they should be supported. They should be provided with emotional support. I know that if somebody is taught the Alichiki script or the Santhali language, he might not get job but if he loves the language, he would have some affinity and he would come to the mainstream. He would think that he has been recognised by the mainstream of this country. The tribals with titles like Murmu, Hansda, Hembram, Besra, Tudu, Marandi and Soren are the people who form the Santhali tribe. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha gained its sustenance basically from these tribes.

I may also tell you that they have also published books and I have purchased some of their books. Now I have started learning their language and in a month or two, I think, I would be able to speak in Santhali also.

Finally, I would like to make a very strong appeal to the hon. Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee because he is the first and the only Prime Minister in this country to have given the tribals a State, Jharkhand. He is the person who has given them a State and who has given the first tribal Chief Minister to this country, Babulal Marandi. He is the person who has given this country the second tribal Chief Minister, Shri Arjun Munda. (Interruptions)

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA (BANKURA): The first tribal Chief Minister was Shri Dasarath Deb in Tripura.

MR. CHAIRMAN : It is all right. He is subject to correction.

DR. RAM CHANDRA DOME : He comes from a tribal State but they have failed to pass a Resolution in this direction for two years now.

SHRI KHARABELA SWAIN : I do not know if Shri Dasarath Deb is a Santhal.

DR. RAM CHANDRA DOME : He was the first tribal Chief Minister.

SHRI KHARABELA SWAIN : He might be a tribal like Shri Ajit Jogi, I do not know.

I earnestly appeal to the hon. Prime Minister, through the hon. Minister of State for Home Affairs, because the hon. Prime Minister has given the Santhals, the tribals, a State and two Chief Ministers. So, let him give them a language, the Santhali language by including it in the Eighth Schedule.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

I would add a postscript to his speech. Shri Kharabela Swain would be very happy to know that in the seventh century, Banabhatta had written Sriharshacharitra. In the Sriharshacharitra, he has mentioned about the Santhals and he has eulogised the best qualities of the Santhal people.



I am grateful to Dr. Ram Chandra Dome for bringing a Resolution here in this House seeking recognition for one of the oldest languages of our country, the Santhali language. I had also submitted a Resolution in the last Session but because the House was adjourned, my Resolution lapsed. In the Winter Session, there was a discussion under Calling Attention where a demand for recognition of the Santhali language was made in this very House.

The Santhali people stay in your State of Orissa, in my State of West Bengal, in my neighbouring States of Jharkhand and Assam and also in Nepal.

There are a number of Santhals in Nepal. They speak in their own language among their relatives and among the Santhals. They have migrated from Chota Nagpur Division, which is a part of now Jharkhand. They migrated from Chota Nagpur to Assam to work in the tea gardens. The Britishers brought them to work in tea gardens of Assam. If you go to Assam, you will find that they have not forgotten their language. They are there for the last 100 years. However, whenever they speak among themselves, they never speak in Asamese; they speak in their own language. In West Bengal also, in my constituency, there are largest number of Santhals. It is about 20 per cent of the total population of Santhals. They know Bengali. When they speak with us, they speak in Bengali, but whenever they speak among themselves, they speak in their own language.

Sir, the same is the case in your State. I know as I have visited a number of tribal villages where there are Santhals. I have seen that they speak in their own language and not in Oriya. The same is the case in Jharkhand. They know Hindi. They speak with us in Hindi or Bengali, but whenever they speak among themselves, they speak in their own language. Mr. Minister, it is one of the richest languages. They have their own literature, poems, novels, drams, etc.

Sir, you must be knowing the jatra of West Bengal. You must have also seen jatras. The Santhal jatras are very popular. The jatra starts from 10 o clock in the night and it ends in the morning. Thousands and thousands of Santhals watch jatra. They write these jatras and drams and they act also, but they speak in their own language. There are about one crore Santhal people living in different States. Although they are scattered in four or five States, their culture is the same. They are continuing the old traditional culture of Santhali dance. There are at least 25 different types of Santhali dances. They are still continuing with their language and with their culture. But the main problem is, as Shri Kharbela Swain has pointed out, that there is no opportunity to study in their language. The percentage of literacy is much less. It is about 20 to 25 per cent. The percentage of literacy among the Santhals is average. The percentage of literacy among the women is much less. It is about 15 per cent.

The same is the case with Orissa. This is mainly because their language is not recognised, and they do not get any opportunity to study their language. Although some State Governments -- particularly I will mention about West Bengal -- long back introduced Santhali language, to introduce Ol Chiki script, which was invented by Pandit Raghunath Murmu in 1979, he came to my constituency. I was not elected to Lok Sabha then. I was elected to Lok Sabha first in 1980. The Government of West Bengal gave a reception to him, and our former Chief Minister Shri Jyoti Basu praised Pandit Raghunath Murmu for inventing one script for Santhali language. Santhali language has different scripts. There are Roman; Devnagri; Bengali; and Ol Chiki. But, there are large sections of Santhali population and their demand is that Santhali language should be taught in Ol Chiki script. Sir, this Ol Chiki script was recognised by only one State Government, that is West Bengal, in 1979. I heard Pandit Raghunath Murmu saying that he was born in Orissa; he worked in erstwhile Bihar, that is, Jharkhand, but neither the Government of Orissa recognised the script in 1979, which he invented nor where he worked for years together -- that is in erstwhile Bihar, now Jharkhand -- recognised his script. Only the Government of West Bengal, after the Left Front Government came to power in 1979, recognised Ol Chiki script. Sir, whenever we raise this issue in the form of Questions or Calling Attention or in other forms, we receive a patent reply. For the last two years, I had been getting the same reply : "A High-Powered Committee is being constituted. There are demands for a large number of languages for recognition, and that the High-Powered Committee will take a decision." The matter regarding recognition of some of the languages, including Santhali language, was referred to the Constitution Review Commission. I do not know why inclusion of Santhali language to the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution was not first referred to the Constitution Review Commission. But, the Constitution Review Commission did not examine that aspect. The Constitution Review Commission did not make any recommendation in regard to inclusion of Santhali language or any other languages. I was told that a High-Powered Committee has been constituted now, and that High-Powered Committee is deliberating and discussing it. I do not know how much time it will take to arrive at a conclusion. Many languages have been recognised. Manipuri language was recognised only 5-6 years back.

Konkani was recognised seven years back. We, the entire House, demanded that Nepali language should be recognised. The West Bengal Government also recommended for its recognition. Nepali language was recognised and included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. At the time of giving recognition to Manipuri, Konkani, Nepali and Sindhi, a high-powered Committee was not constituted. The Government of India did not feel that in order to give recognition to a language, a committee should be constituted and that committee would make the recommendation. This demand is not from one section of the House, but from the entire section of this House. When we make this demand that Santhali should be a recognised language -- whenever I raised this demand, Sir, I received support from all sections of this House -- for the first time, the Government thought that a high-powered Committee should be constituted to deliberate, to discuss and to take a decision.

Sir, when compared to those who speak Santhali language, the Nepali language is spoken by a less number of people. Even Konkani and Manipuri languages are spoken by a less number of people when compared to those who speak the Santhali language. Therefore, my question is, when Santhali language is spoken by about one crore more people than those who speak Manipuri, Konkani and Nepali languages put together, why Santhali language has not been recognised. Is it because it is the language of one of the tribal communities of our country?

Sir, you know about Santhali rebellion and Siddu Kano, who went to gallows. Santhali rebellion is the first freedom struggle in our country. They never submitted before the British imperialism. They fought against exploitation; they fought against repression of British imperialism.

The Indian Constitution has recognised them as Scheduled Tribes and reservation has been provided in employment. The public sector is being handed over to the private sector and we do not know what will happen, that is, whether there will be reservations in the private sector. However, there is a provision for reservation in other spheres of life. For their upliftment, for bringing these people into the mainstream, the framers of the Constitution thought that reservation should be provided for this section of the people for helping people to come forward and improve their life and also for their economic development.

Because of their backwardness, there is less percentage of literacy among the tribal population.

Sir, I have attended some of their meetings. Santhals are a very disciplined people. They organised a conference in my constituency last year. About twenty-five thousand Santhali delegates from Orissa, Jharkhand, Assam, West Bengal and even from Nepal attended that conference. The only agenda in that conference was getting recognition for their language, the Santhali language.

The youth of West Bengal submitted a petition last year to former Speaker Shri Balayogi. More than five lakh people signed that petition and submitted it. An all-party delegation met the Deputy Prime Minister and submitted a memorandum. As of now, only one State in the country, the State of West Bengal, passed a unanimous resolution in its Assembly in this regard. Shri Kharabela Swain was saying that the Prime Minister had gifted a tribal State to the country. Even that State, in its existence of more than two years, has not passed any resolution demanding recognition of Santhali language. I do not know, Mr. Chairman, Sir, about your State.

MR. CHAIRMAN : It is being taught at Primary stage.

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : It is taught but I do not know if the State Assembly has passed any resolution demanding recognition of Santhali language. We have started teaching Santhali language at Secondary as well as at University level. In West Bengal, a Commission was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Pavitra Sarkar, who is a renowned Linguist, to go into this issue. That Commission, in its report submitted last year, recommended teaching of Santhali language both at Secondary and University levels. The Government of West Bengal started implementing most of those recommendations within three months of submission of the Report. Santhali language is being taught there at Secondary and University levels.

In Jharkhand, Santhali language is being taught up to post-graduate level in Vinoba Bhave University in Ranchi. It is a matter of surprise that a language which is being taught up to post-graduate level in different universities is not recognised by the Government of India and has not yet been included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. It is high time that this language had been included in the Eighth Schedule.

When the hon. Minister rises to reply to this debate, I hope we will not get to hear the same words about the High-Powered Committee, etc., etc. High-Powered Committee comes into picture only in the case of Santhali language because it is the language of tribal people. I hope, today the Minister will definitely assure the House that positive steps would be taken to include this one of the richest, oldest and the most modern languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

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< iɮc cxn ­ V cxn c i ɣʴBE c BE +nɺ M BE κi­BE c ʴSɮ {n c BE cɮ +{x ­, VɺBE +{x { c, VɺBE +{x <icɺ c, VɺBE +{x YxBEi c, =BE v =xBE {cSx c, =xBE ­ BE xi * <A ɮBEɮ |lx BEx Sci c BE c l ­ BE =BE ={ɪBDi lx nɪ* Vɤ x{ ­ BE ʴvx BE +~ +xֺS BE ɪ Mɪ c* ˺v M cɮ c +V il n BE +xBE M +M-+M lx {ɮ ʤJɮ cA c, =xBE ­ BE +~ +xֺS BE ɪ Mɪ c* cɮ |Sx BDʺBE ­ ƺBEi BE +~ +xֺS BE ɪ Mɪ c* c iBE BE ʴn ­ +OV BE +~ +xֺS BE ɪ Mɪ c* < iɮc ɣ ɮiҪ ­+ BE +~ +xֺS BE ɪ Mɪ c* BE Vx h{֮, BEBEh +n ­+ BE +~ +xֺS BE ɪ Mɪ c i l BE c +ɴV ɴl c c, c Vxi BE +ɴV c - "+{x ­ +{x n, ni M讴 BE n" <A =xBE iߣ­ BE ɮi BE ʴvx BE +~ +xֺS lx x ScA*

ɣ{i cn, +{BE +xi < +ɴɺɮ BE ɣ =~i cA +{x |i BE Vɺlx ­ BE ABE ci ɽ ɺ BE ɮ ix Sci c* V BE M uɮ Vi c* =BE BEF MVɮi ­ c, c MVɮi BE |nʶBE ­ +V Jڤ {E-{E c c, Jڤ ʴBEʺi c c c* Үɤ< BE ɮ MVɮi ­-­ M BEci c BE c cɮ c, c Vɺlx BE M BEci c BE c cɮ c* c MVɮi c + Vɺlx c* MVɮi ­ BE <ix x + <ix >S lx c+ c + c +V c Vx , ʴɶʴtɪ iBE ʶF + {f< BE v c* c V BE ɮ BE-BEV MVɮi ­ ci c + c Vɺlx cx M x cBE cxn BE +{x iߣ­ + Vɣ­ P­i BE c* BEx +{ Vɤ BE ɮɽ Vɺlx BBDi M, Sc c <, BEBEi, M, pɺ =Һ BE cx BBDi c, c +{x {ʮɮ Vɺlx ­ BE |ɪM BEi c* <A BE M BE ­ Vɺlx ­ c* VɺBE {֮x ci c, {֮x bM ­ c, =ɺ A |h |{i ci l BE V{i iA {x +{x SS BE ʶF ni c, +{BE +xi =BE ABE xM |ɺii BEi c -

< x nh +{h, cʮ cɮɪ,

{i ʺJɴ {h, ɮh ɽ< ɪ*

xxҪ Mfô c c Vn c, c Vɺlx ­ Vxi c, BDBE Vɺlx =xBE c, c Vɺlx xBE cA c*

< x nh +{h, cʮ cɮɪ,

{i ʺJɴ {h, ɮh ɽ< ɪ*

ABE i +{x SS BE {x Zi cA, Mn i cA c J ni c BE ] +{x vɮi BE BE i nx, +{x n BE iߣ {ɮ BE BE +vBEɮ i cx nx*

< x nh +{h, cʮ cɮɪ,

{i ʺJɴ {h, ɮh ɽ< ɪ*

i {x +{x SS BE ʺJi l BE ] BEkB BE {x BEi cA i BE |{i BEx M讴 |{i ci c*

ɣ{i cn : BD +ɤ +{ {i BEM*

|. ɺ ˺c ɴi : <A Vɺlx ­ BE c lx x ScA, VɺBE {֮x ci c, VɺBE {֮x BBEh c, Vɺ ɽ-ɽ ʴux cA c, Vɺ ci S Vi c* V BE M BE +ɴV c* Vɺlx xɮiɮ +ɴV =~ c c* c <b M] {ɮ cVɮ Vɺlxɪ x +BE |nx BE l + BEc l BE cɮ iߣ­ BE ʴvx BE +~ +xֺS lx * BEx Jn c BE c M +ɣ iBE =ɺ Si c* Vc l BE i BEx Sci c BE l ­ BE ɮi BE ʴvx BE +~ +xֺS lx , c {ɮ +{BE v ɮBEɮ BEcx ScM BE Vɤ BE < |BEɮ BE =SS BDi {xx +ɪM ~ BE BEx-BEx ­+ BE ʴvx BE +~ +xֺS i BE VA + =xBE v iߣ­ |ɮʣBE ʶF |nx BE VA* cn, +{BE ƮFh ScM, cɮ Vɺlx ʶF BE o­] ci {U c+ c* c xɮFɮi BE iɴɮh c* iߣ­ BE v ....

ɣ{i cn : c +ɣ l ­ BE ɮ S c c + +{ Vɺlx BE ɮ c c*

|. ɺ ˺c ɴi : ɮ, ʴ­ɪ c BE c c* Vc l ­ BE lx BEi c, c = iɮc ={Fi, = iɮc Si, = iɮc xMBD]b V ­ c, c Vɺlx ­ c* <A +{BE v l cnn ScM*

Vɺlx ­ BE ʴvx BE +~ +xֺS +ɴɶ lx x ScA*

V x +{ɺ BEc BE < ­ BE x BE M c + =xBE +{x ʴɶ­ ci c, ɽ r + {֮x ci c* ɺ ci BE cxn ҮMlBE BEc Vi c* {lҮV ɺ, Jx ɺ, Һn ɺ ɣ Vɺlx ­ c*

{]ɪ + |BEiBE M j (g x<BE) : +{BE lx c*

|. ɺ ˺c ɴi : ɤBE lx c, <A +{BE v {x& |lx BEx ScM BE Vc g b uɮ |ɺii BE{ BE v l ­ BE ɮi BE ʴvx BE +~ +xֺS i BE VA, c |lx BEM BE ABE BEҶx ~, nɪɮ ʴɺii c iBE Vɺlx ­ BE ɮ , l BE ɮ + +x < |BEɮ BE ­A V +ɤ iBE < x BE |{i xc BE {< c, =x ­+ BE x +~ +xֺS i cx BE +x֣ɴ BE BE cɮ n cɮ +{x ­ BE ci c* +{x Z x BE +ɴɺɮ n, <BE A +{BE ci +ɣɮ BBDi BEi c*


I am grateful to all the four hon. Members including the Mover of this Private Members Resolution, Dr. Ram Chandra Dome, who urged the Government to bring forward a suitable legislation to include Santhali language in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.

I will not be giving a lengthy reply and I will not go into the details of how languages are being included in the Schedule. But I will mention some points for the sake of record. Initially there were 14 languages.

MR. CHAIRMAN : Mr. Minister, would you allow Shrimati Sandhya Bauri to speak for two minutes please?



gi v (ʴ­h{֮) : ɣ{i V, +{BE v< ni c BE +{x < ʴ­ɪ {ɮ Z x BE BE n* +V cɮ ƺn Sxp b V uɮ V BE{ ɪ Mɪ c, c <BE lx BEi c* cɮ xɴSx Fj + V ci +vBE l ­ x M ci c* ci xxҪ n BE MA BE ­ BE ɺ BE BEɮh =xBE ci ɺA Zx {ɽi c Vɺɺ M BE {f< BE + c c* +ɣ V ] ] BE c, =BE ABE BEɮh ­ c* < + ci ɮ BEɮh Vֽ cA c BE {U{x c Mɪ c* c i c, BEx ­ BE A =xBE ɺA Zx {ɽi c Vɺɺ =xBE ] ] BE ci V c c* M Vn Vn {f< BEx Sci c* c nJi c BE cɮ c Vix c] c, c Vn Vn +nɺ ɽBE + ɽBE {f< BEx BE A +i c* c Sci c BE cɮ +{x ­ {f< c + c +M f* ABE xxҪ n x iɪ BE V BE nv {x SS BE ɺl +SU ci c, = |BEɮ +{x ­ +Mɮ c {f< BE + i BE i c +M f BEi c* cɮ V M M ci c, i =xɺ M i BEi c BEx =xBE x + Zi BEU +M |BEɮ BE ci c* {ڮ iɮc M Z xc {i c* cɮ l A c ci c* c =xBE {ɺ ci c i c =xBE l ci i Z i c BEx ɤ i V i c, cɮ Z xc +i c*

{bi Pxl V BE x ɮh BEx Sci c BDBE =xcx l ­ BE { BE +ʴ­BEɮ BE l*

ɣ{i cn, l ­ BE +{x { c* = fkɮ c c c* M + ZɮJb < ­ BE x BE J ci Vn c* < ­ BE x SS BE + BEV {cS c c* ɮi ­ ci ɽ n c* <BE BE x BE M +nɺ ci c c* BEc BE c BEi c + BEc Vn, BEx {ڮ n +nɺ M ci c* <A c Sci c BE l ­ BE ʴvx BE +~ +xֺS BE VA* n 75 |iɶi M +nɺ c V ʴʣxx ­+ BE i c* l ­ x BE J nx |i nx fi V c c* <BE + +M fx BE A c Vɰ c BE l ­ BE ʴvx BE +~ +xֺS BE VA*

cn, ] M Mɴx] x ɴǺi |ɺiɴ {ʮi BE BExp ɮBEɮ BE {ɺ V c BE c l ­ BE ʴvx BE +~ +xֺS V* n ­ {ڴ M ci ɽ J ִBE +A l* = ɪ {BE ɪM V l* =xɺ + = ɪ ABE c<{ɮ BE] xx BE i c< l* = n ­ i MA, c<{ɴb BE] BE BD κli c, < ɮ c BE< VxBEɮ xc c* c +{BE v g Sxp b V uɮ nx |ɺii |ɺiɴ BE lx BEi c + M BEi c BE l ­ BE ʴvx BE +~ +xֺS BE VA*


SHRI HARIN PATHAK: I am very much grateful to Dr. Dome for having moved this Private Members Resolution to introduce Santhali language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. I am also thankful to other four esteemed friends, including Shrimati Sandhya Bauri, who have supported this Bill. I appreciate their feelings. (Interruptions) Yes, I am thankful to even those Members who are listening to the debate at this late hour.

I do not want to go into the details of this Bill. Initially there were 14 languages. In 1967, Sindhi language was included in the Eighth Schedule. In 1992, Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali languages were included. At present, there are about 18 languages in the Eighth Schedule and as per the figures available with me, it covers about 96.29 per cent of the population. The only problem with the Government is, every now and then we receive requests from different sections of the society for inclusion of languages in the Schedule.

At present, the Government has received requests for inclusion of 32 more languages. There are no objective criteria for inclusion of a language in the Eighth Schedule. The Government has decided to set up a Committee under the Chairmanship of the Secretary, Official Language to go into all the aspects. The Committee had submitted its report in 1998 and inter alia recommended setting up of a high-powered body of experts from literary, academic, social and legal fields to go in greater details to evolve objective criteria for the inclusion of languages in the Eighth Schedule. Vɤ iBE BE< Eɪ]ʮ xc x {i, iɤ iBE < ɮ xhǪ x BE~x cM BDBE ɮBEɮ BE {ɺ 32 ­+ BE ʴvx BE +~ +xֺS BEx ci |lx{j +A c* So, the Committee has recommended for setting up of a high-powered body. This body is now looking after the matter and considering the significance of the issue. The Government has decided to set up a high-powered body to evolve a set of objective criteria for inclusion of more languages in the Eighth Schedule. Action to constitute such a body has already been initiated. It is presently under active consideration of the Government. The requests received by the Government for the inclusion of 32 languages, including Santhali, would be considered on the basis of such objective criteria evolved by the high-powered Committee.

I think as and when the criteria is evolved, the Government would have no hesitation in considering whatever requests are coming before it. But until and unless the criteria is evolved, we have to wait. At present, there are 32 such requests. So, I would request the hon. Member to please withdraw the Resolution. His purpose has been served. He has expressed his sentiments and hon. Members who have spoken and those who have not spoken have also endorsed the sentiments which he has expressed. I would be grateful if he withdraws his Resolution.

MR. CHAIRMAN : It is true. The initiative has been taken by the Government. Dr. Dome, would you like to ask anything by way of clarification? Would you like to withdraw the Resolution?

DR. RAM CHANDRA DOME : Sir, I have no objection in withdrawing the Resolution. The Minister has rightly said that there are so many languages which are demanding recognition. But I must point out one thing particularly regarding this language that it is spoken by about one crore people which a very big chunk of population. It is spoken in about four States. It is also spoken in Jharkhand State. The linguistic population of Santhal, Mundas, etc. is also there. So, I feel that the Government should not treat it at par with others. The Santhali language should not be kept at par with other languages. That is my primary request to the Government. The Minister is very much sympathetic and everybody has supported it. The principal Opposition Party Members are not present here and I do not know what is their view.

Sir, it is not a sentimental matter but it is a legitimate demand. The legitimate right should be recognised. If the Government tells us clearly that it will actively consider this request, I will have no objection in withdrawing this Resolution.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Is it the pleasure of the House that the Resolution moved by Dr. Ram Chandra Dome be withdrawn?

The Resolution was, by leave, withdrawn.


MR. CHAIRMAN: The House stands adjourned to meet again at 11.00 am on 21st April, 2003.

18.55 hrs.

The Lok Sabha then adjourned till Eleven of the Clock

on Monday, April 21, 2003/Vaisakha 1, 1925 (Saka).


Source: Govt. of India website www.nic.in