The Garo Baptist Convention (GBC) has expressed its disappointment over the exclusion of Garo language from the tentative list of 38 languages to be incorporated in the Eighth Schedule as notified by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The statement issued by the GBC followed confirmation that the Garo language did not find a place in the list of 38 languages aspiring to be included in the Eighth Schedule.
According to a recent notification by the Union Home Ministry, at present, there are demands for inclusion of 38 more languages including Khasi in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.
The GBC in a joint statement issued by its president Sundar A. Sangma and general secretary Rev. Janang R. Sangma said that the Garo language and literature have evolved over time and is spoken by about 1.5 million people in North East India and primarily in the five districts of Meghalaya.
“Overall, about 33 per cent of the population of Meghalaya speaks Garo or Achik language. On the academic front, the language has reached doctoral study level and thousands of students pursue their studies in Garo language,” the GBC said.
It also said that the demand for inclusion of Garo language in the Eighth schedule of the Constitution of India is a long pending call and legitimate.
“The Garo Baptist Convention urges the government of India and the government of Meghalaya to consider urgently reviewing and amending the recently released list and include the Garo or Achik language in the revised list. The Garo Baptist Convention urges both the Central and State governments to seriously consider aspirations of Garo people in this regard,” the statement added.
Recently, the Achik Holistic Awakening Movement (AHAM) has sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the immediate inclusion of Garo language in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India.
According to the census of 2011, there are more than 13 lakh Khasi speakers in Meghalaya and 9 lakh who speak the Garo language.