The Ministry of Home Affairs has agreed to consider the inclusion of the Garo language in the official wait list of languages list of languages under consideration for recognition in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
This decision comes after a delegation led by Tura MP Agatha K. Sangma, Assembly Speaker Thomas A. Sangma, cabinet minister Marcuise N. Marak and the President of A’chik Literature Society (Garo), Dr. Caroline R. Marak met the Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs to press for incorporating the Garo language into the Eighth Schedule.
“There has been a public demand to include Garo language in the Eighth Schedule. The Ministry of Home Affairs officials have agreed to include Garo in the official wait list of languages based on the request of the delegation. This paves the way for Eighth Schedule inclusion of Garo language,” Agatha Sangma said.
Khasi is one of the 38 languages that are in the list awaiting the approval of the Home Ministry for submission of amendment to the parliament for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule.
According to a recent notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs, there are demands for the inclusion of 38 languages, including Khasi, in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. Garo language is not in the list.
These languages are: Angika, Banjara, Bazika, Bhojpuri, Bhoti, Bhotia, Bundelkhandi, Chhattisgarhi, Dhatki, English, Garhwali (Pahari), Gondi, Gujjar/Gujjari, Ho, Kachachhi, Kamtapuri, Karbi, Khasi, Kodava (Coorg), Kokborok, Kumaoni (Pahari), Kurak, Kurmali, Lepcha, Limbu, Mizo (Lushai), Magahi, Mundari, Nagpuri, Nicobarese, Pahari (Himachali), Pali, Rajasthani, Sambalpuri/Kosali, Shaurseni (Prakrit), Siraiki, Tenyidi, and Tulu.
“The government is conscious of the sentiments and requirements for inclusion of other languages in the Eighth Schedule and will examine the requests keeping in mind these sentiments, and other considerations such as evolution of dialects into language, widespread use of a language etc,” the notification said.
The Eighth Schedule currently has 22 languages. These included Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.
Of these languages, 14 were initially included in the Constitution. Sindhi was added in 1967.
In 1992, three more languages – Konkani, Manipuri, and Nepali – were included in the Eighth Schedule. In 2004, Bodo, Dogri, Maithili, and Santhali were added to the language schedule.