Guwahati, May 4: Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma on today requested the President of India to back Meghalaya government’s sustained demand for inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.
He said language and culture of all tribes and communities of the Northeast needed to be preserved and protected for the long-term interest of the identity of the tribes, big or small.
“The state of Meghalaya also has got multiple languages. We had recently passed a resolution in the Meghalaya Assembly to include the Garo and Khasi language in the Eighth Schedule. So I strongly feel that inclusion of languages of different tribes and communities will lead to a stronger integration of this very diverse and great nation of ours,” Sangma said while speaking at the 61st annual conference of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha in Tamulpur, Assam.
Requesting the President’s support in the state government’s endeavour to promote and protect languages of all tribes and communities, the chief minister said some tribes can have a smaller population, “but their identity comes from their language and culture. I urge you Sir, to see if these languages could be promoted and protected in the long-term interest of the identity of these tribes.”
Sangma, while appreciating the President’s presence at the conference, said, “Your presence is not just an inspiration to the people of the Bodo areas, but it also shows your concern and respect for all the tribes of the Northeast. It sends a powerful message to the people of the region that every single community is important…that every language spoken in the country must be preserved and given due importance.”
“Language is what identifies us. It is our identity as a tribe, as a community. Therefore, the importance of language cannot be measured. Looking at the work of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha, we all are inspired to see how it has ensured that the Bodo language is nurtured, documented and taken forward,” the chief minister said.