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Centre non-committal on Khasi language recognition

Shillong, July 30: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said the Centre is conscious of the sentiments and requirements for inclusion of other languages, including Khasi in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India.

“Such requests have to be considered keeping in mind these sentiments, and the other relevant considerations,” Rai said in reply to a question  by Congress MP from Shillong Vincent H Pala on the steps taken by the government to recognise Khasi language, in the Lok Sabha on July 27.

The minister admitted that here have been demands from time to time for inclusion of Khasi in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution and that the central government had received a proposal in this regard.

He said the evolution of dialects and languages is a dynamic process, influenced by socio-cultural, economic and political developments and it is difficult to fix any criteria for languages, whether to distinguish them from dialects, or for their inclusion in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.

Rai said that earlier attempts through Pahwa (1996) and Sitakant Mohapatra (2003) committees, to evolve such fixed criteria, have been inconclusive.

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