Founder and Trainer Prachetas Consulting
Language is considered as the life blood of human civilization. The Cambridge dictionary defines language as “a system of communication consisting of sounds, words and grammar, or the system of communication used by people in particular country or type of work.” India being a diversified country, it is Mecca of many languages and dialects, Nepali being one of them.
|Darjeeling - Gorkha league and CPRM fighting for the same cause Nepali Language Recognition in Indian Constitution|
b. The Indo Nepal treaty of 1950 further diluted the identity and nationality.So recognition of Nepali language became prime importance in order to solve these problems to great extend.
The first official demand regarding the recognition was made on 18th Jan 1956 by Anand Singh Thapa, editor of “Jagrat Gorkha.” In his memorandum addressed to the President of Republic of India he writes,”…is it not the matter of great injustice that while our constitution guarantees the official use of any language spoken by the people of the State, the Government does not recognize the language spoken by more than five million people, and that the Nepali Language should be treated as a foreign language in free India?”
The then chief minister of Sikkim, Nar Bahadur Bhandari assured that he will cooperate in all respect regarding the inclusion of Nepali in 8th schedule.
Indira Government did not turned up and many Bhasa samity and Nepali speaking citizens of India kept pressing the issue through rallies, Dharna, writing in papers etc. but nothing was heard. Slowly the patience began to erode and on 2nd October 1983 three days hunger strike was started in national capital as well as many places of India which was a grand success.
On 4th September 1990 delegation again met the then Prime minister V.P.Singh and discussed this matter in great detail. Again the moments of waiting were seen and no seriousness was seen on a part of Government.
In 1991 general election Dil Kumari Bhandari was elected as M.P. from Sikkim which was the turning point for the language lovers. She tabled the private bill on this issue which was discussed on 24th April and 8th May in the parliament. In this long discussion, Dil kumari Bhandari clarified many doubts of the opposing parties.
Finally on 20th August, Lok Sabha passed the inclusion of Nepali, Konkani and Manipuri in 8th Schedule of constitution with full majority. Mr. R.B. Rai, the then Rajya Sabha M.P. writes, “…I got the news that bill is passed in Lok Sabha. I hurried to the central hall and found Dil Kumarai Bhandari and other M.P.s talking in happy mood.
The struggle for inclusion of Nepali Language in 8th schedule of constitution was historic event for the whole of Nepali speaking community of India. The first memorandum by Anand Singh Thapa to passing of bill on 20th of August 1992 went through series of setbacks and pains and sacrifices. So now the vista opens in front of us where we can explore how this language is treated by its native speakers as well as government now. The struggle was not easy and even the management and preservation of this status and language is also a great challenge in the hand of present generation.