Shillong: Noting that ‘language’ defines the identity of a tribe, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Wednesday urged President Ram Nath Kovind to facilitate the inclusion of state’ indigenous languages – Khasi and Garo – into the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution, which has been a long pending demand of the people.
“It is our identity as a tribe, as a community and therefore, the importance of language cannot be measured,” he said in the course of his speech at the 61st Annual Conference of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha at Tamulpur, Assam.
“I strongly feel that inclusion of languages of different tribes and different communities will only lead to a stronger integration of this very diverse but great nation of us”, Sangma stressed.
The Chief Minister further urged the President to support the people’s aspiration of the Northeast and to ensure that languages from the region are included in eight schedules to protect and promote the language and identity of the people.
“We urge you (President) to ensure that not just Garo & Khasi but all the different communities and tribes and languages that are there in the northeast in different tribes, they may be small but their identity comes from the language and the culture that they have,” Sangma added.
Lauding the Bodo Sahitya Sabha (BSS), he said, “We all are inspired to see how Bodos have ensured that their language moves ahead, it is nurtured, and documented.”
The Chief Minister also spoke on the similarities between Garo and Bodo languages, while advocating strongly for the inclusion of Garo & Khasi languages in the Eighth Schedule.