New Delhi: Government today said it was
considering inclusion of Bhojpuri and Rajasthani languages in
the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution thereby granting it
the status as the official language but could not give any
time-frame to do so.
A Calling Attention motion on inclusion of Bhojpuri and
Rajasthani in the Eighth Schedule of Constitution, moved by
Sanjay Nirupam (Cong), saw uproarious scenes in the Lok Sabha
as more members wanted to participate in the debate and SP and
RJD members even trooped to the Well of the House.
Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee intervened at this
stage and suggested that since the scope of the Calling
Attention Motion was limited members can have a Short Duration
Discussion in the next session.
In a statement in the House, Minister of State for Home
Ajay Maken said that government could not give a time-frame
for consideration of the demands for inclusion of more
languages in Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India.
Initiating a debate on the motion, Nirupam said Bhojpuri
was a widely-spoken language across the country and ranked
second after Hindi.
He said the language has a history that dates back to the
seventh century and is also spoken in 12 countries across five
At present, 22 languages have been included in the Eighth
Schedule to the Constitution of India. Of these, 14 languages
were initially included in the Constitution. Sindhi language
was included in 1967. Thereafter, Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali
were included in 1992. Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santhali
languages were added in 2004.
Maken said that Sitakant Mohapatra Committee was set up to
evolve a set of objective criteria for inclusion of more
languages in the Eighth Schedule.
Nirupam wanted to know the reasons for having a criteria
contending that there was no such provision till 2004.
Raghuvansh Prasad (RJD) said Bhojpuri was spoken in 14
districts in Uttar Pradesh, nine in Bihar and two in Madhya
He said there were 17 crore Bhojpuri speaking people in
the country and an additional eight crore abroad.
Rajasthani had a history spanning centuries and had a
distinct literature of its own, Prasad said adding that there
could be widespread protests if these two languages were not
included in the Eighth Schedule.
Jagdamika Pal (Cong) also spoke on the issue.