No time-frame for inclusion of Bhojpuri in 8th Schedule: Govt

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 continents.

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 Pradesh.

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.