NCM heeds Buddhists' demand, to conduct survey of Bhotia language

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New Delhi, Jun 22 (UNI) The National Commission for Minorities(NCM) is going to conduct a survey of Bhotia--the language of the local people of the Himalayas and link language of those living in border areas of the mountain range totalling approximately over two million.

The Commission has been urging the Centre for long to include the language in the eighth schedule of the Constitution-- a persistent demand of the Bhotia speaking people.

One of the reasons for lack of response to this demand was absence of any authentic and official data about the langauge, which is essential for inclusion of any language in the eigth schedule of the Constutution.

The Commission thinks that the carying out of an authoritative survey of Bhotia would be a step further towards securing to the language the place due to it.

The task of survey has been assigned to the Central Institute of Languages, Mysore, Member of the NCM Lama Chospehl Zotpha told UNI.

He said Rs six lakh had been approved for the study, and the work on it was starting next month.

Buddhist organisations and other bodies had long been wondering that if Sindhi, Gorkhali, Konkani and Manipuri could be included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, then why not Bhotia.

The language is the link and cultural language of Zanskar, Ladakh, Spiti, Kinnaur, Uttar Kashi, Garhwal, Sikkim, Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Arunachal Pradesh and the entire Himalayan range of the country.

The Commission has several times underscored to the Centre the urgency of linking Bhotia with employment so that more and more number of people who have this language as their mother tongue could be attracted to its formal study.

Mr Zotpha said constitutional safeguards were a must for linking the language with jobs.

Bhotia, one of the most ancient languages of the Aryan family, is highly rich literature relating to religion, art, science, philosophy, Astrology, Ayurveda and Grammar.

However, the language is not getting as much attention and importance as it deserves, he said.

Other languages whose speakers number around the same as those of Bhoti were included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, he said, pointing out that Sindhi speaking people were 21 22, 848 as per the 1991 census, while those speaking Gorkhali total 2,076,645.

Those speaking Konkani and Manipuri number even less than two million, but these languages also find place in the Eighth Schedule, the NCm member sought to point out.

UNI NAZ BDP DB102

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