Diya Kumari, the BJP MP from Rajsamand has written a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah requesting the centre to consider inclusion of Rajasthani language in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. This comes after a request letter to the same effect was given to the Diya Kumari by Shivdan Singh Jolavas, President of the Rajasthan Language Mothyaar Parishad. This letter was officially handed over by Jolavas in the presence of MLA Preeti Shaktawat and Maharaj Kumar Vishvaraja Singh Mewar at the recently organized Kshatriya Samman Samaroh held at Udaipur.
The Rajasthan MP, in her letter to the Union Home Minister emphasized the need for inclusion of Rajasthani language in the Eighth Schedule, quoting public sentiments. In her letter she mentioned that the Rajasthani language is rich and vast in terms of literature, culture and history and maintains its own distinctive image.
She added that while over 4 crore people of the state have mentioned Rajasthani as their mother language in the census, there are thousands of students across the world who feel pride in their research projects on the traditions and literature around the Rajasthani dialect. This dialect is commonly spoken at public places as well as social gatherings and is a means of daily communication for a vast majority of residents of the state.
There has been a strong demand over decades by various social and political agendas to give a constitutional status to the Rajasthani dialect, but to no avail so far, she added.
What is the Eight Schedule of the Indian Constitution
Official languages of the Republic of India are listed in the Eight Schedule and Article 343 to 351 in Part XVII of the Indian Constitution deal with Indian languages. There isn’t though, any specific criteria mentioned for the inclusion of any language in the Eighth Schedule.
What are the Languages in the Eighth Schedule
22 languages are included in the Eighth Schedule. These include Assamese, Bengali (Bangla), Bodo, Dogri (Dongri), Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Meitei (Manipuri), Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.
Of these 22 languages, 14 were included at the very beginning of the constitution. Sindhi was added in 1967 vide the 21st Constitutional Amendment Act. Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were included in 1992 by the 71st Amendment Act and the 92nd Amendment Act in 2003 got Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santhali included in the Eighth Schedule.
What are Classical Languages
Six languages in the above 22 have been given the status of Classical Languages of India. These include Tamil (announced as CL in 2004), Sanskrit (announced as CL in 2005), Kannada and Telugu (announced as CL in 2008), Malayalam (CL in 2013) and Odia (announced as CL in 2014).
Guidelines for classification as Classical Languages
Ministry of Culture Guidelines regarding Classical Languages says:
History of its early texts should be more than 1500 years old.
Be part of ancient literature / text, which is considered valuable heritage by generations
Literary tradition should have originality that is not taken from any other linguistic community.