Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has asserted that all 60 legislators should be allowed to speak in Khasi and Garo languages in the Assembly to send a message to the Centre that the state is firm with its demand for the inclusion of these languages in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India.
Sangma made the request by speaking in Khasi and Garo to Deputy Speaker Timothy D Shira during the course of his reply to a call intention notice moved by Nongpoh legislator Mayralborn Syiem.
"Please allow members to speak in Khasi and Garo in the House. We should at least start somewhere by allowing the use of local languages, especially during the discussion on the governor's address," Sangma said.
"This will be a message to the Government of India that we are very firm in our demand for inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India," he said while urging other stakeholders to also give representations to the Centre so that this long pending demand is achieved.
The chief minister also informed that he had also had closed-door discussions with many leaders from the Government of India at the top level on the issue.
"I have expressed (to them) that this step of ensuring inclusion in the Eighth Schedule is not about just a language of a particular tribe or state...but the inclusion will be a big message that the Government of India respects and identifies each and everyone us," he said.
The Assembly had already passed an official resolution urging the Centre to include the Khasi and Garo languages in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India.
The chief minister further assured that the government will continue to pursue with the Centre for the inclusion of the two languages.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker also allowed the Nongpoh MLA to speak in Khasi at his request. Syiem said that he has no doubt that the unity of the 60 legislators on the issue will be a blessing for the state and its people. He also thanked the contributions of former leaders of the state, leaders of the district councils, traditional institutions, Khasi Authority Society and Achik Literature Society on the issue.