Responses to the article entitled ‘Matrubhasha O Maanak Bhasha’ by Debi Prasanna Patnaik published in the ‘Sambad’ on 22nd July 2011 (Part I)

July 24, 2011 at 6:36 am 7 comments

Following responses are taken from different e-forums and Facebook. This is in response to the article  entitled ‘Matrubhasha O Maanak Bhasha’ by Debi Prasanna Patnaik published in ‘Sambad’ newspaper on 22nd July 2011. 

Dear All,

The Sambad (Odia daily) has written on our discussion of Kosli language: I respect the views expressed by Shri Devi Prasanna Pattnaik.

However, I still feel that if govt. will bring a law to teach the students of Kosal region in Kosli the school dropout rate will decrease. I have seen the struggle of primary school children to learn Odia. Instead why not teach them in Kosli. Do not forget the children of 11 western districts spend considerable time in learning Odia.

In future the creation of separate state in India will not be on linguistic basis. As India is a highly populous country, the creation of smaller state will be better. Therefore, do not relate the language movement to political movement.

Giving recognition to Kosli language is nothing to do with Kosal movement. Rather, it will be good for the literary persons like Haldhar Nag, Manglu Biswal, Dr. Dologovind Bisi, Dr. Nila Madhab Panigrahi, Dr. Harekrushna Meher and others who are working relentlessly to keep this language alive.

Therefore, I urge the language lovers to help the Kosli language to flourish and let us not politicize it.

Here with I am sending the link to a Kosli poem written by me:

I hope you will enjoy it.

Best regards,


Sanjib Kumar Karmee, PhD
Department of Biotechnology
Delft University of Technology
Julianalaan 136, 2628 BL Delft,
The Netherlands


Dear Sanjib,

I agree with you. The writings of Mr Debi Prasanna Pattnaik seems more emotional than logical.He has also tactically tried to create a difference between KOSLI AND SAMBALPURI. I can understand his stand but the article is totally baseless and illogical. Perhaps he has forgotten that one day Odia was also labeled as ‘EKTA SWATANTRA BHASA NAESE. Now its a recognized language and official language of Odisha but what is the problem with my friends of coastal belt in recognizing Kosli. I would conclude, ODISHA SAHITYA ACADEMY has loosed its competency and credibility in developing Kosli . We have no anger with our PADOSHI BHASA. If Kosli is my Maa then Odia is Maasi. Lets think for betterment and always hope for the best. And I request all, please support those who are working for propagating KOSLI.


Saket Sahu
Editor BENI, The Kosli magazine
Bargarh, E mail:


 I have throughly read the article by Sri Debiprasanna Pattnaik on the sambad ,dated 22.7.2011.In nutshell, we like our mother tone Sambalpuri/Koshli from the core of our heart. We do not like Oriya -is wrong.Rather we like both languages equally. MANAKA bhasa is Koshli.Oficial language is Oriya.

As Sanjib Babu opines-if Koahsli language will be included in the 8th schedule than school going children will be increasing no doubt.The best example on MANAK language as Koshli is for example on fish. we read MAACHA in oriya and in koshli as JHURI. If a school going kid will read JHURI  instead of MAACHA he will easily follow it. So the question of breaking oriya language if koshli language approved is wrong interpriation. Can we forget to recite the beloved poem MANGALE AAILA USHAA , BIKACHA RAJIBA TRUSHA by legendry GANGADHAR MEHER – no not all. Rather from language front of view we will be proud of being able to use both the languages.

Yes, on development side, Western Orissa is less developed than Eastern Orissa and for that we demand a separate Koshla State for overall improvement of our region.

Narendra Kumar Mohanty


 Dear all,

Yesterday my young friend Saket Sahu, editor of BENI, the Koshali magazine posted this piece in Sambad. It seems the very possibility of inclusion of Koshali in the 8 th schedule is causing quite a bit of anxiety in the Oriya speaking population. My short posting in Ornet and Orissa Today net work has inspired a full scale article in Sambad by an eminent linguist. I am flattered, embarassed and disappointed in one breath. I do not have access to Dr.Patnaik,s email nor do I remember of having any personal contact with him in good old days, though I remember that my classmate late Dr.Chaudhury Hemakant Mishra talking about him when he was thinking of taking over India Institute of Languages(?) after Dr.Patnaik’s term. I would have loved to discuss the issue with Dr.Patnaik in a veranda with a cup of tea rather than long email exchanges. Since I can not do that here is my response through the net. Apparently Dr.Patnaik knew about my posting through Ornet/OTN; so hopefully he will know my response.

Frankly,I would have liked Dr.Patnaik to take the high road to discuss the linguistic aspects of Koshali and I would have learned a lot from him. In stead, the whole piece was sentimentally based, and is a rather a little accusatory as to why we want and hope Koshali to be included in the eighth schedule. Clearly Dr.Patnaik is a an ardent lover of Oriya, and one can not find any fault with such sentiment. Let me make it very clear. Most Koshalis, which certainly includes myself love Oriya and its great literature, but we love Koshali more, not simply as a very vibrant living language but also because we can express and communicate our deepest feelings and sentiments though it like in no other language.

It seems when Dr.Patnaik was at the helm of the Language Institute he was not in favour of any 8 th schedule. However, debating on the soundness of such reasoning is just academic now because, be that as it may, 8th schedule is still open and recently four new languages,Maithili,Santhali,Dogri and Bodo have been added after Mahapatra commission was concluded and the final decision was made by the High-Power Committee with thirty two languages left in the limbo. We do not know the reason why Maithili which has the same population base, and the other three with  much far smaller base than Koshali were included but Koshali did not get the nod.  Inclusion of Koshali in the 8th schedule is crucial for Koshalis and I will try to give some of the reasons.

1. For generations, Koshali students through the formative school years had to learn even the non-language courses through Oriya and were punished by the teachers from coastal area( I can vouch from my experience) if students use Koshali in the classroom. Needless to say, it has caused lot of drop outs. Moreover, we had to write answer papers in Oriya. Those with good linguistic aptitude managed it well but for vast majority, it was a handicap. Our overall marks were lower. I know of many bright students failed again and again in both matriculation and I.A./I.Sc. because of their poor Oriya. I realise that schooling system in all over India has changed quite a bit since my time but the problem remains  essentially the same. Thus we never had or have a level playing field. Hopefully, such situation can be averted through 8 th schedule.

2. The same situation occurs when recruiting civil servants. Competency in Oriya is a must. This is one of the reasons you will see huge number of minor civil servants in every nook and corner in Koshal area but you will not find as many from Koshal area in non-Koshal area.This of course has caused social disharmony.

3.One of the advantages of 8 th schedule is availability of funds to enrich the language. Perhaps our brethren in non-Koshali area are not aware that Koshalis are passionately involved to enrich the language. Major classics like Ramayan,Gita, Mahabharat are already in print or are being written up. Currently Nil Madhab Panigrahi, 90 plus years, bed ridden and partially paralysed has already published 6 volumes of Mahabharata. Two more volumes are in the process of publication. He is determined to finish the rest before he passes away. Dictionaries, Grammar, plays, novels, anthology of poems, Granthavalis of major poets like Satya Narayan Bohidar, Koshali panjikas,, several books on history of Koshala, biographies on Koshali heroes, etc. already in print without any funding from the government. BENI is a magnificent monthly literary magazine, full  of literary pieces of high quality as well as great artwork.Though we have a long way to go, several newspapers in Koshali are coming up. Most Orissans know of artistic genius of Krutartha Acharya for his Sambalpuri Sarees. But few know of another textile design genius Late Jadunath  Supakar, who had to leave Orissa for Varanasi was awarded Padmashree. At least three Koshali language movies have been produced, one of them receiving international acclaim. Old Koshali palm leaf  and copper plate documents are to be digitised. Revival of Koshali dances and theatricals are performed in major cities and towns. Recently Sapan Mishra put forth a formidable list of major literary works in Koshali. This is but very inadequate and brief snap shot of cultural activities in Koshal area.  There is a sort of renaissance in all aspects of Koshali culture and heritage Lot of things remain to be done. In short, all these and much more are accomplished without much help from the Orissa government because Koshali is not included in 8 th schedule. Interestingly, if my memory serves correct, as soon as Santhali came under 8 th schedule, Orissa government announced financial help to promote the language. For Koshali ? None.

4. Inclusion in 8 th Schedule will also facilitate governance in Koshal area. Notices are given now in the villages in Oriya; not very literates do not understand the full implications of these notices. Civil servants from non-koshali area who do not even have rudimentary knowledge of Koshali  can not communicate with citizens, thus resulting in miscommunication. In fact Orissa is among the minority of states which claims to have only one language. Out of 28 provinces, 15 have more than one official language. Out of 7 union territories, 6 have more than one recognised language. In a democracy freedom of expression is a fundamental right of the citizen. Good governance requires efficient communication between the citizens and the government. Is it not ironic that Orissa CM does not speak Oriya ? He truly symbolises the basic oxymoronic stance of the Orissa government on language issue.

5.Dr. Patnaik correctly says that language has no barrier. When Koshali speaking tracts were brought in to the fold of Orissa, 6 districts of Koshali speaking population remained with modern Chhattisgarh. Koshalis are going through the same problem in Orissa as they are in Chhattisgarh. Inclusion of Koshali  in the 8 th schedule will go a long way to improve governance in both provinces.

6. Because Koshali is not in the 8 th schedule, it is not listed in the list preference for languages in the Census counting. As the 2011  census official statistics shows the whole Orissa speaks nothing but Oriya, which of course is erroneous. We do not even know what is the real figure for both Oriya and Koshali !

To be continued


Dr. Arjun Purohit, Canada


We Protest the Article for the following reasons-1.His writings are emotional on a subject which require factual corroborations.

2.His language,tone & tenor is objectionable when he uses questions such as,a-Why this elation ? b-Is it because Koshali-Sambalpuri has been tagged together ? c-Is it that Koshali-Sambalpuri is going to be recognised as mother tongue ? d-Is it because if language is recognised, it will pave way for the creation of a separate state ? e-Is it because other literary award will be given for this literature ?

If the answers to all these teasing questions are BIG ‘YES’,’YES’,’YES’ than what is the harm ??? Who is he to deny us the status of a separate language ??? He tried his best to do it 40 years back when he was at the helm of affairs, to suppress the voice of truth. He was successful in strangulating our throat. Now, in the year 2004 when the language committee headed by Dr.Sitakanta Mahapatra, who had recommended to Govt. of India that 7 languages deserve to be included in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution, the Govt. took decision to declare inclusion of 4 languages,such as,Maithili,Konkani,Santhali & Bodo in the 8th schedule. The than Minister of States,Home Shree Ajay Makan had said that there is no time frame for the inclusion, but it will be done in a phase wise manner. Shree Debi Prasanna Patnaik has no authority to deny such status to Sambalpuri-Koshali language as decided by the due authority of Govt. Does he ? It is a matter of recognition only. People of Koshalanchal use this language in every spheres.

Yes, Koshali-Sambalpuri is tagged together by the linguists also. It is one & synonymous.Who are you to create a difference ? Sambalpuri-Koshali is the mother tongue of more than one crore & fifty lakhs of people of Koshalanchal. It is more than many so called official languages recognised by the Govt. in the 8th schedule. The recent Census has recorded Sambalpuri-Koshali as mother tongue of lakhs & laks of people. Whether it will pave the way for a separate state depends on other ‘trigger events’, not only the recognition of the language of a region but the impoverishment, marginalisation,colonisation,discrimination & exploitation of too, press the people to fight for a separate state of Koshal. Can you stop this Mr.Pattnaik ? Remember, even after the creation of separate state of Chhatisgarh, their language, Chhatisgarhi is yet to be recognised in the 8th schedule of the constitution.

Dont mix up state demand with the recognition of language issue. For your kind information, Odia is recognised as the second language of Andhra State since a few thousand people in Andhra Pradesh speak Odia. Why cant you see reason in recognising Sambalpuri-Koshali as second language of Odia & thereby facilitate cohesion among the two distinct parts of Odisha ? Rather than doing that you want to promote only Odia & you literary publication & literary awards to the users of Sambalpuri-Koshali language. You have sarcastically questioned the need for such a system of award to us by the state of Odisha. Does it belong to you only ? Than, why do you want to keep us with you ? Leave us. Tax is being collected from us also but while spending on language & literature, we only publish & award Odia. Why ??? Is it your money only ???

Sapan Mishra, Sambalpur
Koshal Pradesh Forum, Face Book

Entry filed under: Athmallik, Balangir, Bargarh, Boudh, Deogarh, Dictionary, Grammer, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Kosli E-magazine “BENI”, Kosli language and literature, Language, Magazine & Periodicals, Nuapada, Poems, Region watch, Sambalpur, Subarnapur, Sundergarh.

Three more hydropower projects to come up in Sambalpur, Sonepur and Boudh districts Proposed Sindhol hydro-electric projects opposed in western Odisha

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  • 3. Dr. Pradip Kumar Nath  |  July 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    I was shocked to read the reaction of a man (in the op-ed of Sambad on 22nd,July 2011) in his 80’s that too of the stature of Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattnaik.
    Poor fellow, yet to learn the techniques of linguistics so adopted in the modern world.
    Sometime 50 or 60 years back he had done research and produced some good works in linguistics.

    Poor fellow did not do enough ground work in the last four decades to keep pace with the modern technology assisting the work of Linguists. That is the same reason for which Linguistics like Panchanan Mohanty or Bijoy Prasad Mohapatra come to the wrong conclusion of proximity of Sambalpuri-Koshakli to Oriya rather than Hindi, Chhatisgarhi or Laria.

    This wrong conclusion is basically due to scant field study by all the three linguists mentioned above.

    Coming to the Odia chauvinism of the Odias residing in a few coastal districs there has been sense inferiority, systematic negligence, carelessness, ignominy expresseed in their behavioural pattern towards the people of rest of orissa.

    Forget about Sambalpuri-Koshali language.
    The sense of ignominy and misdemeanour shown to some of the best writers in Odia from western orissa may a shocking revelation to many.
    Giving some instance only.

    (1) None of the writers from western Orissa could make themselves eligible for prescribed course of Civil Services Exam in India ( Oriya Language and Literature).

    Dear readers not even Gangadhar, Bheema Bhoi, Rajendra Panda, Binod Nayak.
    Neither in 1979 nor in 2000 with the revised course of civil Service course Gangadhar or Bheema Bhoi could qualify themselves for inclusion of their creation in the syllabus.
    The same is true about the Orissa Civil service where you donot find a piece of Gangadhar in the course.
    (2) At least four times (as far documentary evidence this writer has in his possession) Gangadhar has been dubbed as a Minor Talent.
    (a) In a little magazine named Kavita edited by Rabindra Prasad Panda in 1964 (Essay written by Jatndra Mohant)
    (b) Again the same thing was in a book published in 1982 (Adhunika Samalochana by the same writer)

    (c) Antarjali Iswara o Kabir Antyesti- by Rabindra Panda (Published by Bharat-Bharati)
    (d) Surjyasnata — by Jatindra Mohan Mohamty (– Writing about Gangadhar as a Minor talent in one of the essay in evaluating the much quoted 4th cantos — Chatutha Sarga of Tapaswani i.e Mangale Aiela Usha)–the same book got Kendra Sahitya Academy.

    I still rember how very ignominously we the group hailing from Western Orissa were called very derogatively as the DALKHAI Group during our Training in Gopabandhu Academy of Administration (in 1991 batch of OAS) in 1995 and this thing was known to our the then DG, Sri Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, IAS.

    The question is — in the name of Oriya language this class of people hailing from Eastern Orissa have been misbehaving by telling others that they are inferior to them.

    Language is just a weapon in the hands of these people.
    Going by the concept of Language neutrality, Language has never played havoc in the life of a community.

    But once it is utilised by a group of people as a weapon to exploit others in pursuit their selfish interest, then it becomes very very dangerous. That has exactly happened in Odisa by the Castal people.

    No one should have any doubt that Odia has been utilised as a Language of colonial exploitation by the people of Eastern Orissa to systematically loot the resours-rich Western and Southern Orissa.

    Odia has been proved to be the Language of Colonial Capitalistic Exploitation by Cuttackias in Odisa.

    Readers are requested to go through my series of article titled
    “Aau Kete Dina Gaba Patara Khuaib He” — wherein I had defined the term Cuttacki.
    The book is expected to come out very soon.

    I had a lead essay on “The process of Cuttackisation and related evils”– I had dealt these issues at length and evolved the Concepts of Cuttackisation, Re-cuttackisation, De-cuttackisation in the light of Sociologist M.N.Srinivasan’s concept of Sanskritisation, Re-Sanskririsation, & De-sanskritisation.

    “Cuttackia” is not a proper or Common noun. It is an Abstract Noun.
    “It symbolises the distictive features of people of Coastal Orissa.
    Cuttackisation is process whereby there seems to be an involuntary tendency by the people of rest of the state to emulate these typical characteristics.”

    Another feature of Bhasa Charcha(Language Discourse) by Cuttackia Linguistics (as quoted above) is linking Samalpuri-Koshali (S-K)language movement with demand for a separate state.

    Bijaya Mohapatra has gone to the extent of making the S-K language movement as one of the prime reason for the imminent death of Oriya Language.

    Readers are requested to go throough these books as mentioned below.

    (1)Bruti a Mo Pose Kutumba– Odia Bhasa- Baigyanika Charchara Nutana Diganta– By Panchanan Mohanty — Page 62
    (2) Odia Bhasa Bibhaba– By Bijaya Prasad Mohapatra– page :- 381

    The tertiary sector of Book publishing is in Balubazar controlled by Cuttackias and necessarily we the Koshalis never get our things published like the Phd thesis of Dr. Ashok Dash which demistifies the myth of Samalpuri-Koshgali as a dialect(Upa-bhasa) of Odia.

    As a linguist he has proved the same. And to our misfortune this book is not a published work of art for wider circulation.

    For that matter the writings by Dr.Neelamadhab Panigrahi, Dr. Prafulla Tripathi, Prayag Dutta Joshi are yet to dessiminated in different parts of the country to have the awareness about the distinctive characteristics of Samalpuri-Koshali language.

    Lastly Persons like Debi Prasanna et al need not engage in politics of language.
    We know the reason why they want the subservient characteristics of S-K language & to serve which ends of who.

    Your Excellency Dr. Devi Prasannajee persons like you have done enough politics using Odia language as a means of parasitic survival for the people of Eastern Orissa.

    Dear Sirs,
    No more. It will be better for the future of Odia language & literature if you desist from such venomous remarks.

    By this kind of your attitude you will compel writers of the stature of Neelamadhab Panigrai or Mangalu Charan Biswal not to pen any more in Odia.

    It is pertinent that the present writer has also taken the vow not to contribute in Odia as profusely as he was doing during 80’s or 90’s.
    With regrds to all who have taken keen interest in this discourse of Samalpuri-Koshali language

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  • 6. Pradip Kumar Nath  |  August 3, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Dear Sirs/Madam,

    This is the readily available document regarding the K-S Language recognition and a place in the 8th schedule.

    A month’s back a debate was going on about some nitty -gritty things of Sambalpuri-Koshali (S-K) language and I had the occasion to inform Mr. Sapan Mishra that why this thing came up all on a sudden after almost seven and half years.

    Have the participants of this discussion forum not come accross this piece of information during the yester years since Dec,2003?

    I am really surprised to learn that many amongest the participants are not fully informed about the basic issue.

    I am sure the document attached below will give some clarity to all regarding the core issue of inclusion of a language in the 8th Schedule.

    (1) First of all there was no criteria following which initially some languages were kept in the 8th schedule(under article 344(1)and article 351– 18 lnguages mentioned below in the draft report).
    (2) To mitigate this problem the committee under the chaimanship of Sitakanta mohapatra was constituted to evolve the criteria basing on which a language will be recommended to be placed in the 8th schedule.

    But it is also a fact that without any criteria language like Bodo has already been placed in the 8th schedule.

    Necessarily, forget about all Expert Criteria. It is at the alter of Political Decision Making that every thing is possible in this country.

    in the same parlence a Language can find place in “The 8th Schedule with due POLITICAL PROCESS.

    The list for which consideration can be made was given in column –1 after 3.2.

    I am really surprised why and how this great issue(the Present Discourse) struck a few and the insensitive remark by the octogeneraian Debi Prasad coming up in the Op-Ed of Sambad starting with sarcastic questions?

    I strongly demand unconditional applogy by Devi Prasanna Pattnaik for writing this in sAMBAD.

    Also I demand unconditional apology by the Proprietor of Sambad “Sri Soumya Ranjan Pattnaik” in the front page of his newspaper –Sambad for playing with the sentiments of more than 1.5 Crore of Sambalpuri-Koshli citizens of Orissa.

    The remark by Soumya Ranjan in Sambalpur to the eminent citizens of Sambalpur to put up a PRATIBAD which he will publish– is more shocking.

    The reply to an Op-Ed Article is another Op-ed article in the same place if necessary bigger than the original one. That is called reply.

    To who Somya Babu is teaching really?

    Is this the media ethics that Sambad has developed recenty?
    If So I have nothing to say.

    One thing I would like to inform that none of the leading newspapers (Samaj,Sambad,Dharitri) ever mentioned a single line about Satyarana Bohidar’s Birthday (known as the Father of Sambalpuri-Koshali Language) on 1st August.

    Forget about the sensibility to publish any article on his Literary contribution.

    Since 1995, I have been deligently contributing articles written in Oriya(not in S-K Language) to these state level newspapers with a very large circulation.

    Last year on 1st August people might have seen the article in Sambad on the Literary contribution of Satyanarayan.

    It is fact that articles on these great sons of Orissa are regularly contributed by writers from western Orissa. They have very little chance of publication since the Media house is in complete command of CUTTACKIA MEDIA Barons.

    How to circumvent these core issues?

    Think aloud dear SUKHBASI of Koshal.

    Dr. Pradip Kumar Nath











    DECEMBER, 2003/Agrahayana, 1925 (SAKA)


    C O N T E N T S






    I. The Constitution (One- Hundredth Amendment) Bill, 2003



    1. Shri Pranab Mukherjee- Chairman


    2. Shri Kapil Sibal

    3. Shri Hansraj Bhardwaj

    4. Shri Motilal Vora

    5. Smt. Ambika Soni

    6. Shri B.P. Singhal

    7. Shri Janeshwar Mishra

    8. Dr. V. Maitreyan

    9. Shri Lalu Prasad

    10. Shri Drupad Borgohain

    11. Shri Ram Jethmalani

    ¢ 12. Shri Pramod Mahajan

    # 13. Shri A. Vijayaraghavan

    * 14. Dr. L.M.Singhvi


    15. Shri Adhi Sankar

    16. Begum Noor Bano

    17. Shri Swadesh Chakraborty

    18. Adv. Uttamrao Dhikale

    19. Shri M.O.H. Farook

    20. Shri Rajen Gohain

    21. Shri Vinay Katiyar

    22. Shri K. Karunakaran

    23. Shri Brahma Nand Mandal

    24. Sardar Simranjit Singh Mann

    25. Shri Ram Nagina Mishra

    26. Shri P.H. Pandian

    27. Shri Bhuma Nagi Reddy

    28. Shri Subodh Roy

    29. Shri Anadi Sahu

    30. Shri P.A. Sangma

    31. Shri Kishan Singh Sangwan

    32. Shri Iqbal Ahmed Saradgi

    33. Shri Manabendra Shah


    ¢ Nominated w.e.f. 27th February, 2003.

    # Nominated w.e.f.5 May 2003.

    * Nominated w.e.f. 27 July 2003.

    34. Shri Abdul Rashid Shaheen

    35. Shri C.K. Jaffer Sharief

    36. Capt. (Retd.) Inder Singh

    37. Sardar Buta Singh

    38. Shri Ramjilal Suman

    39. Shri Lal Bihari Tiwari

    40. Shri Prakash Mani Tripathi

    41. Shri Beni Prasad Verma

    42. Shri Rajkumar Wangcha

    £ 43. Dr.(Smt.) Sudha Yadav

    n 44. Shri Tarlochan Singh Tur


    Shri Satish Kumar, Additional Secretary

    Shri Tapan Chatterjee, Director

    Shri N.S. Walia, Under Secretary

    Shri Narendra Kumar, Research Officer

    Shri Ashok Kumar Sahoo, Committee Officer


    £ Nominated w.e.f. 27th February, 2003.

    n Nominated w.e.f. 7th April, 2003.



    I, the Chairman of the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, having been authorised by the Committee to submit the Report on its behalf, do hereby present this One Hundred-fifth Report of the Committee on the Constitution (One-Hundredth Amendment) Bill, 2003*.

    2. In pursuance of the Rules relating to the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committees, the Chairman, Rajya Sabha in consultation with the Speaker, Lok Sabha referred** the Bill, as introduced in the Lok Sabha on 9 May 2003 and pending therein, to the Committee for examination and report.

    3.0 The Committee heard the Home Secretary on the Bill and also took up clause-by-clause consideration in its sitting held on 15 October 2003.

    3.1 The Committee considered the draft Report on the Bill and adopted the same in its sitting held on 30 October 2003.

    4. In the course of its deliberations, the Committee has made use of the background note on the Bill received from the Ministry of Home Affairs;

    5. For facility of reference and convenience, observations and recommendations of the Committee have been printed in bold letters in the body of the Report.


    30 October 2003.


    Committee on Home Affairs



    The Constitution (One_Hundredth Amendment) Bill, 2003 (Annexure-I) seeks to include Bodo language in Devanagari script in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution and renumber the entries therein.

    2.0 The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution presently consists of eighteen languages out of which fourteen (Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and urdu) were incorporated originally and four were included subsequently (Sindhi in 1967 and Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali in 1992) therein.

    2.1 The Ministry has stated in its background note on the Bill that the reference of any criteria on the basis of which all the eighteen languages were included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution is not available with the government. The Ministry presumes that those languages might have been included as the languages spoken by the majority of the people of different regions/areas which existed at that time.

    3.0 The Ministry of Home Affairs has informed the Committee that demand is pending for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule in respect of Bodo and 371 other languages. The Ministry has also stated that the rationale behind such demands has been that (i) these languagesw swhould also have access to the benefits which accrue from inclusion in the Eighth Schedule. In addition there are emotional and psychological factors behind such demands which are linked to the psyche of the concerned linguistic groups. Non-inclusion of the languages in the Eighth Schedule is being viewed as amounting to non-recognition of the linguistic groups. Thus in the case of some languages, the demand has become a highly emotive issue.

    3.1 No criteria have been laid down in the Constitution for inclusion of more languages in the Eight Schedule. In the absence of any criterion for inclusion of languages in the Eighth Schedule, the Government of India has constituted a High Powered Body under the chairmanship of Shri Sita Kant Mohapatra to inter-alia evolve a set of objective criteria for inclusion of more languages in the Eighth Schedule.

    3.2 However, in the light of the Bodo Accord signed between the Government of India on the one hand and All Bodo Students Union and Bodo People’s Action Committee on the other on 20 February, 1993, the Government decided to delink the matter of inclusion of Bodo language in the Eighth Schedule from the issue of setting up of High Powered Body for evolving criteria for inclusion of more languages in the Eighth Schedule.

    1 Angika, Banjara, Bazika, Bhojpuri, Bhoti, Bhotia, Chhattisgarhi, Dhatki, Dogri, English, Garhwali (Pahari), Gondi, Ho, Kachchhi, Kamatapuri, Khasi, Kodava (Coorg), Kok Barak, Kumaoni (P)ahari), Kurak, Kurmali, Lepcha, Limhu, Mizo (Lushai), Magahi, Maithili, Mundari, Nagpuri, Nicobarese, Pahari (Himachali), Pali, Rajasthani, Sambalpuri (Kosali), Santhali, Shaurseni (Prakrit) Siraiki, Tenyidie and Tulu.

    4.0 The Background note supplied by the Ministry of Home Affairs on the Bill, also narrates the reasons for inclusion of Bodo language in the Eighth Schedule which are as follows:

    (i) The Bodos are the largest ‘plain tribes’ in Assam. According to the 1991 census, 1.2 million people or 5.3% of the total population of Assam identified themselves as speakers of the Bodo language. The Bodos chiefly inhabit Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Nalbari, Kamrup and Darrang Districts of Assam;

    (ii) The Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) which unilaterally suspended its operation w.e.f. 14 July 1999 has demanded inclusion of the said language in the Eighth Schedule;

    (iii) There is consensus between the Union government, the State government of Assam and BLT for inclusion of the said language in the Eighth Schedule in view of sensitiveness of the Bodos on the issue of Bodo language;

    (iv) A provision exists in the Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed on 10 February 2003 that Bodo language in Devanagari script will be favourably considered by the Government of India for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule. The MoS has been widely welcomed in the Bodo dominated areas; and

    (v) With the signing of Mos, the Bodo people have decided to protect their identity, culture and economic developemnt of Bodo dominated areas.

    4.1 The government of India is of the view that by including Bodo language in the Eighth Schedule one of the demands of the BLT would be fulfilled which would help in restoring peace in the State of Assam. the Government is also of the view that this may also pave ground for militant groups operative in other States to come forward for dialogue with the government in order to solve their problems for bringing peace in the concerned States.

    5.0 On being asked about the Terms of Reference of the Mohapatra Committee, the Home Secretary, at the time of his deposition, mentioned that the Committee is to study the feasibility of treating the 18 languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution as official languages of the Union in addition to evolving a set of objective criteria for inclusion of more languages in the Eighth Schedule.

    5.1 Referring to the demands for according the status of official languages of the Union, to the languages (other than Hindi) in the Eighth Schedule, the Home Secretary mentioned about Articles 343, 344 and 351 of the Constitution which speak of strengthening, improving and developing the use of Hindi as the official language of the Union. He stated that originally it was thought to use the languages included in the Eighth Schedule for the promotion of Hindi as official language. However, he felt that the Original position got a shift after the adoption of the Offricial Language Resolution, 1968 by parliament. The Resolution says: (a) that compulsory knowledge of Hindi or English shall be required at the stage of selection of candidates for recruitment ot the Union Services or posts; (b) that all the languages included in the Eighth Schedule and English shall be permitted as aternative media for the All India and Higher Central Services Examinations after ascertaining the views of the Union Public Service Commission on the future scheme of the examinations, the procedural aspects and the timing. About the inclusion of the languages in the Eighth Schedule, in the UPSC examination , the Home Secretary stated that the UPSC gas conveyed its difficulties in the matter.

    6.0 The Committee, after due deliberation on the provisions of the Bill and keeping in view the demands for inclusion of other languages in the Eighth Schedule, endorsed the proposed legislation. But it feels that many of the languages such as Bhojpuri, Maithili, Angika, Magahi, Santhali demanding inclusion in the Eighth Schedule are under the umbrella of Hindi language. Individual recognized status given to these languages by inclusion in the Eighth Schedule may compromise the primacy accorded to Hindi by the Constitution as the language of the largest group of Indians.

    6.1 The committee feels that the letter and spirit of Articles 343, 344 a nd 351 of the Constitution in relation to Hindi ought to be taken proper care of.

    6.2 The Committee adopts the clauses of the Bill without any amendment and recommends that the Biull be passed. thge committee desires that its views should also be communicated to the High Powered Body for its consideration.


    Extract from the Constitution of India

    * * * *

    Eighth Schedule

    (Articles 344 (1) And 351)


    1. Assamese

    2. Bengali

    3. Gujarati

    4. Hindi

    5. Kannada

    6. Kashmiri

    7. Konkani

    8. Malayalam

    9. Manipuri

    10. Marathi

    11. Nepali

    12. Oriya

    13. Punjabi

    14. Sanskrit

    15. Sindhi

    16. Tamil

    17. Telugu

    18. Urdu

    * * * * * * *




    * Published in the Gazette of India Extraordinary, Part-II, Section 2, dated 18 August 2003.

    ** Parliamentary Bulletin Part-II No.40911 dated 5 September 2003.



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