Meghalaya: KAS demands Khasi language inclusion in Constitution’s Eighth Schedule
SHILLONG, June 23, 2018: The Khasi Authors' Society (KAS) has urged the Meghalaya government to look into including the Khasi language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution with the Centre by this year.
Speaking to media on Rev. Thomas Jones Day, KAS president D.R.L. Nonglait said, "We urge the government not to wait for next year and take the matter to New Delhi by this year."
He added that the society is willing to work with any government and even ready to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking the language's inclusion in the Eighth Schedule.
Various Khasi communities and organisations of the state have been demanding the language's inclusion in the Eighth Schedule for several years but till date the government has not been able to forward the matter to the Centre. "After all, it is the Centre which will take a call on this," he said.
On the evolution of the Khasi language over the years, Nonglait said, "If we compare Khasi to other languages in the Northeast, it is the one in the forefront. The language is being recognised by the government as one of the associate official languages of the state in newspapers and also in the education sector. The language has grown a lot but it needs to be protected by the Constitution," he added.
Nonglait said Rev. Thomas Jones came to serve the Khasi people who were exposed to various forms of discrimination under the British rule.
"His (Jones) aim was to spread good news and free the Khasis from the shackles of ignorance for not having the alphabets. Though our forefathers had knowledge and wisdom, the existence of alphabets are equally important," he added.
The Welsh Christian missionary, who worked among the Khasi people of Meghalaya, also recorded the Khasi language in Roman script. He is also known as "The founding father of the Khasi alphabets and literature".
Nonglait said some of Jones' significant writing contributions includes Ka Kitab ban Hikai ia ka Ktien Khasi, a hymn book where he translated some of the songs from Welsh and English into Khasi and book on the gospel of Matthew.
"Rev. Thomas Jones also started three schools – Sohra, Mawsmai and Mawmluh – and also contributed to the economy by teaching the Khasi people various works such as handicrafts, artisan, cooking, businesses, among others," he added.
This is also the first holiday being observed by the state in recognition of Rev. Thomas Jones.
TNT News with inputs from The Telegraph