Jaipur, Mar 16 (PTI) Rajasthan government has formed a committee to consider declaring Rajasthani the official language of the state, minister B D Kalla said on Thursday.
Replying to the calling attention motion moved by the deputy leader of Opposition in the Rajasthan Assembly during Zero Hour, Kalla, the art and culture minister, informed the house that the government has approved the formation of a committee, which will study the model of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand and submit a report to the state government.
He said based on the report, the state government will take action regarding the recognition of the Rajasthani language on similar lines.
Kalla said, at present, the Rajasthani language is included as a literary subject in the syllabus under the Board of Secondary Education. He said it would be possible to include it as a language after approval from the competent level.
The minister said it has come to the notice of the state government that different languages have been made official languages in different states.
At present, the Rajasthan Official Language Act, 1956 is applicable in the state. In order to make Rajasthani the official language, an amendment to the Act will have to be made.
He said the Mahapatra Committee has also considered Rajasthani eligible for inclusion in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution. In this regard, the members of the party and the opposition should unite and request Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking on the issue, Rathore said various states have given official language status to their local languages such as Goa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Sikkim and West Bengal.
“Why cannot Rajasthan do the same under article 345 of the Constitution,” he questioned.
Article 345 of the Indian Constitution, provides constitutional recognition as "official languages" to any language adopted by a state legislature as the official language of that state.
He said as per the recommendations of the Pahwa committee 1996 and Sitakant Mahapatra Committee 2003 if any government gives primary education in the mother tongue then it is eligible to be included in the 8th schedule.
“The resolution taken by the state assembly in 2003 to add Rajasthani in the 8th schedule should start with the state making it an official language,” he said.
Rathore said article 345 of the constitution allows a state to make one or more languages its official language. The state should bring an amendment to the Rajasthan Official Language Act-1956 and give official status to Rajasthani.
In his response, Kalla said on August 25, 2003, a resolution was unanimously passed by all the members of the State Legislative Assembly regarding the recognition of the Rajasthani language and its inclusion in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
The central government was urged to include the Rajasthani language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution in 2009, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2023. At present the matter is under consideration at the level of the Government of India, he said.
A total of 22 languages of India are included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India.
In a written reply in Lok Sabha on March 14, Minister of State of Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said 14 languages were initially included in the Constitution on 26th January 1950.
Last year, former CM Vasundhara Raje demanded that Rajasthani be given the status of the official language of the state.
Raje had written a letter to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot stating that the mother tongue of Rajasthan is one of the richest languages in the world which is not only cultural identity but it is also related to sentiments.
She said after the recognition of Rajasthani as the official language, the state will be recognised globally and employment and tourism opportunities will increase.
In January this year, hundreds of youths gathered at the Shaheed Smarak in Jaipur to raise their demand to give Rajasthani the status of the official language of Rajasthan.
Office-bearers of student unions of various universities, student organisations including ruling Congress’ student wing NSUI and youth from different districts had gathered for the candle march in Jaipur in support of the demand. PTI AG RHL