Friday, February 11, 2011

THE CONSTITUTION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2001 (TO AMEND THE EIGHTH SCHEDULE)


THE CONSTITUTION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2001 (TO AMEND THE EIGHTH SCHEDULE)
  The Bill, by leave, was withdrawn.
  
DR. KARAN SINGH, moving the Motion for consideration of the Bill, said  : The Dogra community has made an outstanding contribution to this nation.  I do not have to go into the history.  In the Kargil war, the Dogra Regiment did outstanding work.  In the filed of art, you will see pahadi art and the Dogran artists there.  Dogra land has produced great musicians.  Ustad Allah Rakha Khan was a Dogri, and Zakir Hussain is a Dogri. There are Dogran Hindus of all castes.  There are Dogran Muslims and Sikhs.  In every field, the Dogras have done extraordinarily well.  It is, therefore, a glaring omission that in the Eighth Schedule, a language spoken by about one crore people in Jammu and Kashmir, in Himachal Pradesh and in, at least, two of the districts of Punjab-Gurdaspur and Hoshiapur-which are bordering on Jammu and Kashmir, where the Dogra Regimental Centre’s recruitment takes place, Dogri is spoken, has not been included.
Dogri has a strong literary tradition.  It has been recognised as a modern Indian language by the Sahitya Akademi. The Sahitya Akademi has awarded over thirty writers and various awards, including Padma Awards to writers, to litterateurs and to poets.  There are Dogri literary bodies which are functioning.  Radio and television news are also now coming in Dogri.  Dogras are a linguistic minority in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.  Therefore, there is a directive in our Constitution that there should be an adequate provision and facilities for linguistic minorities.  Dogri is taught at School and University level in the Jammu region. It is recognised under Jammu and Kashmir Constitution, as one of the languages.  In the past we have received several assurances from the Government.  The Dogri Sangharsh Morcha delegation met with the hon. Prime Minister, some months ago and also gave him a memorandum in this respect.  The Jammu and Kashmir Government strongly supports the inclusion of Dogri in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. All parties, whether it is the National Conference or the BJP or the Congress, in Jammu and Kashmir, are unanimous in their support that Dogri should be included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.  So, what is the problem?

Hindi speaking people should not fear this inclusion of Dogri in the Eighth Schedule will harm them in any way.  Hindi speaking people should encourage Dogras.  Dogras have their own culture, history and aspirations. So, injustice is being done to Dogra community.  I would like to have an assurance from Government that it will bring forward a Constitution amendment Bill in this very year for inclusion of Dogri language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.  I hope that my this Bill will be passed unanimously.

            SHRI MOOLCHAND MEENA : I Support the Bill.  It is necessary that all the regional languages, whether it may be Dogri language or Rajasthani or Braj language, which have literature and have contributed to culture and helped maintaining unity and integrity must be included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.  Jammu and Kashmir Government have given recognition to the Dogri language. When it will be included in the Eighth Schedule, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and other States can also use the Dogri languageDogri language and its literature is being taught in many Universities. 
            Dogri speaking people have helped Jawans posted on border.  Therefore, the language should be included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
            SHRI KRIPAL PARMAR : I support the Bill. Effects of Dogri language has reached from Jammu and Kashmir to Kangra, Chamba, Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh and Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur in Punjab.  In recuitment of Dogra Regiment, people of all religions and castes speaking Dogra language from these areas are admitted.  Dogras have their own history and they have sacrificed their lives in protecting borders of India.  I therefore appeal that Dogri language should be included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
            SHRIMATI SARLA MAHESHWARI: 'Dogri' is spoken in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Haryana by over a crore people and has a rich literature.  There are over 3000 languages in the world which are on the verge of extinction and need protection. 'Dogri' has been recognised as regional language in Jammu and Kashmir and is taught in schools and universities. The Sahitya Akadami has recognised 'Dogri' as an independent literary language.  The first glossary of  'Dogri' language was published in the year 1967.  All these facts bear a testimony to the strength and scope of this language.
            Multiplicity of languages never lead to language conflict.  Switzerland stands a good example thereof.  Growth and development of regional languages is not going to have any adverse effect on Hindi. Languages should be allowed to grow in a free environment as they relate to our day to day functioning in different walks of life.  I support the Bill brought here by Dr. Karan Singhji.
            SHRI BALKAVI BAIRAGI: I am fortunate enough to have this opportunity to speak on the Bills presented by two distinguished personalities of our time i.e. Dr. Karan Singhji and Dr. L.M. Singhviji who have excelled themselves in their respective fields.
            Initially there were 14 languages in the Eighth Schedule and now the number has gone upto 18 and if two more languages i.e. 'Dogri' and 'Rajasthani' are also included therein, this number would come to 20.
            By adding these two languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India, we are in a way enriching it.
            The contribution of Dr. Karan Singhji, mover of this motion, and Shrimati Padma Sachdev in the development of 'Dogri' language has been a remarkable one and that the nation is proud of both of them.
            Let me make it clear that inclusion of Dogri and Rajasthani languages is not going to affect Hindi in any manner, whatsoever.  Rather Hindi would get enriched by development of other Indian languages spoken in different parts of the country.
            SHRIMATI JAMANA DEVI BARUPAL: I support the Bill moved by Dr. Karan Singhji for inclusion of  'Dogri' language in the Eighth Schedule and I also request the Government to include Rajasthani language also in the relevant Schedule.
            DR. L.M. SINGHVI: Indian Languages have a very wide dimension and panorama and do touch every aspect of our lives.  These provide unity in diversity and diversity in unity, which is a unique feature of this country of which we are so proud.  In the words of Dr. Radhakrishnan, "Indian Literature is but one, though written in different languages".
            Alongwith Hindi all other regional languages need to be developed.  Languages are like free flowing rivers and keep growing constantly.
            Rajasthani language also has five different dialects.  I like Hindi no less than Rajasthani We need to pay our attention to the development of those languages as well which do not figure in the Constitution.  Only then, we shall be able to do justice to these languages.
            MIRZA ABDUL RASHID: I rise to support the Bill moved by learned, Dr. Karan Singhji for inclusion of  'Dogri' langauge in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. 'Dogri' is a widely-spoken language in the country.  The literature in 'Dogri' is also very rich. 
            When LOC was earmarked in J & K, Dogri language suffered a major set back. Even today in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in Kashmir valley, 99 per cent people speak Dogri.  Apart from this, Dogri is spoken and understood by a large number of people in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and all over India.
           
Dr. Karan Singh, a great leader of the country and a well known learned personality, has worked stupendously in respect of Dogri language.  Our Prime Minister Shri Vajpayeeji also had assured to a delegation which met him in this connection, that this would be included in the 8th schedule of the Constitution by bringing an amendment.  Therefore, I request the Central Government to approve this Bill at the earliest possible for meeting this long cherished  demand of the people.
            SHRI JANESHWAR MISHRA: Language is a medium of expression.  Each person speak one or another language.  The language of some people, who are less in number and reside in remote areas, cannot  progress inspite of its being beautiful and rich in terms of literature.  Here lies the feelings of Dr. Karan Singh and he  desires the inclusion of Dogri language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.

            Language is also an instrument of exploitation.  There is a tragedy in India that a foreign language has been exploiting all other languages of India including Hindi also.  I would like to know whether the Governance of India would be run through a language in which we listened lullaby by our grand mothers etc. in our childhood or whether it would operate through a language which was taught to us 15 or 20 years later?  Unless we realise this secret, not only Dogri or Rajasthani or Tamil or Malayalam, even Hindi  would continue to be a victim of exploitation.  The House must realise this fact.  With these words, I support the Bill.
            DR. RAMENDRA KUMAR YADAV ‘RAVI’: I rise to support the proposal brought by Dr. Karan Singh.  Although I have no knowledge of Dogri, but I know this language is spoken in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Gurdaspur district of Punjab and in  some other areas.  We have no  thermometer or electrometer to measure sorrow, kindness, hope, disappointment, emotion, aspiration and ambition. Language is an instrument of expressing these  feelings.

            People admit that richness of  a language is the criteria assessing the culture and civilization of a country.  Literature is the reflecting mirror of a society.  Every single person of the society is linked with the feelings, emotions, expressions and eternity of life and they are expressed in the literature, in whatever language it might be.  That is why, I wish to state that literature brings the society together.  Therefore, I hope from the House that the proposal brought here by a great learned person, Dr. Karan Singhji, must get the support of the whole House without any ifs and buts.

            SHRI S.S. AHLUWALIA: While supporting the Constitution Amendment Bill brought here for the inclusion of Dogri in the 8th Schedule, I would like to state that Dogri language is widely identified in the north India. The Dogra community has been famous for its  acts of bravery shown against the aggressors, while protecting our Indian territories.  Whether one knows or does not know Dogri,  when Dogri words used in film songs, fell on our ears, its rhythm creates a sensation in the body of the listener.

            One can express his feelings perfectly only in his mother tongue.  Nearby 4000 dialects are used in India.  There is no country on the globe which is known for its unity, integrity and love for nation  inspite of having so many languages. A National Commission is required to deal the issue of including various languages, spoken in five hundred districts of the country, in the 8th Schedule of Constitution.  This would bring these languages in the mainstream, which are presently deprived of this status.  With these words, I support this Bill.

            SHRIMATI CHANDRA KALA PANDEY:I would like to welcome the Bill brought here by Dr. Karan Singh.  There are a number of languages in India.  Language is a mean of carrying knowledge.  It is a unifying factor between one person and the other.
            I would like to support the bill moved by Dr. Karan Singh.  It is a long pending demand of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to include the Dogri language in the Eight Schedule of the Constitution.  For the development of any language, Government’s cooperation and support is necessary.  I also agree with the view-point of Shri Ahluwalia and Dr. Karan Singh that a Commission or Standing Committee should be appointed in this regard.

            THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS ( SHRI I.D. SWAMI), intervening in the debate, said: The number of languages in the Eight schedule has increased from 14 to 18 and demand of 32 languages for inclusion is pending with the Government.  In 1996, the Government appointed a Committee of Officers to determine an objective criteria in this regard.

            There is no opposition from Hindu language or Hindi speaking people.  But we do not have any criteria on which we can decide.  Officers Committee had recommended  that a High Powered Committee should be appointed  and there would be a need to associate Experts in that committee. Neither we opposed nor we want to evade this demand.

            I consider the demand of inclusion of Dogri language in Eight Schedule of the Constitution justified and all of us support this demand. I assure the hon.  Member that decision would be taken by the Government at the earliest whether it is by setting up of a High Powered Committee with the request to submit its report within two months time or by getting it decided by the Cabinet itself.  In view of this, I request Dr. Karan Singh ji to withdraw his bill.

            The hon. Member, replying to the debate, said :  I am very happy to see that all the Members of the House have supported this Bill and I am grateful to them for that.  We, all in this House, are in favour of inclusion of Dogri language in the Eight Schedule.  But I am disappointed with the reply of the hon. Minister on this point that the Government would appoint an High Powered Committee for this.  In this way, they are going to dilute the whole issue.  However, the hon. Minister has assured that the Government would take decision in this regard at the earliest.  In view of this assurance, I withdraw the Bill. 
            The Bill, by leave, was withdrawn.


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