Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Saturday demanded the inclusion of Ho and Mundari languages in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution at the earliest.
Addressing a presser, BJD MLAs Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and Basanti Hembram and BJD’s General Secretary Shreemayee Mishra said the inclusion of these languages in the Constitution is extremely important.
The three BJP leaders pointed that with a Scheduled Tribe population of over 22.85 percent, Odisha is home to 62 tribal communities, including 13 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG).
“Indigenous peoples of the state have been demanding the inclusion of Ho and Mundari languages in Constitution since long. In this connection, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also written to the Centre twice seeking inclusion of two tribal languages in 8th Schedule of the Constitution,” the party stated.
“Ho language is spoken by nearly 10 lakh tribal people living in Odisha and Jharkhand. After Santhali, which has already been included, Ho is the second most widely spoken tribal language in Odisha.
Similarly, Mundari is spoken by more than six lakh people belonging to the Munda and Mundari tribes of Odisha, ” stated the party.
“All the political parties in their respective poll manifestoes had promised to raise their demand before the Centre for inclusion of tribal languages in 8th Schedule of Constitution, but no initiative was made by them after elections. A committee was also formed and report has also been submitted in this regard, ” it said.
Hembram said, “As many as 30 lakh people in the country and 10 lakh in Odisha use Ho language. The tribal language will extinct if it did not get status in the Constitution.”
Mishra said, that Koshali is a very sweet dialect. Around 75 lakh people speak Koshali. Even the epics like Ramayan and Mahabharat have been written in Koshali. She further demanded the inclusion of Koshali in 8th Schedule of the Constitution.