The Union Government has indicated again that there is no move to include Tulu in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution at present.
"It is neither practical nor administratively feasible, at present, to increase the number of official languages," the Government said on Tuesday.
Replying to an un-starred question by Member of Parliament from Kasaragod (Kerala) Rajmohan Unnithan in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said: "There have been demands from time to time for inclusion of Tulu in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. As the evolution of dialects and languages is a dynamic process, influenced by socio-cultural, economic and political developments, it is difficult to fix any criteria for languages, whether to distinguish them from dialects, or for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution." "The earlier attempts, through Pahwa (1996) and Sitakant Mohapatra (2003) Committees, to evolve such fixed criteria, have been inconclusive. The Union Government is conscious of the sentiments and requirements for inclusion of other languages in the Eighth Schedule. Such requests have to be considered keeping in mind these sentiments, and other relevant considerations. Since several of these languages are spoken in several States, their use is not restricted by State boundaries."
The Minister said that no proposal is pending with the Government to declare as official language any other language. He said: "However, a committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Sitakant Mohapatra recommended that status quo ante should continue with regard to the recognition of the languages in the Eighth Schedule as official languages of the Union. It is neither practical nor administratively feasible, at present, to increase the number of official languages. As per Article 343 (1) of the Constitution, the official language of the Union is Hindi in Devanagari script. However, as per Section 3 of the Official Languages Act, 1963, English language continues to be used as official language of the Union in addition to Hindi."
Mr. Unnithan repeatedly wanted to know whether the Government has planned to include Tulu in the Eighth Schedule as Tulu is a Dravidian language whose speakers are concentrated in two coastal districts of Karnataka and in Kasaragod district of Kerala. He had asked the same question on February 9, 2021.
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