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International Mother Language Day and Delhi Demands for Language Rights

Published On : 27 Feb 2016

Campaign for Language Equality and Rights (CLEAR), headed by Shri Senthil Nathan, with a view to change India’s Language Policy, had invited representatives of Indian languages to assemble in Delhi, on Feb. 21, 2016 – the International Mother Language Day.


Accordingly, representatives of 40 Indian languages addressed a Press Conference and released the ‘Delhi Demands for Language Rights’, at 1 noon, at the Press Club of India, Raisina Road, and at 5, that evening, gathered at Jantar Mantar and held a ‘Candle-Light Vigil’, to initiate the campaign to change India’s Language Policy.

The major demands are –

1. To declare all languages included in the VIIIth Schedule of the Indian Constitution (including Konkani), as Official Languages of the Union Government.
2. To include all languages recommended by the Mahapatra Committee in the VIIIth Schedule of the Constitution.
3. The Central and State Governments to protect and preserve tribal and lesser languages threatened with extinction.
4. Fight against the imposition of one language over the others, undertaken by the Central Government, specially Hindi.
5. Allow each language the right to choose their own script/scripts for literature in their language.

The Delhi Demands were endorsed by the following, representing their languages –

Anand G. Karnataka (Kannada) Deepak Pawar Maharashtra (Marathi) Ganesh Chetan Karnataka (Kannada) Garga Chatterjee West Bengal (Bengali) Joga Singh Virk Punjab (Punjabi) Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula Tamil Nadu (Tamil, Telugu) Mani M. Manivannan Tamil Nadu (Tamil) P. Pavithran Kerala (Malayalam) Priyank KS Karnataka (Kannada) Ravishankar Ayyakkannu Tamil Nadu (Tamil) Saket Shreebushan Sahu Odisha (Kosali) S. Senthilnathan (Aazhi Senthilnathan) Tamil Nadu (Tamil) Thamizneriyan Tamil Nadu (Tamil) Vasant Shetty Karnataka (Kannada) Eric Ozario Karnataka (Konkani) Vivek V. Karnataka (Kannada) Umakanthan P. Karnataka (Kannada, Tamil)

Given the atmosphere of intolerance and imposition that we live in, in India today and especially in view of the fight for equal rights for all scripts of Konkani that we are fighting against the Kendra Sahitya Akademi, in the courts of law, this campaign for Language Rights has a great significance for the future of Konkani.

I, therefore, entreat every Konkani organisation to join this campaign enthusiastically. The developments in this regard will be informed from time-to-time.

I must place on record my sense of pride at the participation of the leaders and members of the Kanara Cultural Association, headed by its President, Smt. Lydia D’Almeida. In fact, it was a matter of great pride for me that Konkanis’ was the largest contingent at the ‘Candle-Light Vigil’. I congratulate and thank them on behalf of Jago’tik Konknni So’ngho’tto’n.

I once again remind every Konkani organisation to initiate the implementation of the Konkani Language

Plan adopted 6 months ago. ‘De’v bo’rem ko’rum’.

Eric Ozario

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