PATNA: Former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi on Sunday solicited the support of Bhojpuri-speaking people belonging to Bihar and other states, saying he would definitely strive for the inclusion of the language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution if the BJP comes to power at the Centre following the 2014 parliamentary elections.

Modi, who was addressing the writers, litterateurs and others concerned during the concluding ceremony of the two-day silver jubilee convention of Akhil Bharatiya Bhojpuri Sahitya Sammelan (ABBSS), said that it was really unfortunate that Bhojpuri, even though spoken in several countries, had not yet been granted due constitutional recognition and honourable place in the comity of linguistic identities in the country.

“I will also participate actively along with you in your struggle to gain constitutional recognition for Bhojpuri language, if the BJP government is formed at the Centre. In several countries, Bhojpuri is used even in official works,” Modi said.

Interestingly, of the five major local languages spoken in Bihar – Maithili, Bhojpuri, Magahi, Angika and Vajjika – Maithili gained due constitutional recognition in 2003 during the tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government at the Centre.

As to Bihar, the state government has not yet devised any concrete policy framework and institutional mechanism to promote the remaining four other local languages and their respective local cultures, even though they define the state’s local cultural zones and implied cultural diversity.

Last year, state education department adopted a policy to impart education to schoolchildren in primary schools in their local languages, but it could not move beyond that with respect to Magahi, Angika and Vajjika languages, as no follow-up action was taken with regard to the books prescribed.

Among the other prominent BJP leaders who addressed the ABBSS’s concluding session, deputy leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ravishankar Prasad pointed out that Bhojpuri was also his language, and, therefore, he would make efforts for its inclusion in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. What had surprised him was that it was spoken in 16 countries, but had not yet been given an honourable space (in the country), Prasad said.

BJP national secretary and party’s MLA from Nokha (Rohtas) Rameshwar Chaurasia said it was incumbent on every Bhojpuri-speaking person to give his/her utmost for constitutional recognition to the language, and pledged to do the same. Among others who addressed the meet were Bihar legislative council chairman Awadhesh Narayan Singh and BJP MLA Renu Devi.


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