Karnataka govt. asks Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal on steps taken to adopt second State language

February 24, 2024 10:16 pm | Updated February 26, 2024 11:44 am IST - MANGALURU

Shivaraj Tangadagi

Shivaraj Tangadagi | Photo Credit:

The State government has said that because of demands for declaring Tulu as the second State language, it has asked Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal governments to furnish information on the steps taken by them to adopt their second State language.

Replying to an unstarred question by B.M. Farooq in the Legislative Council on Friday, Minister for Kannada and Culture Shivaraj S. Tangadagi said information from three States had been sought on the opinion by the State’s Legal Department.

The Minister said the State government on January 12, 2023 issued an order constituting a committee headed by M. Mohan Alva, chairman, Alva’s Education Foundation, Moodbidri, to study and submit it a report on declaring Tulu as the second State language. The committee submitted its report after studying the structure of Tulu, its history, literary tradition, modern and ancient Tulu literature, Tulu inscriptions, and Tulu script and culture. Later, the government sought the opinion of the Legal Department on the report.

The Legal Department opined that if any State was to declare a language as the second State language, it should obtain a report from a legally constituted committee and it should study the steps taken by other States in this regard.

States with multiple state languages:
Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir: Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi
West Bengal: Bengali, Hindi
Bihar: Maithili, Bhojpuri, Urdu, Hindi
Andhra Pradesh: Telugu, Urdu
Meghalaya: Khasi, Garo, Hindi
Maharashtra: Marathi, Konkani, Hindi
Assam: Assamese, Bodo
Gujarat: Gujarati, Bodo
Sikkim: Nepali, Sikkimese, Lepcha

Hence, the Minister said, a report from a government-constituted committee had already been obtained and now information had been sought from the three States.

The Minister said the State government had already submitted proposals to the Union government to include Tulu in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

Union government’s reply

It may be mentioned here that the Union government told the Rajya Sabha in March 2023 that there are no fixed criteria for consideration of any language for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule. The attempt to fix such criteria through the Sitakant Mohapatra Committee has been inconclusive, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai had said while replying to a question by member D. Veerendra Heggade.

In December 2021, the Union government told the Lok Sabha that there is no move to include Tulu in the Eighth Schedule. “It is neither practical nor administratively feasible, at present, to increase the number of official languages,” Mr. Rai said while replying to an un-starred question by member from Kasaragod (Kerala) Rajmohan Unnithan.

“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 Minister said.

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