A group of Hindi professors have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting not to add dialects of Hindi, like Bhojpuri and Rajasthani, in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution as full-fledged Indian languages.
This development comes months after Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal had announced that Rajasthani will be added to 8th Schedule. In December 2016, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also had raised a similar demanded for Bhojpuri.
What these HIndi scholars are arguing?
Eighth schedule means independent identity of a language and Hindi’s prime strength is the large number of its speakers. Recognition of its dialects as separate languages will deprive Hindi of millions of its speakers. They fear that there will be eventually be no Hindi left if its key dialects are recognised as separate languages.
Eighth Schedule of the Constitution
They are the lists official languages recognised by the Constitution. The Eighth Schedule to the Indian Constitution contains a list of 22 scheduled languages viz. Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Sindhi (added by 21st Amendment Act, 1967), Konkani, Manipuri, Nepali (added by 71st Amendment Act, 1992), Bodo, Dogri, Maithili, Santal (added by 92nd Amendment 2003). The list had originally 14 languages only but subsequently through amendments 8 new languages were added (highlighted in bold).