Attended the ’27th Nepali Bhasa Manyata Diwas’ celebrations organized by Sikkim Pragya Pratisthan at Manan Kendra today.
We are aware that the Nepali language got recognition as one of the official languages of the Country on 20th August,1992 on its inclusion in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India. It could not be celebrated on 20th August this year as the Nation was in mourning on the sad demise of Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India.
‘Nepali Bhasa Manyata Diwas’ is an opportunity to honour the contributions made by poets, writers as well as lovers of language, literature and culture, who have helped to develop, progress and promote Nepali language. I remembered and paid tributes to our legendry writers and eminent literary personalities for their selfless benefaction in this regard.
Following are some of the highlights of my address:-
1. The long struggle for recognition of Nepali in India ended in 1992. The Bharatiya Nepali Rashtriya Parishad was constituted in the year 1990 to lead the movement, headed by Late Shri Nar Bahadur Bhandari, the then Chief Minister. Credit also goes to all the writers and poets, right from Shri Anandmani Singh Thapa to Smt. Dil Kumari Bhandari, who played a pivotal role as MP, Lok Sabha towards the fulfilment of the demand.
2. I spoke on the importance of Nepali language, which is the most significant and popular form of expression of a vast number of Nepali speaking communities in India. Language and literature help us to connect with our own tradition and culture as well of other communities and nationalities.
3. I urged everyone, particularly the youngsters to study about our past and think on what could be done to preserve and promote Nepali language. Our interest in Nepali language and literature was at its peak during the time of the struggle for its recognition as a National language. But unfortunately, after its inclusion in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution, I see that our people do not value and love Nepali language in the same way. Therefore, I called upon the writers and poets to work towards taking Nepali language and literature from national to international level.
4. Among many old languages of the world like, Korean, Hebrew, Greek, Chinese, Egyptian etc, Sanskrit is also one of the oldest languages in India. 2800 years ago, India was considered as a major centre of learning. It is also known that there existed Taxila University in India which taught Sanskrit. It is also considered as the first university of the world. However, the use of Sanskrit language was limited only to ‘gurus’ and high class Brahmins. This made the language unpopular among the common people as they were not even allowed to speak in it. At that time, English language was used by only a certain group of people in a part of England. Gradually, the language was taught to many people and thus English language spread to different parts of the world, making it an extremely popular from of expression.
5. I reiterated that we Nepali people must not live by resting on our laurels and past achievements. We must learn from our past and by no means we must take Nepali language and literature for granted. I urged all the Nepali speaking people to be proud of the language and show their love and interest for it. We must never ignore our own language by giving preference to other languages. If Nepali language is taken for granted and ignored the way that it is done now, the day might come when the language will become the language of the labour class only.
6. I emphasized on my vision of making Sikkim an exemplary society of the 21st century. Nepali language in Sikkim is the ‘lingua-franca’ and a connecting language for all the communities of the State. As we live in diverse culture with multiple local languages, I suggested the writers and the literary personalities to include more words from other local languages so that the Nepali language could further develop and advance.
7. I urged the students to be responsible individuals. They need to be sincere, determined and focused in their career to succeed in life. I made them known that life is full of problems and struggles. However, they should move ahead and never give up.They need to be positive by accepting the realities of life and always keep a problem-solving attitude.
I announced that from the next academic year, Nepali Primary teachers would be appointed by the Government.
I presented the first ever Rashmi Prasad Alley Award to Shri Khush Narayan Sharma in recognition of his contribution towards development and promotion of Nepali language.
I presented Rs.5 lakhs to Sikkim Pragya Prastisthan and an additional sum of Rs.2 lakhs for publishing Nepali magazine for students.