The Nepali language speaking community spread across different states in India recently celebrated the 28th anniversary of the recognition of Nepali language by the Indian Constitution.
It was on 20th day of August 1992 when the constitution of India gave recognition to Nepali language and included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. It was a moment of great achievement for all the Indian Nepalese or the Gorkhas.
Thus, with the long pending demand of language recognition being fulfilled, 20 August now remains as a historic day and is celebrated as ‘Nepali Bhasha Manyata Diwas.’
It was Late Anand Sing Thapa along with others who voiced for the demand for the recognition of Nepali language, just like any other Indian language. This ignited a peaceful democratic struggle amongst the Nepali speaking community in India to achieve the constitutional demand.
It is said that the struggle started from Dehradun and it found its way to Sikkim and the Darjeeling hills and further gained great momentum all over the country.
Among the many, Dil Kumari Bhandari, the then Member of Parliament from Sikkim and the wife of the then Chief Minister, Nar Bahadur Bhandari, had played a vital and constructive role in the recognition struggle. Bhandari tabled the Bill in the Lok Sabha and was successful in gathering the support of nearly three hundred MPs to get the bill passed.
It is believed that it took around 36 years of struggle to get the recognition. However, only celebrating this day would not do much difference. We have to delve deeper and ask ourselves, “what have we done to protect and save our language?” This is the only way we can pay respect to our language and to all those who really struggled for getting the recognition.