Moving the resolution, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma described it as a “historic decision” for the state. The resolution was passed by voice vote.
“It is a long pending demand. Every single citizen of our state has really wanted this particular resolution to go through so that Khasi and Garo languages are included in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution,” he said.
Before passing the resolution, members of the opposition Congress besides associate member of the ruling United Democratic Party lauded the National People’s Party-led coalition government for bringing the resolution.
“We will go all out to demand from the Centre to ensure that the two languages are included in the Constitution,” Himalaya Muktan Shangpliang of the Congress said.
The resolution stated that according to the Census 2011, Garo has a language population of 936,496.
Garo belongs to the Tibet-Burman group of languages.
Khasi belongs to the Austro-Asiatic family in the Mon-Khmer group. It is widely spoken in Meghalaya and in parts of Assam and Bangladesh. The only language belonging to this family which has been included in the Eighth Schedule so far is Santali.
The Khasi Authors’ Society said that according to the 2011 Census, there are 14,31,344 people in India who spoke Khasi, which, as a written language, has completed 176 years.
In 2005, the Meghalaya Assembly recognised Khasi and Garo as the state’s associate official languages. But English continues to be an official language as no other language links the Khasi, Jaintia and the Garo communities.