New Delhi:  Over a thousand year old and spoken by more than 20 crore people in 16 nations across the world, Bhojpuri remains a neglected language in its own country. Inspite of being endowed with the constitutional status in Mauritius, it struggles to get a mention in the constitution of India.

Facing the apathy of the ministers and the central government, the language is yet to be considered for inclusion in the 8th schedule of Indian constitution.

Delhi Bhojpuri Samaj president Ajit Dubey said, “In spite of having rich cultural heritage and literature Bhojpuri has been a victim of government neglect. Apart from the 14 initial languages Sindhi, Konkani, Manipuri, Nepali, Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santhali have been added in the 8th schedule of the constitution through amendments. Bhojpuri is not yet considered for the same.”

Expressing his disappointment he further added, “It’s ironical how a candidate can write an UPSC exam in Nepali-Sindhi other than Hindi-English but is not permitted to write the exam in Bhojpuri. This is unfair to all the Bhojpuri candidates who appear for such exams.

According to him, various MPs have presented private bills more than 15 times proposing Bhojpuri’s inclusion in the constitution. Also, Special Attention Motion has been moved in this regard but no results have been drawn.

Earlier, Sitakant Mohapatra Committee was set up to evolve a set of objective criteria for inclusion of more languages in the Eighth Schedule. In its report presented in June 2004, the committee recommended Bhojpuri for constitutional status. This was later followed by announcements by various ministers like Shivraj Patil and Shri Prakash Jaiswal in this regard.

However, in the 15th Lok Sabha on 30th August 2010, by calling attention motion, various parties in majority pressed on inclusion of Bhojpuri in the 8th schedule, but nothing could be earned other than  assurances from the government.

JPN/Bureau