DARJEELING, 3rd of June 2017: Rudraraj Maskey, renowned Littérateur and Linguist has said that forceful imposition of Bengali language in Darjeeling Hills is unconstitutional. He expressed his views while participating in a special talk show ‘Today’s Agenda with Chandan Thapa’ slated to be broadcast on The Himalayan Beacon IPTV. Similarly, views were also expressed by Haren Allay, another renowned Littérateur and Linguist who played an active role in the Nepali Language movement during the 1990s. He said that since Nepali language is a language recognized under the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution, it being sidetracked and overshadowed by Bengali language was evident of Bengal’s cultural imperialism.
Barun Roy, editor, ‘The Himalayan Beacon’ who also participated in the show said that since the Central Government made Hindi language compulsory on the 18th of April 2017 there has been a chain reaction as can be seen in Kerala, Maharastra, Bengal etc, where Malayalam, Marathi and Bengali respectively have been made compulsory within the states. The manner in which the language has been made compulsory has also been controversial. While earlier, the third language was pursued up till 7th or 8th standard now it will have to be pursued up till 10th standard. West Bengal State Government has also made Bengali language compulsory in ICSE and CBSE schools. Interestingly, since ICSE and CBSE are not ready to conduct additional third language Board level examination, the Chief Minister has said that the schools should themselves conduct the said examination. While this will not only lead to added burden upon students and teachers, many feel that this is unfair for the linguistic minorities in the state as well as students who come from outside the state to study.
‘Today’s Agenda with Chandan Thapa’ is slated to be broadcast on The Himalayan Beacon on the 4th of June 2017. The programme is hosted by Chandan Thapa a hard-hitting journalist who is the Bureau Chief of ‘The Himalayan Beacon’.