KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 6
Chairperson of the Language Commission Lava Deo Awasthi today submitted the commission's fifth annual report to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba recommending dominant languages of provinces for official communication, besides Nepali.
The commission recommended Maithili and Limbu for Province 1, Maithili, Bhojpuri and Bajjika for Province 2, Tamang and Nepal Bhasa (Newari) for Bagmati, Magar, Gurung, and Bhojpuri for Gandaki, Tharu and Awadhi for Lumbini, Magar for Karnali, and Dotyali and Tharu for Sudurpaschim.
In Province 1, of the 13 languages besides Nepali, spoken by more than one per cent of the population, Maithili and Limbu were recommended as official languages.
In Province 2, of the six languages besides Nepali spoken by more than one per cent of the population, Maithili, Bhojpuri and Bajjika were recommended for official use.
In Bagmati, of the five languages besides Nepali, Tamang and Newari (Nepal Bhasa) were recommended for official use.
In Gandaki, of the six languages apart from Nepali, Magar, Gurung and Bhojpuri were recommended for official use.
In Karnali, Magar is the only second language after Nepali spoken by more than one per cent of the population.
Thus,the commission recommended Magar as the second official language.
In Lumibini, of the six languages besides Nepali, Tharu and Awadhi were recommended for official use.
Similarly, in Sudurpaschism, of the five language besides Nepali, Dotyali and Tharu were recommended as official languages.
Awasthi told The Himalayan Times that the commission had recommended other languages spoken by more than one per cent as languages of official communication in the provinces, but the fact remained that all the languages of the provinces spoken by more than one per cent of the population had the potential to become official language, provided they met certain criteria. The main criteria being that the languages had to have their own script.
Languages recommended for official use in the provinces can be used for legislative, executive and judicial purposes.
The government had formed the Language Commission with the mandate of recommending other languages in the provinces. As per the constitutional provision, Nepali is the sole official language.
Article 7 of the constitution stipulates: (1) The Nepali language in the Devnagari script shall be the official language of Nepal.
(2) A Province may, by a provincial law, determine one or more than one language of the nation spoken by a majority of people within the province as its official language in addition to the Nepali language.
(3) Other matters related to language shall be as decided by the Government of Nepal on the recommendation of the Language Commission.
A version of this article appears in the print on September 7 2021, of The Himalayan Times.