KATHMANDU: The full House of the Constituent Assembly (CA) on Thursday began discussions on the concept paper and report on preliminary draft of the CA Committee to Determine the
Basis of Cultural and Social Solidarity (CDBCSS). This is one of the ten thematic committees formed by the CA to prepare the concept paper on the basis of cultural and
social solidarity.
Committee chairperson Navodita Chaudhary had presented the concept paper and report on the preliminary draft of the CDBCSS on Monday. The CA full House will discuss the paper for another five days. The CA full House will also offer suggestions to the committee for further improvement.
Six Madhesi CA members of the committee had written notes of dissent on the official language to be used at the centre. Most of the CA members belonging to Madhes-based parties insisted that Hindi also be used as an official language along with Nepali at the center.
However, the CA members from major political parties maintained that the Language Commission to be established within a year after promulgation of the new constitution would recommend official language to be used in the centre and the provinces.
According to latest population census carried out in 2001, there are 11 languages which are spoken by less than one per cent of the total population. The Central Bureau of Statistics states that the Nepali speaking population stands at 48.61, which is the largest compared to other communities.
The CPN-UML has decided that its CA members would root for Nepali as the official language till the Language Commission came up with its recommendation on the issue.
The 2001 population census states that 92 languages are spoken by various communities across the country. Some of them have fully developed scripts while others exist only in spoken form.
Preliminary draft of the CDBCSS has recognised that all the languages spoken in the country are national languages and each of the communities shall have the right to impart basic education in their own mother tongues.
The draft has proposed that Nepali in the Devanagari script shall be the official language at the center. However, other languages that meet certain criteria shall also be recognised as the official languages at the center provided that they are ratified by the central parliament as per the recommendation of the Language Commission.
The federal parliaments may also adopt one or more than one languages as official languages in their respective provinces as determined by law. The provincial parliaments may also recognise other national languages as official ones in local bodies.
The official languages determined by the central parliament shall be the medium of official communication between and among the center and provinces. A provincial government, however, shall have the right to communicate with the center in one of the languages recognised by the provincial assemblies.

Current status of languages

Language Percent
Nepali 48.61
Maithali 12.30
Bhojpuri 7.53
Tharu (Dagaura/Rana) 5.86
Tamang 5.19
Newar 3.63
Magar 3.39
Awadhi 2.47
Bantawa 1.63
Gurung 1.49
Limbu 1.46
Bajjika 1.05
Source CBS