The long pending demand for the inclusion of Bhoti language in eighth schedule of Indian Constitution is arising in the minds of Ladakhi people. In this regards
In regard to the demand for inclusion of Bhoti language in the 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution, Ladakh Buddhist Association in collaboration with Ladakh Gompa Association; Anjuman-e- Imamia; Anjuman Moin-Ul-Islam; Christian Association; Indian National Congress Leh; Bharatiya Janta Party, Leh; BSP Leh; PDP, Leh and the people of Ladakh region organized a protest march on December 18.
The protest march started from Petrol Pump, passed through Skara and culminated at Leh Polo ground with people holding banners and shouting slogans. The rally was led by the (LBA) President Tsewang Thinless and Presidents of various Associations.
His Eminence, Togdan Rinpoche expressed gratitude to all religious and political associations for their initiative in spreading awareness about the importance of Bhoti language. He added that Bhoti language is not only used by Buddhist community but it is the language of all the communities of Ladakh. He also mentioned about Thonmi Sambhota, a great Hindu scholar at Nalanda University has translated Pali and Sanskrit script into Bhoti language.
Geshes Konchok Namgyal, President ( LGA) Leh, said, “we all have congregated here to recognized Bhoti language in the 8th schedule of Indian constitution. We have been demanding this since last 30 years. Jammu and Kashmir have their languages included in the Eighth Schedule even though the Kashmiri language has no script. Therefore it is necessary that Bhoti which has a script of its own and is spoken throughout the Himalayan belt must also be included in the eighth schedule. The non inclusion of Bhoti in the eighth schedule clearly shows that our language has been neglected and it is simply not acceptable for the people of Ladakh.”
Sheikh Saif Uddin, President Anjuman Moin-Ul-Islam, Leh, said that Bhoti is the language of the people of the Himalayan region from Ladakh to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. He added that Bhoti language is also used in central Asian countries.
Tsewang Thinless,( LBA) President, Leh, highlighted that inclusion of Bhoti language in the eighth schedule is one of their top priorities. “Bhoti language is our identity and to deprive us of our identity means depriving us of our rights.” He further added that inclusion of Bhoti in the eighth schedule is not a new demand, but something that the people of Ladakh have been demanding for a long time. He also said that various Universities, colleges and schools have included Buddhist studies as it has a rich literature in all important fields such as medicine, architecture, arts, astronomy, astrology, music, dance, drama, philosophy, tantric, yoga, meditation and metaphysics, thus fulfilling all the criteria for recognition in 8th schedule of Indian constitution.
Ashraf Ali, President Anjuman Immamia, Leh, addressed the people that those living in the Himalayan region speak Bhoti language and must be included in the eighth schedule of the Indian constitution. He said that Bhoti is the symbol of unity that binds the people of the Himalayan region as it performs the role of lingua franca for all concerned communities.
Sonam David, President Christian Association Leh, said that many languages including Kashmiri and Dogri of our own state have got recognition although such language are confined to only a small geographical regions and having no script and grammar. He added that Bhoti being a language and having a script has yet not been recognized by the Indian Government, and the long pending demand has fallen on deaf ears. It is the duty of every Ladakhi to keep pressing on this issue.
Earlier the event started with a two minute silence for the children who lost their lives in the terror attack at a school in Peshawar.