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Current Affairs

Language-domicile protest in Jharkhand

Date: 16 February 2022 Tags: Bills & Laws

Issue

Massive protests have been taking place in Jharkhand for including Bhojpuri and Magahi as “regional languages” in district level government exams.

 

Background

The protests have gained momentum since the last couple of weeks. Gatherings have been taking place to oppose the government.

 

Details

The protests have strengthened mostly in the east-central districts of Bokaro and Dhanbad, but also in Giridih and Ranchi.

 

The start

  • Magahi, Bhojpuri, and Angika were notified as regional languages in the district-level selection exams conducted by the Jharkhand Staff Selection Commission (JSSC).

  • The announcement was made on December 24 by Jharkhand Personnel, Administrative Reforms, and Rajbhasha Department.

 

Objections

  • The inclusion of Bhojpuri and Magahi was seen as an “infringement” on the rights of Adivasis and Moolvasis by certain sections.

  • They say that the notified districts have low levels of Magahi and Bhojpuri speakers, which did not warrant inclusion of these languages.

 

Notified exams

  • These exams are conducted for appointments to lower-level jobs in the districts. But these jobs are yet to be advertised and there is no clarity.

  • It is for the first time that Bhojpuri, Angika, and Magahi will be included as language papers. The weightage and marks will be announced later.

 

Protesting groups

  • The Jharkhandi Bhasha Sangharsha Samiti, which constitutes people belonging to Adivasi groups, has held protest gatherings.

  • The samiti opposes inclusion of these languages in districts that does not have substantial speakers. It does not object inclusion in districts where there are more speakers.

 

Other demands

  • The protestors are also demanding that 1932 be made the cut-off date while considering proof of land records for the state’s domicile policy.

  • The previous government had included criteria such as employment for the last 30 years, and essentially made 1985 the cut-off year for state’s domicile.

 

Way ahead

  • Local MLAs have been involved in gathering crowd for the protests. This clearly indicates that the issue is indeed political.

  • In addition, there is no opposition for Bengali and Odia being made regional languages and people allowed to write examinations.