Bhim Lal Gautam

Language Policy & Linguistic Diversity in Nepal: Some Observations

 

Friday 8 November, 10.30-11.00, E0105


Nepal is a homeland of linguistic, cultural and ethnic diversity where 124 plus languages exist belonging to four major language families viz. Indo-Aryan, Tibeto-Burman, Austro-Asiatic &Dravidian and a language isolate i.e. Kusunda (CBS 2011).Such diversity has been acknowledged as an asset since the time immemorial. Pluralism is an essential part of the linguistic heritage of the people of Nepal. The diversity in terms of languages and cultures is not only the fact of life but also a cherished value. It is the sustaining force of the democracy. Globalization and the impact of fast growing information technology are perceived as a threat to the diversities in the third world countries. There is a widespread fear that the traditional pluralistic societies might be more and more homogenized in the years to come. There is a need to establish proper criteria and policies to address these issues. 


This paper deals with the various activities done by Governmental e.g. Ministry of Education and Culture (CDC), National Planning Commission etc. and Nongovernmental e.g. UNESCO, Tribhuvan University, Nepal Academy, SIL International etc. in Nepal. It also observes the different layers of policy i.e. constitutional and societal that exists in the history of Nepal along with socio-political changes. In conclusion, the paper tries to provide some ideas or recommendations for the new federal country Nepal. 

 

References

Bandhu, Churamani 2000 Preservation and promotion of the Linguistic Heritage of Nepal: Problems and prospects. Paper presented in the International Conference on Linguistic Heritage of India and Asia CIIL, Mysore, India 
Central Bureau of Statistics 2011 Kathmandu, CBS 
Interim Constitution of Nepal 2063 Kathmandu GoN 
Koul, Omkar & L Devaki (Ed.)2000 Linguistic Heritage of India and Asia. CIIL, Mysore 
National Languages Policy Recommendation Commission 1994 The Report of National languages Policy Recommendation Commission, Kathmandu, Ministry of Education and Culture 
Toba, Sueyoshi &Ingrid and Novel Kishore Rai 2005 Diversity and Endangerment of languages in Nepal. UNESCO Kathmandu series of Monographs and working papers No 7 
UNESCO Language Survey Report Nepal 2002 Kathmandu 
Yogendra Yadava and Purnaman Shakya 2009 Language issues in Contemporary Nepal and Linguistic Inclusion Paper presented in CNAS/SNV/SIRF at a seminar on State restructuring: Linguistic Situation of Nepal and Inclusive language Policy, Kathmandu 
Yogendra Yadava and Shanta Bahadur Gurung 2006 The Indigenous languages of Nepal (ILN): Situation and Policy and Recommendation, Kathmandu: NFDIN