Sanskrit was the 5th most used language in Rajya Sabha in 2019-20

Published on Jan 16, 2021 09:03 AM IST

While Hindi and English have been mostly used during the proceedings of the House, members preferring to speak in the 21 other scheduled Indian languages has increased to over five times per sitting in 2020 compared to the 14-year period between 2004-17.

Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu regularly urges the members of the House to speak in their mother tongue. (ANI)
Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu regularly urges the members of the House to speak in their mother tongue. (ANI)
By | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, New Delhi

Sanskrit was the fifth most used language during Rajya Sabha proceedings in 2019-20, only behind the four most used languages-- Hindi, Telugu, Urdu and Tamil- in that order.

The use of regional languages during proceedings of the Upper House increased five times per sitting in 2020, compared to the 14-year period between 2004 and 2017, according to Rajya Sabha secretariat data.

“With 12 interventions (made) in Sanskrit, all during 2019-20, it has emerged as the fifth widely used (language) in the Rajya Sabha among the 22 scheduled languages, coming after Hindi, Telugu, Urdu and Tamil,” said an official aware of the details.

The official said Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu regularly urges the members of the House to speak in their mother tongue in the spirit of the federal nature of the House. “While announcing the availability of simultaneous interpretation facilities in all the 22 scheduled languages in July, 2018, he himself spoke in 10 languages in the House,” the official said.

“Between 2018 and 2020, four languages, Dogri, Kashmiri, Konkani and Santhali were used for the first time since the Rajya Sabha came into being in 1952 and another six languages, Assamese, Bodo, Gujarati, Maithili, Manipuri and Nepali have been used after a long gap,” said the official quoted above.

While Hindi and English have been mostly used during the proceedings of the House, members preferring to speak in the 21 other scheduled Indian languages has increased to over five times (512%) per sitting in 2020 over the 14-year period between 2004-17.

As per the information provided by the Rajya Sabha secretariat, members spoke in 10 scheduled languages (other than Hindi) in the House on 269 occasions during 923 sittings between 2004 and 2017 at the rate of 0.291 per sitting.

In 2020, 49 interventions in regional languages were made during 33 sittings at the rate of 1.49 per sitting, marking an increase of 512%.

During 2013-17, members spoke only in 10 regional languages (other than Hindi) on 96 occasions, all limited to debates. However, during 2018-20, in 163 sittings, regional languages were used 135 times including 66 interventions in debates, 62 instances in the Zero Hour and seven Special Mentions.

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