Arunachal to introduce Bhoti in Buddhist-inhabited areas

TNN Jul 19, 2011

ITANAGAR, India -- Arunachal Pradesh is all set to introduce Bhoti - one of the richest ancient languages of the world - as a subject in schools across Buddhist-inhabited areas in four districts from the next academic session.

The subject will be introduced in all Tawang and West Kameng district schools, including Tuting in Upper Siang and Menchuka in West Siang district. The initiative has been taken up by the department of Karmik and Adhyatmik Affairs (DoKA) in association with the directorate of school elementary education.

Accordingly, chief minister Jarbom Gamlin on Saturday released Bhoti language textbooks from Class I to Class VIII in a simple function here on Sunday night, official sources said on Monday.

Addressing the gathering, Gamlin called for the need to preserve and promote ancient languages. He advocated giving encouragement to the younger generation to learn and speak their own dialect so that the language never dies an unnatural death.

Lauding the initiative of DoKA, under the chairmanship of TG Ringpoche, Gamlin said DoKA was created by the state government during the leadership of former chief minister Dorjee Khandu for promoting and preserving traditional knowledge and practices of Buddhist religion in the state and revival of Bhoti language.

Gamlin also urged the department to ensure that Bhoti be taught like other subjects in modern education system. He further hoped that other parts of the state would also be encouraged to take an initiative to revive and promote their traditional language through such effort.

"We have requested the Planning Commission to allocate required funds for DoKA in the 12th Five Year Plan and got a positive response," he added.

Expressing concern over teachers' absenteeism in the rural areas, which is affecting the education scenario of the state, he said his government has taken up the matter with the Planning Commission to ensure proper infrastructure like teachers quarters in border areas.

"The provision for the third language under the central flagship programme Sarva Shikshya Abhiyan needs to be availed by the state," Gamlin added.

Highlighting the history of Bhoti language, Geshi Ngawang Tashi Bapu, the principal of the Central Institute of Himalayan Cultural Studies at Dahung, said the language was named after Thonmi Sanshot, the composer of the script, in the 7th century at Nalanda University. He added that Bhoti language was one of the richest languages in the world with a philosophy of peace and non-violence.