DIBRUGARH, Dec 2 - Noted author and former State DGP Harekrishna Deka on Friday proposed organising Assam Book Fair Week annually similar to the International Book Day organised by UNESCO, to provide a forum to the people of the State for interaction, knowledge sharing, workshop and discussion on books written exclusively in mother tongue. The former IPS officer was speaking as the chief guest during the inauguration of the 10th Dibrugarh Book Fair, organised by Milanjyoti Sangha in collaboration with the All Assam Publishers and Book Sellers Association at Chowkidinghee ground here.
Deka said that it was high time for the people of the State to launch a movement to preserve and promote one�s own language by holding book fairs and other allied activities. � We have to set aside a week exclusively for the purpose and take up various activities. We must involve all the stakeholders including the Government. Mother tongue is our identity and our culture. Concerted efforts must be made to curb the threats posed to our identity. We cannot separate our distinctive language and culture. Assamese identity is under threat not only because of the foreign influx, we are also responsible for the crisis. Foreign intruders are doing a massive harm to our identity but at the same time they are beginning to accept our language. But what have we done for our own language?� asked the former top cop.
Deka further pointed out that the Assamese community was distancing itself from the mother tongue. �If the next generation don�t read and study in their mother tongue, the situation will be even worse later. To bring back students to Assamese schools, first of all we must ensure that the Government schools or the Assamese schools have the infrastructure and facilities like that of a private institution. We have to create an environment for the students so that they are willing to learn their lessons in our mother tongue. This sort of positive movement will go a long way in attracting students towards Assamese schools. If necessary, we must go on village-to-village to campaign for our mother tongue,� he said.
In order that interest is generated among the masses towards Assamese literature and language all through the year, Deka called upon all book fair organisers, writers, publishers and sellers to think of some innovative ways. Book fairs are successful only during the winter months but the rest of the period the spirit remains paralysed.
Eminent litterateur Dr Nagen Saikia, Vice-Chancellor of Dibrugarh University Dr Alak Kumar Buragohain, MLAs Prasanta Phukan and Rituparna Baruah also addressed the gathering during the inauguration of the book fair. The Vice-Chancellor released the souvenir of the event during the inaugural programme. Earlier, Birendra Nath Borthakur, president, Milanjyoti Sangha and the chief guest of the event Harekrishna Deka hoisted the Sangha and the Book Fair flags respectively.
The book fair, which will conclude on December 10 has incorporated several academic, cultural and entertainment events during the ten-day book fair spree. Book release, drawing competition, cultural programme, health awareness, poets� meet and talks are some of the programmes lined up for the long event.