GUWAHATI, July 16 - Asam Sahitya Sabha UK (ASSUK) held its 20th annual general meeting and Sahitya Sanskriti Divas on July 7 atKings Langley Community Centre, London.
The flag was hoisted by the former president Lahori Barthakur, EC member Puspa Hazarika, and began with the rendition of the State anthem, O Mor Aponar Desh. The president of the unit, Manjira Chowdhury welcomed the delegates,who came to celebrate the event from all over the United Kingdom. Secretary Geeta Borooah shared a few moments with the delegatesabout Dr Anil Ranjan Barthakur, Dr Nripen Saikia, Dr David Bailin and Dr Mitam Barooah, who recently passed away and had made enormous contributions to the Assamese community in the UK. A minute�s silence was observed followed by EC member Geetutpala Shah�s befitting shlokas. This was stated in a press release.
Geeta Borooah read out the best wishes message from president Dr Parama Rajbongshi and general secretary Padum Rajkhowa of the Asam Sahitya Sabha Assam. Lahori Barthakur launched ASSUK�s 7th addition of the bilingual Newsletter.
Manjira Chowdhury in her inaugural speechoutlined the objectives of the Asam Sahitya Sabha UK and its activities in the last 20 years. The Asam Sahitya Sabha UK celebrates three events a year to promote and preserve the Assamese language, literature and culture. She also reiterated that the duties and responsibilities lie in everyone who are from Assam whether they are at home or abroad. She expressed that a nation cannot survive without its language, literature and culture.
Regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, on behalf of Sabha, she proposed a resolution on this matter. The resolution wasseconded and supported by the people present. The resolution was: �Asam Sahitya Sabha UK expressed concern about the current instability of the State regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016. The Sabha requests the Government of Assam as well as the Government of India not to sacrifice the greater needs of the State. It was also expressed that people given citizenship should learn Assamese language, literature and culture through compulsory education at government and non-government institutions.�
Manjira Chowdhury conveyed her concern about the recent four-day conference about Unicode held in London where the ISO placed the Assamese alphabet as Bengali-Assamese and felt that it had put the proud Assamese in a very insecure position and alphabetically B comes after A. Therefore a resolution was passed and seconded by the whole audience that �there should be independent inclusion of Assamese script and symbols in Unicode as the alphabets have their own unique letters and symbols andthe suggestions given by the representatives from Assam should be taken seriously to act upon it�.
Manjira thanked everyone for their ongoing support during the last 20 years and asked the people not to indulge in negative publicity of the Sabha without any evidence but to be a part of this 101-year-old prestigious literary organisation to move forward.
In her secretarial report, Geeta Borooah spoke about the completion of ASSUK�s 20 years through many constraints and resistance. She read out the report of ASSUK activities and urged people to become a member of ASSUK. She also urged the diaspora to take an active part to leave a legacy of being Asomiya which one should take pride in.
The cultural programme started with an interactive yoga demonstration by the Sabha�s deputy treasurer and a yoga teacher Geetutpalla Bordoloi Shah. Dr Tarun Chowdhury recited a poem Basanta written by Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaroa and Geeta Borooah recited a poem Prarthana written by her father Late Bhubaneswar Barthakur. Bornita Dutta, Bhabani Kakati and Suravi Lahon sang melodious songs. Bhupen Dev Sarma entertained the audience with a short Assamese joke. The highlights of the evening were Rishii Chowdhury�s solo tabla rendition, Syed Noor and his team Neep Hazarika and Priyam and Ravi Bora accompanied by Rishii Chowdhury on the tabla. Geeta Borooah offered the vote of thanks to everyone present, the release added.