GUWAHATI, Jan 24 - The success of the Asam Sahitya Sabha would be judged by history on how it could lead the Assamese people to meet the treble challenges confronting the Assamese society today in the form of infiltration of foreigners, danger from unscientific erection of river dams, and massive invasion of English language endangering the very existence of the Assamese language.
This was observed by Dr Lakshminandan Bora, former president of Asam Sahitya Sabha, while addressing as chief guest the open session of the third annual convention of the Kamrup Mahanagar Zila Sahitya Sabha (KMZSS) held at Noonmati Public School under the presidentship of Dr Parag Kumar Bhattacharya, president, KMZSS.
Referring to the poor standard of instruction in Assamese-medium schools, Dr Bora expressed dismay at the horrible situation when over a hundred Assamese-medium LP schools had to be closed for non-availability of students, while thousands of rural children were making a mad rush to the English-medium schools.
Analyzing a global situation when the English language was going to play a predominant role throughout the world, Dr Bora said that linguistic groups like the Tamils, Malayalis, and Bengalis had been girding their loins to resist the invasion from the English language.
Dr Bora added that modern Assamese language could rightly be proud of its richness in the domain of poetry or prose, while there was a vast multitude of aspirant readership waiting to greet standard literature. He appealed to the Assamese writers to meet the challenges of time and cater to the new requirements of the modern society.
Making a departure from conventional proceedings, the Sahitya Sabha condoled the tragic death of Kolia, the hoolock gibbon of Margherita living among humans who lost his life in the hands of hooligans a few days back. It also denounced the killing of the ape.
Earlier, inaugurating the meeting, senior journalist DN Chakravartty stressed the need for the Assamese people to recapture their old national glory and equip themselves to meet the new challenges.
Describing the Assamese language as richer than any language of the world, Chakravartty said that while Assamese language had 52 possessive words to describe relationships, English had hardly 22 words to describe such relationships, even as the repertoire of other Indian languages hardly archived 32.
Dr Parag Bhattacharya, in his presidential address, dwelt at length on the contributions of illustrious Assamese like Padmanath Gohain Baruah, Sarat Chandra Goswami and Lakshminath Bezbaroa. Earlier, Dharani Talukdar, president of the reception committee, welcomed the guests, while Karuna Barman, secretary, KMZSS, presented the annual report.
The two-day session also saw release of several books, besides a colourful cultural function on the concluding day.