GUWAHATI, July 1 - Expressing concern over the fall in proportion of people speaking Assamese, the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) has called upon the State government to secure cooperation of all sections of society to ensure that the language continues to have a prominent role.
AIUDF president and Lok Sabha MP Badaruddin Ajmal said it is a matter of concern that the number of people with Assamese as their mother tongue has dwindled to a figure of only 48.38 per cent of Assam�s population as revealed by the latest Census data.
Ajmal said the decline in the proportion of Assamese speakers is a matter of concern and added that time has come to conduct an in-depth study on the reason behind the fall in numbers.
He said if the current trend continues, then the Assamese language may face an existential threat in the coming days.
The AIUDF president said immediate steps must be taken to rectify the situation and make the Assamese language more popular. Ajmal said both the government and �national� organisations have a role to play in this regard.
He called upon the government to take into confidence all sections of society and take steps to make the Assamese language more popular and prominent.
The number of people speaking Assamese has reached an all-time low of 1.26 per cent of the country�s population. A total of 1,53,11,351 people described Assamese language as their mother tongue in the 2011 Census and the language is ranked 12th among the 22 scheduled languages spoken in India.
According to the 1971 Census, Assamese was spoken by 1.63 per cent of the total population of India. In 1981, there was no Census in Assam, while as per the 1991 Census, Assamese was spoken by 1.56 per cent, and in 2001, it was 1.28 per cent.
The latest 2011 Census recorded that it is spoken by only 1.26 per cent, thus recording a declining trend since 1971.
Meanwhile, the AIUDF chief has also visited the flood-hit regions of the Barak Valley in recent days. He gave financial assistance to the flood-affected people on behalf of the Ajmal Foundation and the Jamiat Ulama.
Ajmal alleged that the State government has failed in providing proper relief to the affected people in flood-hit regions and said there is a shortage of medicines and baby food items.
The AIUDF supremo said the government is not taking necessary steps to alleviate the sufferings of the flood-hit people who are passing through a lot of hardships.