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'First students� stir took place in 1830'

By STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, May 10 - The first recorded students� agitation in the State took place on November 3, 1830. Students of the Guwahati Seminary took recourse to this agitation to register their protest against the colonial rulers� act of appointing a gentleman from Calcutta (now Kolkata) as the assistant teacher of their school, said noted litterateur Dr Nagen Saikia.

Dr Saikia, a former president of the Asam Sahitya Sabha, was delivering a commemorative lecture on the occasion of the 100th year of the State�s apolitical student organisations and their movements. The lecture was organised by the All Guwahati Students� Union (AGSU) at the Uzanbazar Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture (VKIC) here today.

Dr Saikia presented the outline of the zigzag way through which the State�s apolitical student organisations travelled to reach the present state, basing on the historical records.

He hinted that the �Ekata Sabha� founded in 1905 at Gauhati was virtually the first students� body of Assam, even though the Assamese students founded their first organisation at Calcutta in 1872. Formed at the initiative of Late Ganga Govinda Phukan, Late Manik Chandra Barooah, Late Jagannath Barooah and some other Assamese students, this organisation was, however, named the Asamiya Chattrar Sahitya Sabha (Literary Association of the Assamese Students), he said, referring to the chronicle quoted by historian Benudhar Sarma.

When this organisation became almost defunct, the Calcutta-based Assamese students formed the Assamese Students� Literary Club (ASL Club). Its unit was set up at Gauhati too. This organisation was mainly engaged in literary activities and in course of time, its name was changed to Assamese Socio-Literary Club. Members of this Club formed the Asamiya Bhasa Unnati Sadhini Sabha on August 25, 1888. This Sabha was dedicated to building a modern foundation for the linguistic and cultural identity of the Assamese people.

At the instance of Late Ambikanath Bora, Late Banikanta Kakati, Late Krishna Kanta Handiqui, Late Lakshminath Das and Late Rajendra Nath Barua, Late Chandra Nath Sarma and others took the initiative to hold the literary convention of the Assamese students at Gauhati in 1916.

Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaroa was invited to preside over the convention and it was held with a two-day programme in 1916. On the advice of Bezbaroa, the name of the organisation was adopted as Asam Chattra Sanmilan. This is regarded as the first apolitical student body of the Assamese students, dedicated to the welfare of the State�s people. But it started facing problems under the impact of the freedom struggle of the country and the World War-II.

In 1959, the Sivasagar District Students� Union and Shillong-based Inter-college Students� Union formed the �politically impartial and non-communal� All Assam Students� Association at a convention held at Gauhati. The Association took active part in the 1960 State Language Movement.

Then, after a gap of around seven years, a convention was convened by the All Gauhati Inter-college Students� Union on September 6, 1966 as a sequel to the massive agitation launched by it on the issue of food crisis. This was followed by a Statewide convention held at Jorhat with a two-day programme on October 1 and 2 that year. And, at this convention the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) was born, said Dr Saikia.

This student body led the Medium of Instruction Movement in 1972 and the anti-alien Assam Agitation from 1979, said Dr Saikia.

Dr Saikia also released an audio CD �Abhinandan� containing recitation of a self-composed poem by noted academician Prof Amarjyoti Choudhury on the occasion of the 100th year of the State�s apolitical student organisations.

Interacting with the audience, Dr Saikia underscored the need to adopt a pluralistic approach by the AASU in tackling the problems faced by the State�s plural society. However, it should not compromise on its principles, he maintained.

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GUWAHATI, May 10 - The first recorded students� agitation in the State took place on November 3, 1830. Students of the Guwahati Seminary took recourse to this agitation to register their protest against the colonial rulers� act of appointing a gentleman from Calcutta (now Kolkata) as the assistant teacher of their school, said noted litterateur Dr Nagen Saikia.

Dr Saikia, a former president of the Asam Sahitya Sabha, was delivering a commemorative lecture on the occasion of the 100th year of the State�s apolitical student organisations and their movements. The lecture was organised by the All Guwahati Students� Union (AGSU) at the Uzanbazar Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture (VKIC) here today.

Dr Saikia presented the outline of the zigzag way through which the State�s apolitical student organisations travelled to reach the present state, basing on the historical records.

He hinted that the �Ekata Sabha� founded in 1905 at Gauhati was virtually the first students� body of Assam, even though the Assamese students founded their first organisation at Calcutta in 1872. Formed at the initiative of Late Ganga Govinda Phukan, Late Manik Chandra Barooah, Late Jagannath Barooah and some other Assamese students, this organisation was, however, named the Asamiya Chattrar Sahitya Sabha (Literary Association of the Assamese Students), he said, referring to the chronicle quoted by historian Benudhar Sarma.

When this organisation became almost defunct, the Calcutta-based Assamese students formed the Assamese Students� Literary Club (ASL Club). Its unit was set up at Gauhati too. This organisation was mainly engaged in literary activities and in course of time, its name was changed to Assamese Socio-Literary Club. Members of this Club formed the Asamiya Bhasa Unnati Sadhini Sabha on August 25, 1888. This Sabha was dedicated to building a modern foundation for the linguistic and cultural identity of the Assamese people.

At the instance of Late Ambikanath Bora, Late Banikanta Kakati, Late Krishna Kanta Handiqui, Late Lakshminath Das and Late Rajendra Nath Barua, Late Chandra Nath Sarma and others took the initiative to hold the literary convention of the Assamese students at Gauhati in 1916.

Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaroa was invited to preside over the convention and it was held with a two-day programme in 1916. On the advice of Bezbaroa, the name of the organisation was adopted as Asam Chattra Sanmilan. This is regarded as the first apolitical student body of the Assamese students, dedicated to the welfare of the State�s people. But it started facing problems under the impact of the freedom struggle of the country and the World War-II.

In 1959, the Sivasagar District Students� Union and Shillong-based Inter-college Students� Union formed the �politically impartial and non-communal� All Assam Students� Association at a convention held at Gauhati. The Association took active part in the 1960 State Language Movement.

Then, after a gap of around seven years, a convention was convened by the All Gauhati Inter-college Students� Union on September 6, 1966 as a sequel to the massive agitation launched by it on the issue of food crisis. This was followed by a Statewide convention held at Jorhat with a two-day programme on October 1 and 2 that year. And, at this convention the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) was born, said Dr Saikia.

This student body led the Medium of Instruction Movement in 1972 and the anti-alien Assam Agitation from 1979, said Dr Saikia.

Dr Saikia also released an audio CD �Abhinandan� containing recitation of a self-composed poem by noted academician Prof Amarjyoti Choudhury on the occasion of the 100th year of the State�s apolitical student organisations.

Interacting with the audience, Dr Saikia underscored the need to adopt a pluralistic approach by the AASU in tackling the problems faced by the State�s plural society. However, it should not compromise on its principles, he maintained.