GUWAHATI, March 14 � DN Chakravartty, former president of Kamrup Mahanagar Zila Sahitya Sabha, in a statement, decried the formula propounded by Asam Sahitya Sabha president Dr Dhrubajyoti Bora in respect of the definition of the Assamese community and described it as �preposterous, ludicrous and dangerous� in so far as it would � besides throwing the indigenous communities into the wilderness � also frustrate the very basis of the Assam Accord and would nullify the sacrifices made by 800-odd martyrs for the cause of protecting the identity of the Assamese people.
Chakravartty reiterated his definition regarding the term �Assamese�, and said that all the castes like Kalitas, Keots and Brahmins numbering about 20, and the ethnic groups like Ahoms, Chutiyas, Koch, Morans, Mataks, Jogis, Naths and tribes like Bodos, Rabhas, Sonowals, Misings, Deuris, Tiwas, Thengals and Karbis should be categorized in the list of Assamese community.
Moreover, he added, the Muslims who came to Assam prior to and after the 13th century during the Ahom days and later came to be known as Goriyas and Moriyas will also be considered as Assamese. Various tribes hailing from central India, and Odisha during the 19th century to man the tea gardens of Assam would also be described as bona-fide Assamese as would be the over a lakh of Sikh people who were brought by Ahom king Chandrakanta Sinha in 1816 will also be treated as Assamese, he said.
Chakravartty said that Assam had been a centre which was a melting pot for diverse races and tribes down the centuries. �After the 18th century, there was a process of new assimilation in Assam when there were persons who became individually Assamese. Families like those of Jyotiprasad Agarwala, Kanaklal Baruah, Dr Surya Kumar Bhuyan, and Ramesh Choudhury hailing from outside Assam became later on first class Assamese,� he said.
Chakravartty mentioned that illustrious figures of Assamese life like saint Madhabdev whose lineage was from Bengali families, and well-known Assamese like former Chief Secretary Haren Das whose ancestry was from a family of Odisha, would fall in the definition of Assamese.
Elucidating his point regarding assimilation at the personal level, Chakravartty said that persons like former MLA Ajoy Dutta, dramatist Kulada Bhattacharya, artistes Pulak Banerjee, Ranajit Sutradhar and Bibhuranjan Choudhury, and scholars Amalendu Guha and Hemanga Biswas, and writer Imdadullah should be treated as Assamese for all practical purposes.
Chakravartty said that a true Assamese was he or she who would aspire to die and to be born once again in Assam. �A true Assamese in whichever part of the globe he or she lives would longingly wait for the advent of the Bohag Bihu and rejoice at the tunes of Bhupen Hazarika and Bihu songs whether he or she was in London or New York.�
Summarizing his formula, Chakravartty said that people who would not fly away from Assam during foreign invasions and who have nowhere to go when the worst calamities like earthquake and floods strike Assam, are the real Assamese.