GUWAHATI, Sept 25 - The Assam government is making an attempt to enforce the use of Assamese in all written communication made by tea garden managements with its workers.
The Labour Commissioner had in July last sent out a circular to all tea garden managements to enforce the use of Assamese or a recognised regional language in the written communication made with the workers. This week, the Commissioner has issued another notice seeking a compliance report from the garden managements.
In its July circular, which too was in Assamese, the Labour Commissioner had instructed that all �salary and office-related communications with workers, besides notices, should be done in the local Assamese or any other government recognised language�so that language cannot be a barrier between the management and employees.�
All Assam Tea Tribes Students Association (AATTSA) assistant general secretary Dhiraj Gowala said that most of the communication made by the managements with the workers used to be in English.
�Language was a great communication barrier between the managements and the employees. The workers had to face a lot of problems. They could not understand them, particularly the show-cause notices and explanations, which landed them in trouble at times,� Gowala told this newspaper, welcoming the government move.
Industry sources said that following the government order, most of the garden managements are switching over to Assamese as the medium of communication.
During the British days, a translator used to accompany the notices sent by the managements to the employees. However, the practice is no longer in vogue.
Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha president Paban Singh Ghatowar said that Assamese and other regional languages should get priority in communication in the region.
�Of course, there are technical issues for which Assamese cannot be used in communication between garden managements and their head offices, most of which are in Kolkata. But even in the gardens, we have seen that the communication with the employees is also done in English. We support the view of the government. Assamese should be enforced strictly,� Ghatowar told The Assam Tribune.