NORTH GUWAHATI, Nov 19 - A meeting on the recognition of Assamese script in Unicode was held at the office of the Anundoram Borooah Institute of Language, Art and Culture (ABILAC), at Rajaduar, North Guwahati, recently under the chairmanship of Prof Ashok Kr Goswami.
The issue of Assamese script being identified and used as Bengali by various organisations and institutes, has resulted in a lot of problems for the promotion and development of the language in this digital age. Hence, a concerted effort by intellectuals from different quarters in Assam has been going on towards establishing Assamese script as a separate one from Bengali.
In this regard, complaints and protests were lodged to the concerned organisations against the naming of the Assamese script as Bengali in Unicode. As a result of such protests, California-based organisation, UNICODE Consortium, forwarded this matter to the Indian Government for finding a solution to this issue. The Indian Government then entrusted the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) with the responsibility to coordinate among different stakeholders connected with the issue and to find an amicable solution.
BIS, on its part, formed a six-member panel to look into the issue. This panel include renowned phonetician Dr Peri Bhaskar Rao as the convener and Manoj Jain of Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeiTY), Mahesh Kulkarni of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Dr Dilip Kumar Kalita, Director, Anundoram Borooah Institute of Language, Art and Culture (ABILAC) and the secretaries to the department of Information Technology in the States of Assam and West Bengal as honourable members.
When Dr Peri Bhaskar Rao refused to take up this responsibility, linguist Prof L Ramamurty from Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore, was entrusted with the task.
The first meeting of this panel took place on Novermber 17 at Manak Bhawan, the Head office of BIS in Delhi. The meeting at ABILAC was attended by the representatives of the IT Department of Government of Assam, Professor Sikhar Sarnia, Director, Institute of Science and Technology, Gauhati University, Prof Dipti Phukan Patgiri, Department of Assamese, Gauhati University, Dr Paramanada Rajbongshi, Secretary, Asam Sahitya Sabha and Dr Dilip Kumar Kalita, Director, ABILAC, along with Dr Satyakam Phukon, Dr Banajit Pathak, Dr Bhaskarjyoti Sarnia, Dr Tapan Sarnia and Azizul Haque, who have been arduously pursuing this matter for a long time.
This meeting was also attended by Dr Karuna Kanta Kakoty and Dr Palash Kumar Nath, from ABILAC.