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Sabha flays BSS stand on Assamese

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Jan 27 - Coming down heavily on the demand of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha (BSS) to replace Assamese with English as the second language in schools, the Asam Sahitya Sabha today termed it purely �unconstitutional� and expressed apprehensions that those backing the move might have fallen prey to an �international conspiracy� against the indigenous population.

The apex literary body of the State also informed that it is going to move both the Central and the State governments against the �evil act of linguistic dominance� as it also amounts to certain violations of the laid down rules.

Addressing media-persons here today, Asam Sahitya Sabha president Dr Dhrubajyoti Borah condemned the stand of the BSS and said that such a statement was unfortunate and uncalled for and would create and widen gap between Bodos and non-Bodos.

�At no cost can Assamese be accepted as the third language. While the mother tongue should be the first language, Assamese should be the second language and English the third language. This line-up should not be tinkered with,� Bora said.

�Such unjustified demand may lead to an unwanted literary atmosphere and is a threat to the composite structure. Even if one wants to go by the statistics, in the lower and upper primary schools in all the five districts in Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD), the number of students following Assamese as a medium of instruction is much more than Bodo, Bengali, Hindi or English,� Dr Bora said.

The apex literary body of the State expressed fear that there might be some hidden agenda behind such a move and that it will not allow anyone to change the complexion of Assamese language and its acceptability.

�Imposing of any language by instilling fear in the minds of the people will not be allowed. We came to know about the stand of the BSS through media and deemed it right to object and clarify our stand on the issue,� Dr Bora asserted.

Dr Bora further said that Sabha was for promotion and enrichment of all the languages, including the ethnic languages, and would not allow any language to die, but at the same time we also cannot allow people to disrespect the Assamese language.

BSS general secretary Kamalakanta Mushahary, meanwhile, said that the language policy adopted by the Asam Sahitya Sabha is strange and vehemently opposed it. �We stand by what we said. The Asam Sahitya Sabha cannot impose things on the people of Assam. We are opposing the move in the interest of Boro and Assamese people at large. Let there be an open debate,� Mushahary said.

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