GUWAHATI, Sept 7 - Noted novelist and Asam Sahitya Sabha president Dr Dhrubajyoti Bora has appealed to all the ethnic groups of the State to eschew mutual enmity and violence, and asserted that only the ideals of Srimanta Sankaradeva might help the State�s peoples to find any lasting solution to the thorny ethnic problems. For the purpose of solving all such issues, he suggested that the ethnic groups should resort to debates and discussions.
According to a press release issued by the Pragjyotish College Teachers� Unit here, Dr Bora was delivering the 20th Pandit Tirthanath Sarma Memorial Lecture on �Asomor nrigostiya samasya aru jatiyatabad� (Ethnic Problems of Assam and Nationalism) at the Pragjyotish College here recently on the occasion of the foundation day of the college. Late Sarma was the founder principal of Pragjyotish College.
Dr Bora traced the history of nationalism from the French Revolution and its Euro-centric conception. He defined nationalism and made a distinction between �civic nationalism� and �ethnic nationalism.�
In Assam, he said various ethnic groups such as the Bodos, the Dimasas, the Tiwas, and the Karbis, have nourished ethnic nationalism tinged with sectarianism. These ethnic groups have asserted their rights as indigenous peoples after having experienced marginalisation and facing immigration, that resulted in ethnic clashes, violence and occasional ethnic cleansing.
Dr Bora asserted that India being pluralistic, must accept, practise and strengthen an all-inclusive nationalism, which is called �civic nationalism.�
No doubt, he maintained, the concept of nation-state still holds sway in many countries of the world. In the case of Assamese nationalism, he said that it is akin to Indian nationalism because of Assam�s ethnic, linguistic, cultural and religious diversity.
The function was presided over by Dr Ranjita Deka, president of the Pragjyotish College Teachers� Unit.
The function was also addressed by Prof (retired) Aditi Choudhury, president of the governing body, Dr Paramananda Rajbongshi, Principal (in-charge) and Prof Manisha Barua, daughter of late Sarma.
Earlier, floral tributes were paid to the founder principal, who was a renowned litterateur and Sanskrit scholar of yesteryear. The renovated reading room of the Pandit Tirthanath Sarma Memorial Library was inaugurated by Dr M Angamuthu, Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup (Metro).