GUWAHATI, July 24 - Perhaps the root of the failure of the Assamese script to get a separate slot in the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 10646 (Unicode Standard) lies in the casual approach of some of the bureaucrats of the Union government towards the issue.
Or else, there is no plausible reason as to why the Union Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEIT) and the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) would play hide-and-seek on the issue.
Guwahati Baptist Church Pastor Azizul Haque, who is associated with the movement of the State�s people to wrest an honourable place for the Assamese script in the ISO10646, filed an RTI petition in the DEIT on June 28, 2018 seeking the reasons behind the shift in the Union government�s stand on the Assamese script. This petition exposed the casual approach of a section of the Union government�s bureaucrats towards the Assamese script.
Haque said that the document published by the Indian Script Code for Information Interchange (ISCII) in 1991 included Assamese as an independent script. But later on, this script was dropped from the ISCII list. Haque sought the information on the reason for dropping the Assamese script from the ISCII list.
He also sought information as to what made the Union government allow the Bengali script to eclipse the Assamese script as if it is a sub-script of Bengali, and the role of the BIS in the ISO for providing an independent space for Assamese writing system in the Unicode Consortium.
DEIT responded to Haque�s petition on July 6, 2018, stating that there were no supporting documents on the subject as the matter was dealt by the BIS. Therefore, Haque sent a fresh RTI petition to the BIS on July 12, 2018, asking for additional information. The BIS on July 20, 2018, referred the matter to DEIT again. Response from the DEIT is now awaited, Haque said.