GUWAHATI, March 4 � Assembly Speaker Pranab Gogoi today stressed the need for a consensus decision on the definition of the term �Assamese�, as the issue was a sensitive one and could have a bearing on the nation-building process in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural state like Assam.
The Speaker deferred the discussion on the matter to a later date during the ongoing Assembly session after Aminul Islam (AIUDF) had raised it by drawing the attention of the Minister for Assam Accord Implementation Dr Bhumidhar Barman, saying that he (Speaker) would first have a meeting of all the Assembly members on the issue.
�This being an extremely serious and sensitive issue, I seek the support of all of you (legislators). I will take the initiative so that all of us can sit together and deliberate on the matter during the ongoing Assembly session. If necessary, I will involve the Government in the process. I will also seek opinions of various mass organisations. All of us should sit together because our collective existence is at stake,� he said.
Warning against imposition of any unilateral view vis-�-vis the definition of the term Assamese, the Speaker said such a move would be counter-productive and leave a disastrous impact on the multi-cultural mosaic of the State.
�The decision will have to be acceptable to all the communities living in Assam,� he added.
Definition of the term Assamese became imperative for implementation of the Assam Accord which calls for �constitutional safeguards� for the �Assamese� people.
All the legislators present in the Assembly welcomed the Speaker�s suggestion, terming it a pragmatic one.