[lg policy] Pegu to act as mediator

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Fri Aug 3 13:46:12 EDT 2018


 Pegu to act as mediator
Rajiv Konwar Aug 02, 2018 00:00 IST
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Asam Sahitya Sabha members and leaders of literary bodies of indigenous
communities hold a meeting in Guwahati. File picture

*Guwahati: *The BJP-led government in Assam has appointed Dhemaji MLA Ranoj
Pegu as mediator between the Asam Sahitya Sabha and literary bodies of
eight indigenous communities to thresh out their differences.

Though the prime focus of the Sabha and the literary bodies is development
of language and literature, their opi-nion on other social issues be-ars
significant impact on society.

The Sabha has been in a discord with the literary bodies of the indigenous
communities for years over a language policy for Assam. While the literary
bodies had supported a "partial four-language" policy, the Sabha had
opposed it.
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The difference widened when the Sabha's former president, Dhruba Jyoti
Borah, set forward a broad outline in 2015 of who is an Assamese.

Borah had said an Assamese is a person who "irrespective of community,
language, religion and place of origin accepts Assamese as his/her mother
tongue or either second or third language". This was opposed by the
literary bodies.

"Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has asked Pegu to mediate between the
Sabha and the literary organisations. Accordingly, Pegu had sat with us on
June 13 and requested us to sort out the differences," a leader of one of
the literary bodies said.

All Assam Students' Union (AASU) adviser Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharjya had
also requested the Sabha a few weeks ago to resolve the matter so that all
the literary bodies of the state can raise a united voice on issues like
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, and update of the National Register of
Citizens.

Following Sonowal's intervention, the Sabha recently held a meeting with
the literary bodies of the indigenous communities. After the "cordial"
meeting, the Sabha said it had proposed a new language policy.

"But the Sabha has not proposed anything concrete now. The indigenous
literary bodies will sit together on Friday morning and discuss the issue.
On the same day, we will sit with the Sabha to see if we can formulate a
common language policy. The government has convened a meeting again on
August 7," he said, adding that the meeting with the Sabha is going in a
positive direction.


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 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/

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