[lg policy] India:Bid to form one policy on language

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Tue Jul 24 12:12:05 EDT 2018


 Bid to form one policy on language
RAJIV KONWAR Jul 24, 2018 00:00 IST
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The joint meeting at Asam Sahitya Sabha Bhawan in Guwahati on Monday.
Picture by UB Photos

*Guwahati: *The Asam Sahitya Sabha and representatives of seven literary
bodies of various indigenous communities met here on Monday to frame a
common language policy for the state.

The Sabha has been in a discord with the literary bodies of the indigenous
communities for years over a language policy for the state. While the
latter had supported a "partial four-language" policy, the Sabha had
opposed it. Because of this discord, these literary bodies have been
skipping all Sabha events.

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
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.
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"Today, we set forward a new language policy before these literary bodies.
Our policy will be beneficial for Assamese as well as the language of all
these communities. The representatives of the literary bodies said they
would discuss the proposal in their executive meetings. We will meet again
on August 3," Paramananda Rajbongshi, president of the Sabha, told
reporters after the meeting. He, however, refused to divulge the policy.

The literary bodies who had participated in Monday's meeting represented
the Bodo, Rabha, Tiwa, Dimasa, Karbi, Mising and Deori communities. The
representatives of the Garos couldn't come because of the Assam bandh
called by the six communities demanding Scheduled Tribe status.

Dispur has called a meeting with the representatives of the Sabha and these
literary bodies on August 4. Rajbongshi said if they can come to an
agreement over the language policy on August 3, they will place it before
the government the next day.

Rajbongshi said an executive meeting of the Sabha at Diphu in Karbi Anglong
on Saturday had decided to hold the Sabha's next annual session at Raha in
central Assam's Nagaon district in February next year.

The Sabha also decided to institute a biennial award in memory of dramatist
Sukracharjya Rabha, who passed away last month.


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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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