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  India   All India  07 Jun 2019  Campaign to make Bengali Assam’s first language flayed

Campaign to make Bengali Assam’s first language flayed

THE ASIAN AGE. | MANOJ ANAND
Published : Jun 7, 2019, 1:08 am IST
Updated : Jun 7, 2019, 6:51 am IST

Few people from West Bengal and Assam have launched the campaign on a Facebook page recently.

The campaign also coincides with the date of publication of the final draft of the National Register of Citizen (NRC) in Assam, which is July 31 this year.
 The campaign also coincides with the date of publication of the final draft of the National Register of Citizen (NRC) in Assam, which is July 31 this year.

Guwahati: The leading organizations of Bengali people in Assam have denounced the ongoing campaign on social media—-‘Chalo Paltai’ (let’s change)—-started by a group of intellectuals from West Bengal to make Bengali the first language of Assam.

The Asom Sahitya Sabha, the apex literary body of Assam has also urged the state government to take action against those behind the ‘Chalo Paltai’ campaign that aims at to rout Assam language by mking Bengali as dominant language in Assam.

The president of the All Assam Bengali Yuva Chatra Federation Mr Kamal Choudhury, said, “We are born in Assam. We are not concerned about West Bengal and Bangladesh. It is strange that these people (behind the campaign), who have never taken up issues like the flood problem or ever spoken in favour of Hindu Bengalis in times of crisis, have suddenly become active.”

Few people from West Bengal and Assam have launched the campaign on a Facebook page recently. The group is inviting Assamese-speaking people to mention their mother tongue as Bengali during the next Census to be held in 2021. The social media group is allegedly targeting people from the riverine areas of Assam whose parents were Bengali speakers but have gradually endorsed Assamese as their mother tongue.

The campaign also coincides with the date of publication of the final draft of the National Register of Citizen (NRC) in Assam, which is July 31 this year. Informing that security agencies are keeping a close on the campaign and social media activities of this group, security sources did not rule out the possibility of it being a planned conspiracy to create law and order problem in the run up to the publication of the final draft of the NRC.

The president of the Assam Sahitya Sabha Mr Parmananda Rajbogshi, who met chief secretary Alok Kumar on Tuesday, said that they have asked the state administration to take prompt action against the conspiracy to create unrest on linguistic line.

He told reporters that Assamese and Bengali languages have their roots in the old Kamrupi language that is spoken in the present-day Assam Valley. He asserted that along with Assamese, it’s equally important to safeguard the Bengali language, which is loved by the people of Assam. “An evil force is working behind the scenes on the social media. This can lead our society towards a linguistic conflict and create misunderstanding between people of the two communities. Raising concern over such a conspiracy, the Sabha has urged the Assam government to uproot such unholy elements,” said Mr Rajbongshi.

“The chief secretary has assured our delegation that the government will take stringent action against elements trying to disrupt peace and harmony in the state through mischievous campaigns,” said Mr Rajbongshi.

He said the ‘Chalo Paltai’ campaign will automatically die down if the Assam government and regional organizations extend support to the Sabha’s endeavour to promote Assamese language among the residents of char areas, adivasis and tea tribes, who are willing to accept Assamese as their mother tongue and lingua franca in the 2021 census.

“The Sabha is in touch with the people living in the char areas as well as the tea tribes and adivasis. They have assured us to endorse Assamese as their mother tongue and lingua franca. It’s now clear that Assamese-speaking people won’t be reduced to a minority in the next census as feared earlier. If the Assam government and other regional organizations support our initiative, the percentage of Assamese speaking population may go up to 70 per cent in the 2021 census,” said Mr Rajbongshi.

Tags: national register of citizen, chalo paltai
Location: India, Assam, Guwahati (Gauhati)