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Gogoi for Bodo medium overhaul

Kokrajhar, March 17: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today promised to address the entire gamut of problems relating to Bodo medium education in the state, in keeping with the Bodo Sahitya Sabha’s demands.

Gogoi was addressing a mammoth gathering at Gurudev Kalicharan Brahma Fwthar, Tipkai, in the Parbhatjhora subdivision of Kokrajhar district, during the open session of the 52nd annual conference of Bodo Sahitya Sabha.

He said the three primary demands of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha — provincialisation of Bodo-medium institutions, a separate Bodo teacher eligibility test (TET) and a separate directorate for the medium — would be addressed at the earliest.

These were among the main issues discussed during the delegate session of the Sabha, which had expressed dissatisfaction over the negligence of Bodo-medium education by the state government.

The Sabha has also adopted some important resolutions like timely distributions of free textbooks to Bodo-medium students, appointment of English teachers in LP schools, setting up of Bodo language training centres at Kokrajhar, Chirang and Baksa, over and above the three primary demands.

The chief minister, who began his speech with kulumbai — Bodo for namaskar — stressed the need for education and said it was only though education that one could achieve development in all aspects, including socio-economic; it was only through education that we could solve problems like insurgency and unemployment. He, however, added, “We can have development in society only when there is peace and harmony.”

Stressing the need for economic development, he said, “If we lag behind in economics, other aspects, too, will remain backward, but for that education is a must. We need both employment and education. All should get education under the Right to Education Act.”

Lauding the role of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Gogoi said since its inception, the literary body had worked for the growth and development of the language, literature, culture and even politics of Bodo society.

Alluding to the recent violence in lower Assam’s Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri districts, he said the clashes had happened because of certain misunderstandings among two groups, but as it happened in big families, this was a temporary phase.

BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary expressed hope that the state government would take necessary steps to address the problems relating to Bodo-medium education, while assuring all possible help from his administration.

Stressing the need for development of literature and culture, Mohilary said a community without literature and culture had no identity, while urging the Asam Sahitya Sabha to guide the smaller literary organisations in the state like a guardian.

Sabha president Kameswar Brahma said Bodo-medium students had to face many problems, including lack of timely access to textbooks and inadequate teachers, and urged the state government to take proper action and solve the problems of the students so that future generations could get quality education.

The All Bodo Students Union (Absu) also urged the government to solve the issues related to Bodo-medium education, with the union’s vice-president, Jiron Basumatary, alleging that Dispur had been turning a blind eye to these problems.

Earlier, the Sabha president had hoisted the organisational flag, followed by a colourful parade by 180-odd volunteers in traditional attires. Sabha vice-president Rajen Kaklary inaugurated the martyr’s tomb and paid homage to the people who had laid down their lives for the growth and development of Bodo language.

The Sabha also presented three awards — the Rangsar Literary Award to Adhir Kumar Brahma, Sameswari Brahma Literary Award to Gopinath Borgoyary and Sanjarang Lakheswar Brahma Cultural Award to Nagen Daimary.

Over 45 books by various authors were also released on the occasion.