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Gogoi mulls Sabha demands

Telishal (Golaghat), Jan. 24: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today announced that the government was considering the demands of Bodo Sahitya Sabha for creation of a separate directorate of education for Bodo and other indigenous languages and introduction of Bodo as a medium of instruction in higher secondary courses.

Gogoi was speaking at the open session on the concluding day of the 53rd annual conference of Bodo Sahitya Sabha here.The Sabha handed over a 22-point memorandum to the chief minister and urged him to fulfil at least four of their demands within February 8 or else it would start a series of agitation programmes.

These four demands include creation of a separate directorate of education for Bodo and other tribal languages and directorate of BTC education, re-amendment of the Assam Educational Institution (Provincialisation of Services Act, 2011), handing over of forestland to 325 Bodo-medium lower primary schools in Sonitpur and introduction of Bodo as a medium of instruction in higher secondary courses.

It also demands the intervention of the chief minister in the education department as it felt that the future of Bodo as well as other mediums was not safe under the reign of present education minister.

The general secretary of Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Kamala Kanta Mushahary, while talking to The Telegraph, said the education minister had completely failed to implement the Right to Education Act, 2009, and it would submit a complaint memorandum to the President, Prime Minister and Union human resource development minister on this matter.

Regarding giving ultimatum to the government, Mushahary said, “Now we are left with no other alternative but launching an agitation.”

The president of the Sabha, Kameswar Brahma, said after analysing Dispur’s stand the Sabha had come to the conclusion that the state government was not serious about developing the Bodo medium of education.

He said the Sabha regretted that in spite of Assam Assembly accrediting Bodo language as associated official language in 1985, the state government had not taken any initiative for its advancement.

He, however, welcomed the decision of the BTC administration for opening Bodo Language Learning Centre in four of its districts.

The literary body demand that the Centre organise a third round of talks with all Bodo national organisations for a peaceful and amicable solution to the Bodoland issue.

A 39-member committee was formed during the session with Kameswar Brahma and Kamala Kanta Mushahary as its president and secretary.

The next annual conference of the Sabha will be held at Bathopuri Cultural Complex in Betkuchi, Guwahati.

However, the cultural procession scheduled for today was cancelled at the last moment because of the change in the chief minister’s programme.

BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary, PWD and urban development minister Ajanta Neog, tourism minister Chandan Brahma and Dibrugarh University vice-chancellor Alak Kumar Buragohain were present in the open session.