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Push for Bodo official status

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Staff Reporter   |     |   Published 17.07.13, 12:00 AM

Guwahati; July 16: The Bodo Sahitya Sabha will intensify its efforts to give official language status to Bodo not only in Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) but also in Assam.

Officials of the Sabha today told The Telegraph that although Bodo was included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution in 2004, it is yet to receive an official language status.

“As the BTAD is a part of Assam, we demand official language status for Bodo in Assam besides the BTAD,” Sabha vice-president Rajen Khakhlary said.

“In May this year, we had asked the BTC administration for the last time to take necessary steps to give official language status to Bodo, but nothing has happened as of now. Official language status can be accorded only after publication of a gazette notification signed by the governor after the matter is passed by the BTC. We feel that Dispur is controlling the matter from behind the curtain,” the general secretary of the Sabha, Kamala Kanta Mochahary, said.

The Centre recognised Bodo language as one of the scheduled languages under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution — according to the Bodoland Accord signed among the Centre, the Assam government and the BLT — by the 92 Amendment Act, 2003.

The act received President’s assent on January 7, 2004. Following it, Sahitya Akademi recognised Bodo Sahitya Sabha in October 2005 and the Union Public Service Commission included Bodo language as one of the language subjects in December 2005.

Sabha officials said with the help of the commission of scientific and technical terminology under human resource development ministry, they had developed administrative glossaries among other subjects so that the language could be used smoothly in official purposes.

The Sabha has been fighting for solution to various problems on Bodo language.

They have prepared a charter of 22 demands, which will be submitted to the state government in the ongoing Assembly session.

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has also extended its support to the Sabha. As a gesture of solidarity, AASU members will join a protest programme planned by the Sabha in Dispur tomorrow in support of their demands.

“AASU has supported us. This is a good sign for us. Other Bodo organisations like All Bodo Students Union have always been with us,” Mochahary said.

The creation of a separate directorate of education for Bodo and other tribal languages, creation of a directorate of education under BTAD and relaxation the norms of Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET) from 50 to 40 per cent are some of the demands of the Sabha.

Officials of the Sabha said the file for formation of directorate of education for Bodo and other tribal languages had been pending in the home department of the state government since May.

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