Assam govt to recognise anthem

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 19.11.13
Women sing O Mor Aponar Dex in Rabha at Nehrubali in Nagoan on Sunday. Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati, Nov. 18: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today announced that Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaroa’s O Mor Aponar Dex would be officially recognised as the state anthem.

“I was not aware that the government has not yet recognised the song as the state’s anthem. Since the issue has come to light now, I will take necessary action to give due recognition to such a beautiful, meaningful and patriotic song,” Gogoi told reporters on the sidelines of a function at B. Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) here this morning.

A press communiqué issued by Dispur this evening stated that the government had decided in principle to adopt the song as Asom Rajyik Jatiyo Sangeet.

Bharat Narah, press adviser to the chief minister, told The Telegraph that Gogoi had instructed chief secretary Jitesh Khosla to immediately initiate the process to accord state anthem status to O Mor Aponar Dex. He said Khosla had also been asked to prepare a cabinet memorandum on the issue and place it at the next cabinet meeting for approval.

The development comes a day after O Mor Aponar Dex was sung in 29 languages at Nehrubali in Nagaon district.

The Assam government faced criticism from various quarters for not yet recognising the song as the state anthem.

In May, Arup Ballav Goswami, a resident of Golaghat district, had filed an application under the Right to Information Act in the office of the state public information officer and that of the chief secretary in Guwahati to know whether O Mor Aponar Dex was a state anthem. If so, which government notification had accorded the status, he asked.

In reply, the deputy secretary of the state cultural affairs department, D. Bora, stated that the government of Assam had not accorded the status of state song or anthem to O Mor Aponar Dex.

When reporters raised the issue before the chief minister here today, Gogoi immediately said O Mor Aponar Dex would be accorded state anthem status at the earliest.

Earlier this morning, Gogoi, speaking at a function held to mark the 40th foundation day of the cancer institute, said the high incidence of cancer in the state could be minimised through awareness, preventive measures and early detection.

He said the state government was contemplating setting up state-of-the-art diagnostic centres in 10-12 small towns for early detection of cancer.

BBCI director A.C. Kataki said the institute has taken up academic and research activities in association with Srimanta Sankaradeva University of Health Sciences and Gauhati University. “New courses like radiology, an MCI-approved three-year course, have been introduced,” he added.

Kataki exhorted BBCI doctors and employees to work relentlessly to catapult the institute to national stature by 2023, when it would complete 50 years.