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‘Assamese’ gets a fresh definition

The definition of Assamese has remained inconclusive so far

By Rokibuz Zaman in Guwahati
  • Published 21.09.19, 3:18 AM
  • Updated 21.09.19, 3:18 AM
  • a min read
Adip Phukan (The Telegraph picture)

The Asom Sangrami Mancha, a regional political party, on Friday demanded that all persons who have been living in Assam since “pre-Independence” be considered “Assamese”.

The Mancha’s working president Adip Phukan said: “On Thursday, we submitted a memorandum to the high-level committee on implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord and offered suggestions on the definition of ‘Assamese’. “Those who settled in Assam since pre-Independence (days) are citizens of Assam. They accepted Assamese and Assam’s tribal language as their mother tongues and their descendants should be treated as Assamese,” he added.

Clause 6 envisages constitutional, legislative and administrative measures to safeguard, protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social and linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people. However, the definition of Assamese has remained inconclusive so far. Several attempts have been made to define the term but no acceptable definition could be arrived at.

The Mancha has submitted 25 proposals for the protection of constitutional, legislative, administrative, land and language rights of the Assamese people to the committee.

“For political rights, we have suggested full autonomous role in Assam. Political safety should be given to the Assamese people based on the 1951 National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the descendants of those whose names appear in the 1951 NRC can file nomination for any election,” he added. The Mancha also demanded 100 per cent reservation for the Assamese youths in the recruitment of Grades III and IV jobs in all sectors.

“For Grades I and II, we demanded 80 per cent reservation for Assam. We also seek 50 per cent reservation for the post of administrative and police personnel for permanent residents of Assam.”

On land rights, Phukan said no one but Assamese and other northeastern people can buy land in Assam, while outsiders can buy land only in industrial areas.