Tanhaji and Lachit Borphukan
Recently, I had the privilege to watch a blockbuster movie named Tanhaji, which is based on the might and valour of Tanhaji, a trusted lieutenant of Maharaja Chatrapati Shivaji. Renowned actor Ajay Devgn played the role of Maratha warrior Tanhaji to perfection. Great Tanhaji defeated the mighty Mughals and reclaimed the Kondhana fort of Marathas from the invaders. Similarly, Ahom Kingdom lieutenant Lachit Borphukan too displayed immense valour and bravery to thwart the powerful Mughal Army led by Ram Singh in the Battle of Saraighat. The epic battle of Saraighat is pride of every indigenous Asomiya. But sadly both Lachit Borphukan and Tanhaji found little space in past school curriculum due to reasons best known to everyone. The history books were mostly centering around Mughal emperors and their achievements.
Incidentally, again both the great patriotic warriors are lost in the oblivion in Assam and Maharashtra.
Dr. Ashim Chowdhury,
Lessons from tragedy
The Madhya Pradesh government has suspended its four senior officers in connection with the tragic bus accident in Sidhi district that has claimed several lives. The bodies of 51 people were recovered after an overcrowded bus lost control and plunged into a water-filled canal. People alleged that the diversion from its permitted route to avoid traffic jams and bad roads led to the tragedy. The need of the hour is that the State government should take a lesson from this human tragedy and build up a strong mechanism to curb road accidents.
Amit Singh Kushwaha,
Change the society
Girls have successfully broken the chain of being only 'homemakers' by showing excellent results in their education and career overall. But what never changed is people's thinking how marriage is more of a relationship between two families rather than the couple. And this belief doesn't allow Indian parents to be flexible on the subject. Thus their search for a partner for their child gets limited to people of their communities only. Are society's opinions more important than their children's happiness? They must introspect and normalize inter-caste marriages as society demands change and change is the only constant.
Chandan Kumar Nath,
Jamini Bhagawati & AJP
AJP president Lurinjyoti Gogoi, in an address to public via press conference, boldly stated that former Ambassador to Great Britain, Belgium and Luxembourg and a noted economist Jamini Bhagawati has agreed to be advisor of the economic planning council of the AJP. This is totally "a false propaganda launched by the AJP" to sell dreams to the public. The fact is that till now Jamini Bhagawati has not officially given his consent to the AJP. Of course, some members of the AJP along with president Lurinjyoti Gogoi did have some informal sessions with Bhagawati regarding economic development of the State. It will be great if a person of Bhagawati's stature joins the newly formed AJP. Earlier too, Bhagawati has always rendered his suggestions and advices to people who would connected with him but that doesn't mean that he has agreed to work with that group or organization or party.
It's understood that Lurinjyoti Gogoi is playing all tricks to win votes for his party, but lying to public about the involvement of a noted economist who is above par politicians is highly condemnable.
Tanveer Mullah Haq,
The long awaited day finally arrived when Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually gave green signal for the construction of the bridge connecting Majuli and Jorhat. Though it was one of the promises made by the BJP in the poll manifesto of 2016 but the project was delayed and finally at the fag-end of the tenure of Sarbananda Sonowal government construction has started. The bridge carries hopes and dreams of the people of Majuli. The Congress, which had been in power for 15 consecutive years, kept the project under the carpet. The bridge after it starts functioning would give a big boost to trade, commerce, tourism, health and education to the people of Majuli. On February 19, the elated inhabitants of Majuli lit one lakh earthen diyas as a mark of thanks and gratitude to the Prime Minister.
Priyanka Das, a student of Handique Girls College in Guwahati who is pursuing bachelor degree, has become a source of inspiration for many of her contemporaries. She comes from a weak financial background but that didn't deter her to pursue her studies. Now she is not only continuing her education but also looking after her family. Priyanka Das has become the first delivery girl of North East India by associating herself with Flipkart. The delivery of parcels of e-commerce companies are generally considered to be a domain of males but brave Priyanka Das has broken all the barriers by setting herself as an example for the likes of her. Generally, boys and girls of her age group often complain about lack of jobs and blame the government or often fall prey to illegal activities in lure of easy money, but the young girl chose to be self-dependant or 'Atmanirbharshil'. Through your esteemed daily I salute Priyanka Das.
Languages of India
According to a UNESCO report there are around 42 languages or dialects in India which are endangered and are believed to be heading towards extinction. And of course there exists a longer list of languages which have already gone extinct, The Aka-Bo language of Great Andaman being just a recent example.
Extinction of hundreds of languages indicates the disappearance of diversity from the face of the earth. With the loss of languages, we lose entire societies, their culture and a storehouse of indigenous wisdom. The social scientists and authorities concerned should rise to the occasion to rescue dying languages and cultures to keep heterogeneity and spirit of equality of all languages alive; else it will not reflect the Indian democracy in a glorifying light.
Mother tongue remains the most basic identity of an individual or a community. If it does not get its due place under the sun, then the community which speaks it is bound to meet its doom. This is primarily the reason behind UNESCO's decision of designating 21st day of February (a red-letter day of Bengalis fighting against Urdu imperialists in erstwhile East Pakistan) as International Mother Language Day, thereby stressing the importance of mother tongue in one's life. Just as a child cannot be detached from his/her mother, similarly it would be nothing but a crime if any community gets robbed of its mother tongue just because it does not enjoy any political-economic-numerical-muscular advantage strength clout and influence.
Also it is high time we realized that no language has been solely declared as the national language of India. Hindi is also another language of the multi-lingual democratic nation named India. The right of the Hindi language over the country is neither superior nor inferior to other languages. This is the very reason why the division bench of the Gujarat High Court comprising of Chief Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya and Justice AS Dave has categorically stated that there is no national language in India. Again the bench of the very same High Court, comprising Justice VM Sahai and AJ Desai, has opined that Hindi is nothing but a Foreign Language for Gujaratis who were protesting against the National Highway Authority of India who had dared to issue a notification in Hindi only right on the soil of Gujarat. This directly proves that the indigenous languages in the non-Hindi speaking regions are superior in status than Hindi which is actually nothing but a mere regional language spoken in the North Indian States, but absolutely foreign outside it. Thus, those who zealously project Hindi as the national language are merely assaulting the very basis of the Constitution and the powers that are imposing Hindi upon the non-Hindi speaking population are actually demeaning the esteemed judiciary.
So the Union Government should see to it that all funds related to promotion of languages do not get usurped by Hindi only. After all the right of any other language (be it scheduled or non-scheduled) in India is not a bit lesser than Hindi. Thus if an equitable distribution of Central resources is ensured, it would benefit the cause of all languages and dialects (specially the endangered ones) to a great extent.
As far as linguistic policy in Indian schools is concerned, all students should definitely be taught their respective mother tongues in schools (at least as a subject) so as to make them aware of their roots, literature and cultural legacy. And the importance of English also cannot be discounted a bit. Since India is a multi-lingual democratic country, only a neutral language like English can link all Indians and bind all regions of the country together. Moreover, English is not only the language of higher education, it also remains the window to reach out to the world. Also studying of the indigenous or official language of the respective States should be made mandatory in all schools irrespective of its affiliation to State or Central boards including the Kendriya Vidyalayas. When a child will remain thoroughly acquainted with his/her mother tongue, indigenous/official language of the State concerned and English; the child will not only grow up to be a confident personality, he/she will also acquire a national as well as international mindset, that too without getting detached from his/her roots.
Aadhaar issue for publication
Through the column of your esteemed daily I would like to draw the attention of the authorities concerned and make the general public aware of the negligence at Aadhaar centres. It has come to my notice that several villagers have a common mistake, date of birth, in their Aadhaar cards. This causes further problems since it cannot be used for any official work in a bank or any other offices. Also when there are a large number of people to make Aadhaar cards, people line up again to correct their faulty Aadhaar cards. These people are not literate and educated enough to go through necessary processes to have an Aadhaar which has no mistakes. There are in fact many naïve folks who are not at all aware of it since they are illiterate and they don't know the right way or place to correct their Aadhaar.
Through your esteemed daily I would like to throw light on the amendment in the APSC examination pattern with the introduction of an additional qualifying paper of Assamese/Bodo/Bengali. This additional paper is, however, exempted for the students of Barak Valley. If an aspirant from Barak Valley didn't have these languages in HSLC, he/she doesn't need to appear for this qualifying paper. On the contrary, a candidate from the Brahmaputra Valley has to appear this paper. It highlights a kind of favouritism. There are many aspirants from the Brahmaputra Valley who have their schooling in KVs, convent schools etc. Such students who prepare for this competitive examination don't have any of these three languages in the matriculation. This is a serious matter, and I, as an aspirant, want to draw the attention to this detrimental decision taken by the government. It should definitely get some media attention.
Ritushree R. Singh,