BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, March 13: The Axom Xahitya Xabha (AXX), apex literary body in the State, on Friday stated that it is the foremost duty of the Assam government to provide constitutiol and other legal safeguards to the people concerned by fixing the definition of Assamese.
Addressing a press conference held here on Friday, AXX president Dr Dhrubajyoti Borah said, “We cannot fix the Assamese definition. It is the responsibility of the State government. As a literary body, we can only give our suggestions.”
Borah stated that a historic proposal was adoped by the Xabha on the Assamese definition issue in its two-day meeting held on February 14 and 15 at Koliabor, in which AXX’s central committee office bearers, district committee secretaries, presidents and executive members were present.
“Those people who embraced the Assamese language regardless of caste, colour, creed and language as their first, second and third language can be considered as Assamese. But this criteria is not enough. The most important thing is that these people must be Indians,” the AXX president said.
Criticizing few other social and literary groups for trying to define the Assamese on religious line, Borah said, “Defining Assamese on religious line is not acceptable to us. If we do this, this will be a dishonour to the historic language movement in the State. We must remember that all sections of people extended their whole-hearted support to this movement for protection of the Assamese language.”
The AXX president said, “Some organisations have criticised the Xabha’s opinion on the Assamese definition. But the Xabha has the right to express its opinion and to give its suggestions which are for the greater interests of the Assamese society. Others have no right to comment on it. So we appeal to all to unite and find a comprehensive meaning of the word Assamese.”
On the other hand, a three-member AASU delegation - advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya, president Sankar Prasad Rai and general secretary Tapan Kr Gogoi - on Friday met Speaker Prab Kumar Gogoi in the Assembly and discussed with him the constitutiol safeguards that need to be provided by the government to the indigenous people of the State.
The students’ body said that providing constitutiol safeguards to the indigenous people is a must to protect their identity and culture, which is being threatened due to continuous cross-border influx of foreign tiols into the State.
The AASU also demanded that the NRC update be completed as per timeframe given by the Supreme Court. It has also demanded job reservation for indigenous people of the State, equal representation of all indigenous communities in the proposed Upper House of the Assembly, land rights to indigenous people and others.
The Speaker assured the AASU delegation to look into the matter.