'Assamese' definition opposed, demand to remove cut-off year criteria for indigenous people in NRC update
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, May 10: Several tribal literary bodies, including the Bodo Sahitya Sabha (BSS), under the banner Jajatiya Sahitya Sabhas of Assam have now said that instead of fixing the Assamese definition, the government must put stress on defining ‘indigenous tribals’ and ‘indigenous Assamese’.
This was opined by the representatives of these tribal literary bodies while taking part in a tiol convention on the topic ‘Constitutiol Safeguard of Indigenous People of Assam’ organised by the Jajatiya Sahitya Sabhas of Assam at Bathoupuri Cultural Complex here on Sunday.
In his speech, BSS general secretary Kamalakanta Mushahary said, “As per the resolutions of the today’s convention, we have decided that we don’t need the definition of Assamese. But the government must define indigenous tribals and indigenous Assamese. We also don’t accept the definition of Assamese given by the Axom Xahitya Xabha.”
Mushahary demanded the term ‘Assamese’ be replaced with ‘Indigenous Tribals’ and ‘Indigenous Assamese’.
The Jajatiya Sahitya Sabhas of Assam also demanded that there should not be any cut off year for the indigenous people of the State in regard to the ongoing NRC update. “No indigenous people should be harassed by the government in the me of NRC update in the State,” the tribal literary bodies demanded.
The convention put stress on the protection of all tribal belts and blocks in the State from illegal encroachment as per Clause 10 of the Indian Constitution.
The tribal literary bodies further stated that those who came to the State in between 1951 to 1971 can be treated as Indian citizens, but they should not be given any constitutiol safeguards.
The tribal literary bodies will soon submit a memorandum on these issues to President Prab Mukherjee, Prime Minister rendra Modi and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
The tribal literary organisations which took part in Sunday’s convention were the Bodo Sahitya Sabha, the Mising Sahitya Sabha, the Deuri Sahitya Sabha, the Tiwa Sahitya Sabha, the Karbi Sahitya Sabha, the Rabha Sahitya Sabha, the Dimasa Sahitya Sabha and the Garo Sahitya Sabha. Professor and educationist Taburam Taid attended the convention as chief guest.