Bodo becomes associate official language of Assam

GUWAHATI, DEC 30 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 12/30/2020 11:33:21 AM IST

The Assam Assembly today declared Bodo as the associate official language of the state. The declaration comes after the Assembly passed the Assam Official Language Amendment Bill on the third day of its three-day winter session, reports The Sentinel Assam. 

As per reports, the Amendment Bill was introduced on the floor of the Assembly on December 28 by Assam Parliamentary affairs minister Chandra Mohan Patowary on behalf of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Earlier on December 22, the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal-led Assam Cabinet sat in a meeting and decided to approve the bill in the Assembly session.

The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill stated that the Bodo language written in Devnagri script now becomes an associate official language of Assam “for all or any kind of official purposes.” 

The proposal seeking an amendment of the Assam Official Language Amendment Bill was actually moved by Congress MLA from North Karimganj constituency, Kamalakhya Dey. In his proposal Dey had opined that in addition to Bodo, Bengali also should be made the associate official language all across Assam. He stated that while a total of 14 lakh people speak Bodo in Assam, an even larger population of 90 lakhs speaks Bengali in the state.

However, in the debates that ensued over Dey’s demand, State Finance, Health and Educaton Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Bengali is already a recognised and well-established Indian language, hence there is no such need to give it the associate official language status in Assam. Moreover, the language is spoken by a huge population in the entire country and is even declared as the official language for the Barak valley region.

The salient feature of the bill passed today concerns with substituting the Section 5A of the Assam Official Language Act, 1960, in order to implement Clause 6.2 of the MoS (memorandum of settlement) signed on January 29, 2020 with Bodo groups.

 Reportedly, the three-day winter session of the Assam legislative assembly began uproariously when the opposition parties Congress and AIUDF staged a walk out in the middle of the session proceedings.

The designation of the Bodo language as an associate official language will surely come as a news of pride and glory to the native Bodo community of Assam.


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