প্রবন্ধ - ১৩
বোডো ভাষা 'সরকারি সহযোগী ভাষা' হলে বাংলা নয় কেন ?
সঞ্জীব দেব লস্কর
সভাপতি, শিলচর আঞ্চলিক সমিতি, বরাক উপত্যকা বঙ্গ সাহিত্য ও সংস্কৃতি সম্মেলন
সম্প্রতি বোডো ভাষাকে সমগ্র রাজ্যের জন্য 'সরকারি সহযোগী ভাষা' হিসেবে ঘোষণা করেছেন অসম সরকার। এই উদ্যোগ প্রশংসনীয়। কিন্তু রাজ্যের দ্বিতীয় বৃহত্তম ভাষিক জনগোষ্ঠীর ভাষা বাংলাকে কেনো এই ব্যাপারে বাদ দেওয়া হলো ? এ নিয়ে অনেকের মনেই প্রশ্ন এবং সঙ্গত ক্ষোভ রয়েছে।
বরাক উপত্যকা বঙ্গ সাহিত্য ও সংস্কৃতি সম্মেলনের পক্ষ থেকে এই ব্যাপারে একটি স্মারকলিপি রাজ্য সরকারের কাছে পাঠানো হয়েছে।
ঈশানকথা র অনুরোধে শ্রী সঞ্জীব দেবলস্কর মহাশয় উক্ত স্মারকলিপি টি এখানে প্রকাশ করার অনুমতি দিয়েছেন এবং পাঠিয়েছেন। এজন্য তার প্রতি আমাদের কৃতজ্ঞতা রইল।
The Hon’ble Chief Minister,
October, 7th, 2020
Ref: The Cabinet Decision dated 7th October, 2020, regarding the Associate Official language of Assam
With reference to the above, we congratulate you for offering a special status to a minority language in the state of Assam by declaring Bodo as an Associate Official language. In this context we would most humbly like to state the case of Bengali, the second large language in the state which also needs your attention, in view of the present situation when under your able leadership rights and privileges of the minorities are being attended with kind sympathy.
Since the reconstitution of Assam as a Chief Commissioner’s province in 1874 with the induction of Sylhet-Cachar, and Goalpara from the areas outside the traditional map of Assam the Bengalis have become a part and parcel of the state and had been playing their role in its socio-economic life traversing the era of the ‘East Bengal and Assam Province’, and the era of Governors’ rule. The balk of the Bengali population in Brahmaputra valley are the descendents of the extended portion of Assam in 1874 to 1912, and from 1912 till 1947; and they bear the pan Indian legacy in Assam which formed a part of Indian federation with the participation of different ethno-linguistic groups in its already diverse demography. Even if when, the Sylhet-portion of Assam was transferred to Pakistan, those who moved across the border were but Indian of Assam state shifted to the Indian Territory (their own home land) that could be saved from being severed by the knife of Cyril Radcliff. Their original homeland was very much within the map of India and, of course, of Assam.
We recount this episode to you because your sympathetic attitude towards the different communities and genuine feelings for the diverse communities in Barak-Brahmaputra valley with its hills and plains, reflected in your numerous addresses and messages for which you are hailed as the champion of the minorities in the state; the creation of numerous development councils, and declaration of a tribal language as the Associate Official language are the examples of your benevolence.
We expected that, while acknowledging the Bodo as an Associate language, Bengali, as the second large community in the state would also receive its due acknowledgement. As the peace loving citizens the Bengalis have always been loyal to the national ideal and in spite of persecutions and intimidations since independence have never taken recourse to violence or indulged in secessionist activities. Their democratic movements have always been peaceful and non-violence.
Following the peaceful language movement and the martyrdom of 11 agitators they have been awarded a provision of Safeguard of Bengali language in the official matters and educational institution in Cachar (Barak valley), (Sec 5, Assam State Official Languge Act, 1960 with amendment 1961) and due to the good will of the people of Assam Bengali still continues as the medium of instruction in several schools in other districts. This language is held in high esteem in the Assamese society and great stalwarts of Assam like Bhupen Hajarika, had created immortal songs in the language, and this was reciprocated by the Hemanga Biswas and others, and this tradition is still being carried by Bengali literary and cultural luminaries in both the valleys whose creative works reflect the history and society of Assam which are acclaimed in the state as well as in outside. The literary bond of the two languages has a legacy of centuries.
This language was used as a link language in all the political, socio-economic transactions, enactment of peace-treaty or declaration of war among the Royal families of Ahom, Koch, Cachar, Jayantia and Tripura kingdom during the pre-colonel period. . The most accepted edited versions of Kachari Burunji, Tunkhangia Burunji, edited by SK Bhuiya (1932, 36) contain letters from the court of Sargadeo Rudra Singh(1705, in page no.121), Sargadeo Kamaleshwer Singh (1795, page no.137), and the letters from the court of Dimasa King Krishnachandra (p.138-139, p.164, 165-67) in between 1795 to 1803 written in Bengali about which S K Bhuiya said, “the business portion of the letters is in Bengali...they are good specimens of Bengali as it was used for court purpose outside Bengal...” In an article [ The Renaissance in Assam: The Role of Non-Assamese (অসমর নব জাগরণঃ অনা-অসমিয়ার ভূমিকা”, অসম সাহিত্য সভা, যোরহাট, ১৯৮৭, পৃষ্ঠা ৩৯), the great historian H K Barpujari said that ‘even though Assamese language was prevalent in Ahom Court, yet Bengali was used in diplomatic writings’.
We are sure, you will understand, a language so much honoured and used liberally in the 18th, 19th century surely deserves recognition and this will send a good message throughout the country and abroad. A language which is a part of heritage of the state may kindly be accepted as an Associate Official language which would elevate the status of Assam to a great height.
Taimur Raja Choudhury
President, Cachar District Committee
Barak Upatyak Banga Sahitya O Sanskriti Sammelan
President, Silchar Town Committee
Barak Upatyak Banga Sahitya O Sanskriti Sammelan