Other States

Congress leader writes to Assam CM on ‘separate State’ barb

Sushmita Dev. File Photo.  

A former Congress MP has sought action against the chairman of Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) for allegedly asking the people of Bengali-dominated Barak Valley to secede if unwilling to learn the Assamese language.

In a letter to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday, All India Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev said AHSEC chairman Dayananda Borgohain’s remark was unacceptable and discriminatory. She also forwarded a video of his “controversial” statement in a tweet tagging the Chief Minister.

Referring to a notification of the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA) on students opting for the Assamese language as the seventh subject, Mr. Borgohain allegedly said people in Barak Valley must live in a separate State if they do not want to learn Assamese.

“It is shocking that an officer issues a threat to the people of Barak Valley to learn the Assamese language or else separate from Assam. It reeks of chauvinism,” Ms. Dev said in her letter.

“This comment is in complete ignorance of our history and comes as an insult to the people of Barak Valley. To say the least, it alienates us and is discriminatory. Mutual respect for each other’s language and culture is the idea of India. People speak different languages in Assam and have peacefully coexisted. Comments like these are against the interest of Assam. The government must take action immediately failing which it will only prove to me that it condones the comment and shares the same view,” the letter said.

SEBA had brought out the notification making it compulsory for students to learn the Assamese language till Class 10. It gave them the option of making Assamese their seventh subject whose marks will not be counted in the overall percentage of the examinees.

The notification was kept in abeyance following protests from the All Assam Students’ Union and Assam Sahitya Sabha.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 11:07:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/congress-leader-writes-to-assam-cm-on-separate-state-barb/article34380534.ece

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