Assamese finally in Assam Assembly

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Guwahati, Mar 5 (UNI) Assamese, the official language of the state, has finally acquired its place in government departments as Assam Assembly has begun conducting business completely in the language.

''This is a very good start and we welcome this,'' former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta today said.

Speaker Tanka Bahadur Rai has made it mandatory to conduct the business in Assamese wherever possible.

Assam Assembly and the state government had received flak for neglecting the Assamese language and the apex literary organisation, Assam Sahitya Sabha had to hit the streets demanding implementation of Assamese language.

''This is an extremely good step and our government has been taking measures to implement the language at all levels,'' said Assam Education Minister and spokesman of the state government Ripun Bora.

English had become the lingua franca of Assam Government and with the advent of computers replacing the type-writers, the language was largely sidelined so far.

The Assam Assembly had taken the initiative, replacing even the identity cards and car stickers in Assamese language. ''This is a positive sign and if we do not promote our own official language then who will?'' asked CPI MLA Dhrupad Buragohain.

However, the legislators can choose any of the four main languages - Assamese, English, Hindi and Bengali, to speak in while participating in the proceedings. However, until now in this assembly, English was not accepted in the House.

Moreover, Mr Bora informed that the government would further expand the use of language in all other department also.

Taking a dig at the decision, former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta said, we did it in 1985 but then it was decried but now the same thing has come back,'' he said.

UNI MT LL/src1447

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