[Assam] Chalo Delhi

Dilip/Dil Deka dilipdeka at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 17 11:39:16 PST 2006

Here we go again. Not being able to solve it locally, Assam has to appeal to Delhi to intervene. 
  It is intriguing that we do not know who is instigating this change. The chief minister doesn't have the passion for the change. A large number of community organizations don't want it. Then who does?
  I am not commenting on the name itself but on the process. The lack of will to handle local problems locally is a symptom of a deeper complex.
  Dilip Deka
Guwahati, Sunday, December 17, 2006  
    ‘Asom’ faces strong opposition
By A Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Dec 16 – Though the State Assembly passed a resolution yesterday on voice vote to replace ‘Assam’ with ‘Asom’ as per the February 27, 2006 decision of the State Cabinet, there prevails a strong opposition to the decision. Opposition members like Leader of the Opposition Brindaban Goswami, AGP’s Anup Phukan and CPI’s Drupad Bargohain were on their feet yesterday demanding discussion on the resolution moved by Environment and Forests Minister Rockybul Hussain on behalf of the State Government. But the Speaker silenced them saying that the stage to initiate discussion on the move was over.

After the session was over, Anup Phukan told newsmen that even Chief Minister Gogoi was pronouncing the name of the State as ‘Assam’. The Tai Ahom organizations are opposed to the idea of replacing ‘Assam’ with ‘Asom’. The Government should have gone for a detailed discussion on the issue, Phukan said.

Leader of the Opposition Brindaban Goswami said while speaking to this newspaper today, that the Opposition members tried yesterday to initiate a discussion on the issue. But they were denied any scope to that effect.

Elaborating, Goswami said, with several organizations and scholars opposing the move to replace ‘Assam’ with ‘Asom’, a debate on the issue was on. The Government also constituted an expert committee to examine the issue. It was not clear as to whether the Government moved the resolution as per the recommendation of the expert committee or following its discussion with the organizations of the ethnic groups and the scholars, Goswami said.

Meanwhile, the Tai Ahom National Council, the apex body of the Tai Ahom organizations, is preparing to move the court challenging the resolution. The Council has also decided to convene a meeting of the Tai Ahom organizations, the organizations of the ethnic groups like the Koch-Rajbongshis, the Morans and Motoks, the Deuris, the Sonowal Kacharis and the Chutiyas and the like-minded people who have been opposing the move to effect a change in the spelling. The meeting is planned in the city in the next week, said working president of the Council Dr Prabin Konwar here today.

The Council, which has 12 Tai Ahom organizations as its affiliates, submitted a memorandum to the State Government drawing its attention to the historical documents, which suggest the existence of the name ‘Assam’ from time immemorial, Dr Konwar said.

The Council also contended the argument that Bombay became Mumbai, Madras became Chennai, Calcutta became Kolkata, Gauhati became Guwahati and Sibsagar became Sivasagar recently and this should also apply to ‘Assam’ and it should be replaced with ‘Asom’, saying that all those changes were effected only to undo the wrong committed by the British colonial rulers.

But in the case of ‘Assam’, the council argued, long before the advent of the British colonial rulers to this part of the country, Sihabuddin Talis, who accompanied Mirjumla, described the State as ‘Assam’. Even Srimanta Sankaradeva described the State as Assam in the 14 th century AD, it argued in its memorandum to the State Government submitted after the February 27 decision of the State Cabinet.

Dr Konwar said that despite large-scale opposition to the Cabinet decision, the Government led by Tarun Gogoi stuck to the decision mysteriously failing to honour the sentiments of the indigenous people.

The Council has also decided to send memorandums to the President, Prime Minister and the Ministry’s concerned and all the MPs from the NE region to veto the State Assembly resolution, Dr Konwar said.

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