TEZPUR, May 18: Tezpur district Bodo Sahitya Sabha and Sonitpur district ABSU, in collaboration with Bahbari unit Bodo Sahitya Sabha and West Tezpur Anchalik ABSU celebrated Bodo Medium Day at Bandarmari ABSU Bhawan on Thursday.
It is to be mentioned here that on this day, in 1963, Bodo language was declared as the medium of instruction in lower primary schools in Bodo by the then chief minister Bimala Prasad Chaliha. Bodo language was declared as an associate official language in 1985. Bodo language which was listed under the 8th Schedule of the Constitution through the 92nd constitutional amendment in 2003 is now being taught as a modern Indian language in many institutions, including Gauhati University, Dibrugarh University and Bodoland University.
Marking the day, president of the Sonitpur district committee BSS, Madan Basumatary unfurled the BSS flag while vice president Jwilen Basumatary started the programme of homage to the martyrs.
A plantation programme was also conducted which was inaugurated by ex-president of Bahbari unit Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Shanti Ranjan Basumatary. It was followed by a symposium titled – ‘Bodo medium and its usage’. Speaking on the occasion as chief speaker, prominent Bodo litterateur Phanidhar Basumatary dwelt at length on the various circumstances and causes leading to the demand for introduction of Bodo as a medium of instruction in government schools. Mentioning about the mass movement and sacrifices made thereafter by the Bodos, he recalled how Bodos sacrificed a lot for the Bodo language and medium. He also mentioned how the Chinese aggression in 1962 paved the way for the Bodos to realise the demand for introduction of Bodo medium in government schools. Urging all concerned in the Bodo society to be serious in playing a responsible role in surviving the Bodo medium and language. For him, a language exists either as a medium language, social language, domestic language or as a technical language while pointing out the present status of Bodo language; he mentioned that it still has miles to go to emerge as a modern technical language.
Mentioning the merits of mother tongue, Basumatary further said that students from a vernacular background have an attachment with their own culture, language and tradition, thereby accepting a wider societal perspective and often show a great deal of social and parental obligation, flexibility and sense of belonging.
In his speech, he urged the government to lay emphasis on addressing the perennial problems that have plagued the Bodo medium of instruction.
Prominent personalities present on the occasion included Sonitpur district BSS’ ex-presidents respectively Liladhar Boro and Amrit Machi Daimary, assistant secretary of Sonitpur district BSS, Riten Basumatary, Sonitpur district committee ABSU president and secretary respectively Jeet Swrgiary and Enosh Mochahary, Central ABSU public relation secretary, Rajesh Basumatary, Sonitpur district ABSU’s other executive member namely Rupjyoti Boro, Rupam Daimary, Madan Basumatary, Paresh Barmahalia and president and secretary of West Tezpur ABSU respectively Manash Pratim Daimary and Dayal Hazowary and president and secretary of Bahbari Bodo Sahitya Sabha respectively Basudev Daimary and Sunil Kachari who were unanimous in their appeal to all concerned to shoulder the responsibility to preserve and promote Bodo language and culture in this cut-throat competitive digital age, and more importantly, to get their wards enrolled in Bodo-medium schools.