Promotion of local languages responsibility of society and govt: Kovind
Guwahati, May 4 (IANS) President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday said that promotion of local languages is the responsibility of the society and the government while the National Education Policy-2020 has also emphasised on the promotion of the local language.
Addressing the valedictory function of the 61st annual conference of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha (BSS), a regional language literary meet, in western Assam's Tamulpur, the President said that the BSS significantly contributed for the past 70 years in strengthening the Bodo language, literature and culture. Noting that so far 17 writers have been awarded Sahitya Akademi Awards for their works in Bodo language, Kovind said that out of that, 10 have been awarded for poetry work and this shows the natural inclination towards poetry among Bodo writers.
"Many women are writing in different genres of Bodo literature. But it has also been observed that only two women are among senior writers who have received the Sahitya Akademi Award for original work," he said, urging the BSS to encourage women writers. The President said that to keep any literature alive and relevant, the participation of the younger generation is very important. Therefore, special encouragement should also be given to young writers by BSS.
Saying that literature and languages united people, he expressed his happiness that the works in other languages are being translated into the Bodo language with great enthusiasm. Kovind expressed confidence that such translated literature would give an opportunity to the readers of Bodo language to get acquainted with other Indian languages as well as world literature. The President appealed to the Assam Government to make efforts to promote the Bodo language.
Kovind told the gathering that he has been familiar with the Bodo language since he was a member of the Rajya Sabha. He said that the Bodo language was incorporated in the eighth schedule of the Constitution when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister. The President said that the founder-president of the BSS, Joy Bhadra Hagzer and General Secretary Sonaram Thosen had made commendable efforts in recognition of Bodo language. This Sabha has also played an important role in the use of Bodo language as the medium of school education and place in higher education, he added.
Kovind is the first President who attended and addressed the BSS meet.
The three-day conference of BSS began on Monday and several thousand delegates attended the meet from across the country and abroad. Apart from Assam, a large number of people speaking the Bodo language live in Bangladesh, Nepal, Tripura, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and West Bengal.
Inspired by the Assam Sahitya Sabha, the BSS was formed in 1952 for the development of literature, culture, and language. The Bodos (or Boros) were once a powerful and dominant race in the northeast. The Assam government recognised the Bodo language as an associate official language of the state in 2020 after the signing of the Bodo peace accord between the Centre, Assam government and four Bodo militant outfits in January 2020. Assam Governor Prof. Jagdish Mukhi, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, his Meghalaya and Sikkim counterparts Conrad K. Sangma and Prem Singh Tamang respectively and dignitaries from Bangladesh and Nepal attended the mega event of the BSS.