GUWAHATI, May 11 - A discussion on the book Burden of History; Assam and the Partition – Unresolved Issues, written by eminent writer and academician Udayon Misra, was held under the aegis of the North East Writers’ Forum at its office here on Saturday.
The book – a well-researched account of issues that continued to affect Assam after partition of India – also deals with contentious issues that largely impact the geography, demography, language, people’s mindsets and the polity of Assam.
The panelists – journalist Mrinal Talukdar, bureaucrat Jishnu Barua, academician Noni Gopal Mahanta and Executive Editor of The Assam Tribune PJ Baruah – along with the author deliberated on different aspects of the unresolved issues and after-effects of partition in Assam and the North East.
Mahanta raised the issue of Assamese language vis-a-vis the doubts among indigenous Assamese people about becoming minority in their own land. Misra added that the parameters of the Assamese nationality have expanded over the years and the Assamese language is also undergoing major changes with change in demography. The issues of living spaces and its impact of immigration were also discussed.
Jishnu Barua lauded the author for his extensive research based on primary data like Assembly debates before and immediately after the partition. “The book reveals lots of new things and has gone beyond what others have done,” he said.
Responding to his query about the changing cultural base of Assam, the author Misra said that the cultural bases never remain static over a period of time.
PJ Baruah, while taking part in the discussion, raised the issue of the role played by senior Congress leaders including Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in promptly agreeing to offer Assam on a platter to East Pakistan.
“The decision on Assam was a part of the Cabinet Mission Plan, which was a complex issue. Moreover, the role of Nehru must not be seen in a linear way,” Misra said.
Mrinal Talukdar discussed the roles of Syed Saadulla and Maulana Bhasani.
Earlier, Forum president and writer Dhruba Hazarika delivered the welcome speech. Writers Shrutimala Duara and Rashmi Narzary explained the objective of the meeting and introduced the panelists.