TEZPUR, Nov 12 – Along with the rest of the State, the anchalik committees of Tezpur District Boro Sahitya Sabha (TDBSS) are all set to celebrate its 61st anniversary with pomp and gaiety on November 16. There are altogether 20 anchalik committees under TDBSS.
The Boro Sahitya Sabha was founded on November 16, 1952, at Basugaon under the then undivided Goalpara district (presently Chirang, BTAD) under the littérateurs Satish Basumatary, Joi Bhadra Hagjer and Sonaram Thaosen.
Looking back at the creation of the Boro literary body which was formed aiming at overall development of Bodos and other tribal people of the region including their language and culture, it is mentionable that the first delegate session of the literary body was held at Basugaon and it was presided over by Satish Chandra Basumatary. It was attended by 10 delegates from NC Hills under the leadership of Joi Bhadra Hagjer and 12 delegates from West Bengal under the leadership of Balichand Dev Karzi and Motilal Narzari.
More importantly, it is to be mentioned here that Bodos had to pass tough times seeking reorganisation of the Bodo language and development of the culture and heritage alongwith the sacrifice of many lives. On September 28, 1974, as many as 15 people sacrificed their lives for the Roman script movement across the State. On that day Amlaram Boro and Sibaram Boro of Barpeta, Haitharam Basumatray and Bisthuram Basumatary of Kokrajhar, Khansai Boro, Kanteswar Boro Budhbar Boro, Dina Boro and Manshi Goyari of Bijni, Ajendranath Basumatary and Nidhiram Narjary of Athgaon, Angelish Baglary of Orang, Sombar Mochahary of Darrang, Gobinda Narayan Basumatary of Garufela and Phoniram Daimari of Rowta Chariali under today’s BTAD area made the ultimate sacrifice at the hands of Assam police and miscreants for the Roman script in a bid to take forward their education and literature.Since then in the later years under the patronisation of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Bodos have been observing the very day as ‘Martyrs’ Day’.
It is to be mentioned here that Bodos comprise the second largest community in the North-East region of India with centuries-old social, political, cultural history and rich heritage. Bodo language is the mother tongue in the Bodo dominated areas and the associate official language of Assam. It is an offshoot language of Sino-Tibetan language family and it is the first and only scheduled Sino-language group of Indian constitution. Record says that the Bodo-speaking community is well spread throughout Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Bengal, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Bihar and some adjoining parts of Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
Bodo language has been recognised as official language of BTAD Area and associate official language of Assam government since 1984. The Bodo Kachari kings used “Deodhai” scripts of it’s own to write this language. Cultural icon Kalaguru Bishnu Prashad Rabha wrote – ‘The use of Deodhai scripts which is comparable to old Brahmin scripts specimens are still available in the stone pillar wreckages and main gate to the royal palace of the Kachari kings in Dimapur’.
However, in the later years Bodos used the Roman, Assamese and Devanagiri scripts to write their language. The Roman script was used by the Christian missionaries to write the Bodo language in their religious books towards the last part of the 19th century. When the Bodo medium school education began in 1963, the Assam government imposed the Assamese language for the Bodos. However, Bodos raised their demand for Roman script. The Boro Sahitya Sabha in it’s 15th annual conference held at Khelmati, Sonitpur with three-day-long programme from March 15 in 1974 resolved to launch a massive movement demanding roman script which later became known as ‘Roman Script Movement’. The same turned to a vigorous one on September 1974 wherein as many as 15 people were killed in police firing at various places across the State.
As a result of the persistent efforts by the BSS, for language and literary development, Bodo-medium school education was introduced in 1963 from primary to degree level. On the other hand, in 1959, Bodo language was introduced for post graduate (PG) course at Gauhati University. Moreover, the Bodo language was included in the VIIIth Schedule of the Indian Constitution in 2003 through the BTC Accord. Government records reveal that the Bodo language is one of the largest developed tribal languages of the region. According to the Assam Textbook Production and Publication Corporation Limited report, the number of books published in Bodo language is the second highest, next only to Assamese. Moreover, as per the 1971 population Census report, there are 1,652 spoken languages in India and out of these only 33 are officially recognised as the Scheduled languages of India and in this arrangement Bodo language has been included.
In connection with the same, the Misamari Anchalik committee BSS and ABSU is jointly organising a two-day long programme at Dhekipelwa playground to mark the anniversary of the parent organisation of Bodos. Outlining the agenda, one of the organisers, Hitesh Narzari said that on November 16, the programme will start at 8 am with unfurling of BSS flag by the president, MAC, BSS, Rudra Dangiary. It will be followed by homage to the martyrs’, delegate’s hall, delegate session etc. On next day, that is on November 17, alongwith common agendas like unfurling of Anchalik ABSU flag at 8 am and homage to the martyr’s at 8.30 am the open session is scheduled to be held at 1 pm which will be graced by ABSU president, Promod Boro, Rajib Kumar Doley, Deputy Director, P&T, Tezpur university among others.
On the other hand the Bahbari Anchalik BSS is also organising various programmes on the day for marking the day at Manijarani village here where renowned litterateur, Modhu-ram Boro and Rajib Kumar Doley, Deputy Director, P&T, Tezpur University will be the guests. The organisers have urged one and all to make the programme a grand success.