An influential, century-old literary organisation in Assam has issued a diktat saying people who do not know Assamese or any other indigenous language would not be allowed to work in the State.
The Assam Sahitya Sabha, established in 1917, has also set the BJP-led government a month’s deadline to make Kendriya Vidyalayas and schools affiliated to the CBSE on introduce any recognised indigenous tongue as the third language up to Class 12.
Private universities such as Don Bosco University that have allegedly resisted using a local language as a medium of instruction have also been asked to fall in line or face punitive action.
“We have served notice according to the provisions of the Assam Accord (of 1985 that ended a six-year agitation for ejecting illegal migrants). The Centre should have made an effort to protect the cultural and linguistic identity of the indigenous peoples. We have to protect our identity,” Paramananda Rajbongshi, president of the Sabha said in a statement on Thursday.
The Sabha has been at the forefront of a movement for resisting the threat to Assamese and other local tongues from mainstream languages.