Litterateurs oppose move to change name

Meanwhile, four former presidents of the Asam Sahitya Sabha Homen Borgohain, Dr Nagen Saikia, Dr Birendranath Dutt and Dr Lakshminandan Bora, have opposed the change of the State’s name to Asom. Noted litterateur Dr Mamoni Roisom Goswami has also opposed the move as an entirely unwarranted and undemocratic move on the part of the State Legislature.

Several organizations also have opposed the move and they have already held a convention and formed a committee to carry forward the fight against the move.

In a written statement here, Dr Hazarika, who is regarded as a living legend by the people of the State, said, “ I strongly support retention of the name Assam for my State.”

Dr Hazarika has strongly objected to the change in the name of the State to Asom and told Rajen Barua a resident of Houston, USA, over the phone that the Britishers did not introduce the name Assam. It is a local Assamese name which has been in vogue since the coming of the Tai Ahoms to the State in the 13th century.

It will be a grave historical blunder if the Government replaces Assam with Asom. The name Assam is also important for maintaining harmony among all sections of the people of the State. He suggested that Assam in English should be retained, while allowing Oxom to be the formal name of the State in Assamese, said Barua in a written statement received here today.

It needs mention here that the State Cabinet approved a change in the English name of the State to Asom in February last year. The State Assembly on December 15 last year adopted a resolution endorsing the above Cabinet decision. The Assembly decision was adopted by a voice vote without any debate on the issue.

Those who have been opposing the move since the very beginning are of the opinion that there was no demand from any quarter for this change in the name of the State. Moreover, there was no informed public discussion or debate held to determine as to whether it was a priority for the people of the State to change the name of their State, and, if it was so, then which would be the best alternative to its existing name.

A petition was also submitted to Chief Minister on January 2,opposing the move. The copies of the petition have also been sent to the President and Prime Minister of the country.

(The Assam Tribune, 16.01.2007)