A letter dashed off by some unidentified persons to the President of India, Prime Minister and Chancellor of Gauhati University (GU) Jagdish Mukhi, which raised the issue of English language being used for writing research papers in other departments of literature subjects under GU except Assamese, has created sensation among the teachers and students of GU’s Assamese Department.
As per information, the letter, which was signed by six persons – Mukesh Singh, Kalpana Choudhury, Samaresh Dutta, Prashanta Kumar, Rahul Jha and Md MMM Rahman – stated: “If the research scholars of the Department of Assamese can write their research papers in Assamese language, then why can’t the research scholars of other departments, like Department of Bengali, Department of Bodo, etc. write their research papers in their respective languages?”
“The incident came to light while the letter went viral on the social networking sites recently,” said Nipam Kumar Kalita, a research scholar of the Department of Assamese.
As per reports, the signatories of the letter did not mention any address and date in the letter.
Talking to Northeast Now, Head of the Department of Assamese, Dr Bibha Bharali said, “Since we have not received any envelope along with the letter, we do not know from which post office the letter was posted.”
“We came to know about the letter during the meeting of the Academic Council of the University on June 29 last. The Chancellor sent a copy of the letter to the Vice Chancellor, Dr Mridul Hazarika on June 1,” said Dr Bharali.
Dr Bharali also said, “The miscreants, in the letter, also questioned the merits of the experts of Visva-Bharati University, University of Calcutta, Jadavpur University, etc. who examine the research papers of the students of our department.”
“They also demanded re-examination of the research papers submitted in the last 15 to 20 years,” said Dr Bharali adding, “We condemn the incident. This may be a planned conspiracy to harm the reputation of the glorious department as well as the university.”
Talking on the language to use in writing research papers by the research scholars of other departments including Department of Bengali, Department of Bodo, etc., Dr Bharali informed that a resolution was taken in the Academic Council meeting in this regard on June 29. She said, “It has been decided that students of other departments can also write their research papers in their respective languages if they wish. They can also write in English.”
It has been alleged that at a time when most of the political parties and ethnic organisations have been protesting over the Centre’s move to bring in illegal Hindu-Bangladeshis by implementing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, some miscreants have targetted the Department of Assamese as a conspiracy to malign the department.
“The Department of Assamese, GU has been playing an important role in the development of Assamese literature, language and culture,” added Dr Bharali.