The Assamese people were eagerly waiting for the decisions expected to be taken at the ISO meeting in London regarding the recognition of the independence of the Assamese script and its Unicode standard, but no final decision has come out yet.
Though no official announcement has been made till now, as per sources, in Unicode, there would be no separate chart for Assamese script. The same chart would be there for both Bengali and Assamese scripts.
That means, though the ISO and the Unicode Consortium have recognized the independence of the Assamese script, there would no more changes in the code chart for Bengali and Assamese scripts, except some changes in the name and technicalities.
On the other hand, Dr Satyakam Phukan, who has been raising mistakes in the Assamese script in Unicode anad fighting for the cause, told Northeast Now that he cannot support the decision of the Unicode Consortium and the acceptance of the delegation from Assam. He would continue his fight against the injustice.
It is to be noted that the ISO and Unicode Consortium had included the Assamese script in their list of scripts taking it as a subject of Bengali script as a result, there was no existence of the Assamese script in the global perspective and in the IT world.
As the Assamese people raised voice and the Unicode Consortium had mentioned in its code chart as Bengali Assamese. But that too in the name and on the chart but in the code chart it was there as Bengali and it still remains as it is.
Actually, that was done only to console the agitating Assamese people. In everything inside the code chart, there was mention of only Bengali and it continues to remain so.
In protest against such injustice by Unicode Consortium, a number of Assamese people had been fighting at various levels and in various ways. They also had to fight against the Indian sides which did not want to recognize Assamese as an independent script.
On February 5, 2014, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) invited a three-member delegation including Dr Satyakam Phukan, who led the fight, to present facts regarding independence of Assamese script. Along with Dr Phukan, the delegation also had Durlav Gogoi and Dibrugarh University’s Assistant Professor Bhaskarjyoti Sarma.
In this important meeting it was decided to form a high-level committee by the BIS to investigate and prepare a report regarding the independence of Assamese script.
In the same year, under the leadership of Dr Phukan, a five-member team including Ajijul Haque, Tapan Kr Sarma, Binay Sarma and Durlav Gogoi submitted a memorandum to then Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to take bold step in the political level on the issue.
At the initiative of then Chief Minister Gogoi, a press release was issued stating that a bold step would be taken up by the Government in this regard.
The Asom Sahitya Sabha also took the issue seriously. The current Government has also taken forward the process.
As a result, the Delhi-based BIS this year held a special meeting with an Assamese delegation where the independence of Assamese script was accepted within India. And it was decided to present the matter at the ISO. As per that decision, a delegation from Assam has been in London for the last three days. The delegation which has taken part in the meeting with ISO comprises AMTRON MD MK Yadav, Cotton University Registrar Shikhar Sarma, former Asom Sahitya Sabha president Dr Dhrubajyoti Bora and current president Dr Paramananda Rajbongshi.
The decisions are yet to be made officially public.
As per the sources of the delegation from Assam, The code chart in the Unicode Consortium would be named as Bengali Assamese and the same will be done in the code point inside it and in every mention. In the main chart, the Assamese letters, symbols will be available. The final draft in this regard is being prepared by Unicode Consortium’s Registrar Michael Everson and it will be published on Friday
It may be mentioned that for recognition in Unicode Consortium, it is necessary to include the name and independence of the respective script in the list of ISO
And after such recognition, Unicode Consortium includes it in their list and encode the same.