Satyakam Phukan, a Guwahati-based general surgeon and the person, who first raised the issue of incorporating Assamese as a separate script in the Unicode, on Tuesday alleged that the central government had not taken any steps for recognition of Assamese as an independent script in the Unicode.
“Michael Everson (an American and Irish linguist, script encoder)’s proposal to rename the Bengali script as Assamese-Bengali was not acceptable. Therefore, we had submitted a public petition signed by 500 persons to the Prime Minister, President and Assam Chief Minister through the deputy commissioner of Kamrup (Metro) district on September 24 last. But, it is unfortunate that the Indian government has not taken any steps in this regard,” Phukan said.
Taking a dig at the Central Government for accepting the deletion of the Assamese script from ISO: 10646 standard, Phukan questioned, “Under what provision of the Indian Constitution and the Laws of the Indian Union has the government accepted this?”
Phukan further alleged that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity), government of India had forced the Assamese people to forego their ancient heritage enshrined in the Assamese script just to satisfy the ego of Everson.
Phukan further questioned Unicode Consortium over deletion of Assamese script from ISO: 10646 standard, “Under what privilege or right has the Consortium deleted the Assamese script from ISO: 10646 standard when Indian national encoding ISCII has Assamese as one of the Indian scripts?”
He further asked Everson not to worry about the problem of Assamese script.
“We can solve our script problem and show the difference between Bengali and Assamese scripts. You just include it as separate script in the Unicode,” Phukan said.