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7 Nepali organisations in Dispur decided not to demand Nepali medium of instruction

7 Nepali organisations in Dispur decided not to demand Nepali medium of instruction
Kaliabor (Nagaon), Feb. 2, TT: At a time when different linguistic groups in Assam are putting pressure on Dispur to make their respective languages the medium of instruction, the Nepalis have chosen to differ.

Seven prominent Nepali organisations of the state have decided never to demand Nepali as the medium of instruction and instead requested Dispur to make arrangements so that Nepali students who want to learn their mother tongue can study it as a separate subject.

Chinta Mani Sharma, general secretary of Nepali Sahitya Sabha, one of the seven organisations, said their decision came after they realised the futility of the demand to make Nepali the medium of instruction as most Nepali students study in Assamese-medium schools and prefer to do so.

There are approximately 20 lakh Nepali-speaking people in Assam, the highest in the country, followed by Sikkim.

Nepali is taught as a modern Indian language in 15 colleges in the state. Gauhati University offers a master's degree in the subject in distance mode, besides offering a one-year regular diploma course.

Besides Nepali Sahitya Sabha, the other six organisations include Asom Gorkha Sanmilan, Sodou Asom Gorkha Sanmilan, All Assam Gorkha Students' Union, Nepali Sanskriti Suraksha Parishad, Assam chapter of Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangha and Nepali Academic and Publication Council.

"Most Nepali students study in Assamese-medium schools. Enrolment of Nepali students in the six Nepali-medium schools at Digboi, Guwahati and Sonitpur is very thin. Keeping this in mind, we have decided not to pitch for Nepali as a medium of instruction. We have requested the state government to appoint a Nepali teacher in schools which have 15 per cent Nepali students so that those willing to learn the language separately as a subject can get the opportunity," said Sarma.

At the Kaliabor session of Asam Sahitya Sabha, writer Basanta Kumar Doley yesterday pointed out that the demand of different linguistic groups to make their mother tongues the medium of instruction would ultimately bring these languages into a direct conflict with Assamese, a connecting language in Assam. He hinted that such a demand might drift away one community from the other and requested the Sabha to make an effective policy in this regard.

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