The Assam cabinet has decided to request the Centre to make Assamese as the state language forever excluding BTAD, Barak valley and hill districts.
The decision came in wake of the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) protests across the state. The anti-CAA protesters are saying that the new citizenship law is a threat to Assamese identity, language, culture and tradition.
A cabinet meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on December 21st, 2019 at Janata Bhawan, Guwahati. “In a historic decision, the Cabinet resolved that Assamese may be declared as State language of Assam,” Sonowal tweeted.
“All Indian States were originally reorganized on the basis of language. Subsequently, due to migration, the number of people speaking the language of a State may vary. However, it is important to keep the language on the basis of which State was created. The cabinet resolves that Government of India may by amending Article 345 of Constitution of India declare the Assamese language as State language of Assam excluding Barak Valley, BTAD area and Hill districts,” a government press communique stated.
Here are top 16 points from the cabinet meeting:
- Assam government will bring legislation in next Assembly Session making Assamese as a compulsory subject in all English and other medium schools upto 10th class excluding hill districts, BTAD, Bodo dominated areas and Barak Valley.
- The cabinet resolved that all Tribal Autonomous Councils, namely, Mising, Rabha, Sonowal Kachari, Thengal Kachari, Deori, Tiwa may be granted Constitutional status so that they can receive fund from both Central and State Governments including other rights and privileges.
- The CEM of all tribal autonomous councils will be ex-officio members of Sub-divisions Land Advisory Committee of Sub-divisions within their territorial jurisdiction.
- A new autonomous council for Koch Rajbongshi community (Kamatapur Autonomous Council) residing in original Goalpara district excluding BTAD and Rabha Hasong area will be constituted.
- Similarly, two new Autonomous Councils, for Moran and Matak communities will be created.
- The birthday of Sati Sadhini on 7th Bohag will be declared as State Holiday.
- A new State University named Sati Sadhini Rajyik Vishwavidyalaya will be set up in Golaghat district.
- Two new medical colleges will be established each in Biswanath district and undivided Sivasagar district.
- Bajali Sub-division will be upgraded into a District.
- A Rs 500 crore special package announced in the budget for Moran, Mattak, Chutiya and Ahom communities will be divided equally among them and each community will get Rs 125 crore.
- In addition, Tai Ahom Development Council, Chutiya Development Council and Koch Rajbongshi Development Councils will be restructured with substantial budget allocations.
- Medical, Engineering, Agriculture and Veterinary Science and PG seats in general universities will be specifically reserved for Tai Ahom, Koch Rajbongshi and Chutiya communities. Health & Family Welfare department, Higher Education department, Agriculture department and Animal Husbandry and Veterinary department will work out the number of seats according to population figures.
- Cabinet resolves that Bodo Peace Accord be concluded expeditiously and a request will be made to Government of India in this regard.
- The allocation for Tea Tribe Welfare Department will be increased substantially and more development programmes will be taken up. For higher education of Tea Tribe community, seats will be reserved for tea tribe students in general colleges. In addition, the process for starting 100 new high schools in tea garden areas will be taken up in the next 3 months.
- The wages of labourers of Assam Tea Corporation will be increased from Rs138/- per day to Rs. 167/- per day from 1st January 2020,
- A bill will be introduced in the next session of Assam Legislative Assembly for protection of land rights of indigenous people of Assam.
- Assam Heritage Preservation Bill will be introduced in the next session of Assam Legislative Assembly
Photo credit: Sarbananda Sonowal/Facebook