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"How much do we respect our own mother tongue?" MLA Dilip Paul throws a question at critics

11 months after signing the Bodo peace accord, the Assam Cabinet in December 2020 passed a bill to make Bodo the official associate language of the state. Since then the demand for recognising Bengali as an associate language was raised by many.

MLA North Karimganj raised the issue in the Assembly and Health Minister responded to the same. According to the 2011 Census, there are 14.16 lakh, Bodo speakers, in Assam about 4.53% of the state’s population. Bengali, according to the same census is spoken by more than 90 lakh people about 30% of the state’s population.

In an exclusive interview with Barak Bulletin, Silchar MLA Dilip Paul commented on the issue. While asked if he feels Bengali should be recognised as an associate language in Assam, Paul responded with a counter-question, “Why should it be an associate language?”

Diverting away from the question, Paul said the Bengalis living in this region need to “introspect’. “22 crore’s Bengali cannot be destroyed by any external force, if it gets destroyed, it will be destroyed by us Bengalis,” said MLA Dilip Paul.

He added, “In this region, we have parents enrolling their children to English Medium schools. Why? Can’t students study English in Bengali Medium Schools? There are many parents who boast with pride that their children cannot read Bengali script. Before talking about who is doing what with Bengali language, we need to introspect and ask ourselves what are we doing with this language?”

Citing the example of Satyendra Nath Bose he said, “We all know about the Bose-Einstein formula. This is for those who think Science cannot be taught or understood in Bengali. Satyen Bose is a famous scientist, isn’t he? In Germany, there is no English, German is the language spoken by scientists, same is in France… are they inferior to English speaking nations when it comes to science and invention?”

In this new episode of Straight Upfront, Silchar MLA Dilip Kumar Paul talks about the political scenario encompassing #BarakValley. He also comments on the Barak Brahmaputra divide, unemployment, state of #Bengali Language in #Assam, and the upcoming elections.

Watch the full episode now:


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