16 November Bodo Language Literacy Day


16 November Bodo LanguageLiteracy Day
16 November Bodo Language Literacy Day 

Bodo is a statutory language of provincial identity in Assam (India), and the official language of the Bodoland Territorial Region, an autonomous region in the northeast of India. It is spoken in Bodoland, in the neighboring districts of Darrang, Goalpara, Kamrup, and Nagaon, and also in the Lakhimpur and Sivsagar districts in northeastern Assam. It is also spoken in the Chandel district of Manipur state, the West Garo Hills and East Khasi Hills districts of Meghalaya, and in the of Cooch-Behar, Darjeeling, and Jalpaiguri districts of West Bengal.

The Bodo Sahitya Sabha promotes the Bodo language and Bodo literature. It was founded under the presidency and leadership of Joy Bhadra Hagjer, at Basugaon, in the district of Kokrajhar, Assam on 16 November 1952. It consisted of representatives of Assam, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, and Nepal abroad.

After India obtained independence, a critical mass of Bodo intellectuals realized the need for the preservation of the Bodo language. Many early Bodo authors studied in schools and colleges, where the medium of instruction was either Assamese or Bengali. Bodo intellectuals felt that the Bodo language must be preserved and developed at par with Assamese and Bengali languages. Bodo people realized very late that education was the key component to the overall development of Bodo people and their language. 

After the prolonged struggle and determination of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha (Bodo Literary Organization), the Bodo language was introduced as a medium of instruction at the primary level in 1963 and then at the secondary level in 1968. Bodo language and literature have been recognized as one of the Major Indian Languages (MIL) in Guwahati, Dibrugarh, and North-Eastern Hill Universities. In 1985, Bodo has been recognized as an associated state official language of Assam.

Now the language has attained a position of pride with the opening of the Post-Graduate Courses in Bodo language and literature in the University of Gauhati in 1996 and in Bodoland University, Kokrajhar. Moreover, under the aegis of the Commission for Scientific and Technical terminology, the HRD Ministry, the Govt. of India, the Bodo Sahitya Sabha is preparing more than forty thousand scientific and technical terms in Bodo language. 

Further, it is promised, the Sahitya Academy would accord 'Bhasa Sonman'(respect for language) to the Bodo language and literature as an initial token of full-fledged recognition to it. Furthermore, the Govt. of India, in principle, has recognized the necessity of the inclusion of the Bodo language and literature in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India.

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