Bodo, Khasi literature, and identity
Bodo Literature Day is observed on November 16 in almost all Bodo-dominant areas. It’s an intellectually good sign for any community. Bodo is a very small community in Assam, and sometimes they face a cultural survivability problem as well. The Bodo Literary Conference was established on this day in 1952. Jaya Bhadra Hagjer and Sonaram Thaosen were president and secretary, respectively. There is no doubt that this literary organization has been serving Bodo culture and literature since its inception. They have now attained the ability to publish some high-class literary material in their vernacular language. Some books have been translated into other languages as well. But only in 1985 was the Bodo language declared an associate language by the government of Assam. Moreover, this language was listed under the eighth schedule of the constitution through the 92nd constitutional amendment of 2003.
So, the language is still in a very nascent stage. Today, in the era of globalization, many small communities are facing a literary-cultural existential crisis. The Bodo are not an exception to this. There are a lot of similarities between Meghalaya’s Khasi community and the Bodos of Assam. Both are small in numbers and are converting to Christianity, eschewing their age-old traditional religions. Many customs and rituals are diminishing among both communities for practising the alien Christian religion. Simultaneously, many ethnic words and terms have also disappeared from their day-to-day conversation. Moreover, due to the deep penetration of Christianity, their vernacular languages are also socio-religiously replaced by the English language to some extent.
So, no community, small or big, can preserve their identity in only one way. This means that the overall original ethnic culture or rituals of any community have to evolve to sustain their own identity. Religion, culture, language, and custom are all interrelated, not separate. All the small communities, including Bodo and Khasi, should understand it better.
Let’s celebrate India’s journey to the final
What a great performance by the Indian team, especially with the unprecedented batting of Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer and the invincible bowling of Mohammed Shami. Keep up the amazing work. The final will be the best. Let’s celebrate India’s journey to the final.
Celebration of foundation days in other states
Of late, we have observed that the Raj Bhavan, Assam, is releasing advertisements in different newspapers, etc., celebrating the Foundation Day of various states of India.
While the celebration of the foundation of a state within the state itself is noteworthy and worthwhile, we find no merit in Raj Bhavan, Assam, going the extra mile in celebrating the foundation days of other states. This may be the case with Raj Bhavans in other states as well. The precious financial and other resources of the state may well be used for far more meaningful purposes, especially in a poor country like India.
Call for peace
War and violence have never been known to solve any problems. Instead, it is the innocent who suffer, as they are suffering now in the Israel-Hamas war. Peace is what is needed, increasingly more badly as the days pass.
Jahangir Ali, Guwahati