2. The Official Language Movement of 1960
Though the Official Language Movement in Assam was started formally in 1960 but it can be said that the movement had begun after the very next day of India’s Independence. The Assam Jatiya Mahasabha and the Asomiya Sangha took a leading role in this regard. The Assam Jatiya Mahasabha was quite vocal and demanded that the Assamese should be recognized as the state language and the medium of Instruction. A memorandum was submitted to Gopinath Bordoloi, the then Chief Minister of Assam by Ambikagiri Roy Choudhary, the president of the Mahasabha, to concede the persistent demands of the Association. ‘Assam for Assamese’ was the soul slogan of their organization. Chandra Kanta Phukon, President of Asomiya Sangha, Nagaon, also pleaded for recognition of the Assamese as the state language after independence, Assamese was recognized as one of the language in the VUIth Schedule of the constitution. But controversy started over the declaration of Assamese as the state language due to the fact that Assam is a multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural state of North-East India. So, it was very difficult to declare Assamese as the state official language by the state Government without considering the consent of the other major communities of the state. Being the majority in the state the Assamese people and other nationalist organization of Assam pressurized the Assam Government to declare Assamese as the state official language This proposal began agitating the people’s mind in the Brahmaputra valley, in Cachar and the Hill districts for sometime prior to the outbreak of July 4, I960. Again, it can be said that the Official Language Movement of 1960 was a direct sequel to the appointment of the state’s Re-organization Committee (S.RC) in 1955 and dates back to the agitation for adoption of Assamese as the official language in 1950.