The year-long centenary celebrations of Asam Sahitya Sabha – Assam’s largest and oldest socio-literary body – began on Tuesday with the raising of one lakh flags across the state by its numerous branches, with preparations for the centenary session of the Sabha, due in February, also starting simultaneously in Sivasagar.
While its president and eminent Assamese author Dhrubajyoti Bora hoisted the flag in the Sabha’s in the Bhagavati Baruva Bhavan in Guwahati, its vice-president Parag Thakur hosted the centenary flag at the Chandrakanta Handiqui Bhavan in Jorhat.
“It is a great moment in the history of Assam’s language and culture that Asam Sahitya Sabha, founded way back in 1916, has completed one hundred years. The Sabha is a not just a symbol, but also a huge umbrella under which every indigenous language and culture of Assam feel secure and safe. We pay our tributes to the founders like Padmanath Gohain-Baruah and Lakshminath Bezbaroa and resolve to take Assamese literature to new heights in the days to come,” president Bora said in Guwahati.
Preparations for the five-day centenary year session, which is slated to start from February 1, 2017 in Sivasagar – the town where the first session was held in 1917 – however have been marred by several controversies, with a section of Sabha branches and former presidents accusing general secretary Paramananda Rajbangshi of indulging in a series of irregularities.
At least three former presidents – Nagen Saikia, Kanaksen Deka and Lakshminandan Bora – on the other hand have alleged that present president Dhrubajyoti Bora and general secretary Rajbangshi had illegally extended the term of the Sabha’s present central executive committee from two years to three. “Extending the term of the central committee from two years to three is irregular and illegal,” they said in statement demanding resignation of the duo.
In Sivasagar, the Sabha’s centenary session celebration committee on the other hand has debarred general secretary Rajbangshi from attending the February session. Rajbangshi on the other hand has said he would resign from his post on Thursday “in the larger interest” of the Sabha.