More than three years after linguists and scholars have objected to clubbing Assamese as a modified version of the Bengali script, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday constituted an expert committee to study in detail the computational intricacies of the Assamese writing script in the Unicode standard and suggest corrective measures for the same.
The committee comprising of linguists, IT specialists, language technologists, domain specialists, IT experts from universities, and officials of the state IT and Cultural Affairs departments would go into the computational intricacies of the Unicode script and project certain uniqueness of the Assamese script which makes it very different and independent from the Bengali script or any other script.
The state government will submit a proposal to the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, government of India for an individual and separate status for the Assamese script. “As of now the Assamese script in Unicode has been shown as a modified version of the Bengali script,” an official press note said.
Linguists in Assam have pointed out that though the Assamese language is listed in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution, the Indian Standard Code for Uniformation Exchange has considered Assamese to be written in the Bengali script instead of recognizing as a separate script. Pointing this out Satyakam Phukan, a prominent linguist fighting for the cause said the same was being reflected in Unicode’s Universal Character Set (UCS).