President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, graced the 61st annual conference of Bodo Sahitya Sabha at Tamulpur, Assam on Wednesday (May 4).
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the atmosphere of harmony and peace in the region is becoming stronger with the joint efforts of the Union Government and State Governments of the North-Eastern region. He noted that developmental works have an important role in this change. He appreciated the Central Government, State Governments and residents of the region for this change.
The President noted that May is very important for the Bodo people as they remember Bodofa Upendra Nath Brahma on May 1, which is his death anniversary. He said that Bodofa had spread the message of “live and let live”. His message of maintaining harmony with all communities while conscious of Bodo’s self-pride will be forever relevant.
The President appreciated Bodo Sahitya Sabha for making an invaluable contribution for the past 70 years in strengthening the Bodo language, literature and culture. He said that the Founder-President of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Joy Bhadra Hagzer and General Secretary Sonaram Thosen had made commendable efforts to recognise the Bodo language. This Sabha has also played an important role in using the Bodo language as the medium of school education and its place in higher education.
The President noted that 17 writers have been awarded Sahitya Akademi Awards for their works in the Bodo language. And out of that, ten have been awarded for poetry work. This shows the natural inclination towards poetry among Bodo writers. He was happy to note that many women are writing in different genres of Bodo literature. He also said that only two women are among senior writers who have received the Sahitya Akademi Award for original works. He urged ‘Bodo Sahitya Sabha’ to encourage women writers. He said that to keep any literature alive and relevant, the participation of the younger generation is very important. Therefore, special encouragement should also be given to young writers by Bodo Sahitya Sabha.
The President was happy to note that the works of other languages are being translated into the Bodo language with great enthusiasm. He said that it is the characteristic of any vibrant literary community. He expressed confidence that such translated literature would give the readers of the Bodo language an opportunity to get acquainted with other Indian languages as well as world literature.
The President said that the conservation and promotion of local languages is the responsibility of the society and the government. He appealed to the Government of Assam to make efforts to promote the Bodo language.