[Assam] Official/ Court Language of Assam 1826-1836 (Persian or Assamese)?
uttamborthakur at yahoo.co.in
Sat Aug 7 17:50:53 IST 2010
Srijut KJ Deka,
I have been trying to find a categorical answer to the question as to whether Assamese was the official/ court language in Assam during the particular period 1826 to 1836 that was replaced by Bengali. This replacement must obviously relate to court, offices and educational institution under the British, and not to those under Swargadeo Purandar Singha's (till 1833). Not being an institutional scholar, I have not been able to lay my hands on some suggestive materials available on the net, and I have not found the time to collect it from other sources.
I have found a suggestion in this behalf in the following: -
"5.16 Under orders of Lord William Bentinck, the then Governor- General, reform In the language was introduced by the Bengali and Persian Language Act (Act No . XXIX of 1837). The Act stated: "It shall be lawful for the Governor-General-in-Council by an order In the Council, to dispense either generally or within such local limits, as may seem to him meet, with any provision of the Bengal Code which enjoins the use of the Persian language in any judicial proceedings or any proceedings relating to the Revenue, and to prescribe the language and character to be used in such proceedings." (Source:http://www.education.nic.in/cd50years/u/47/3Y/473Y0601.htm)
It also summarized as follows: -
" 5.22 At the turn of the century, the position of the court language in general, as provided by the laws prevailing in Indict, can be summed up as under :
(i) Persian was abolished as the court language in 1835.
(ii) Its place was given to English, which was accepted as the official language for use in the high court, the chief court, the subordinate courts,while evidence could be recorded in varnaculars. The language to be used by the presiding officers was to be English.
(iii) Both in respect of proceedings governed by the Civil Procedure Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, the State Governments had the authority to declare what would be the language of surbordintate courts."
Similarly, I had found some indications on this issue in
"Ahom palace intrigue and political turmoil due to the Moamoria rebellion aided the expansionist Burmese ruler of Ava to invade Assam and install a puppet king in 1821. With the Burmese having reached the East India Company’s borders, the First Anglo-Burmese War ensued. The war ended under the Treaty of Yandaboo in 1826, with the Company taking control of Lower Assam and installing Purander Singh as king of Upper Assam in 1833. The arrangement lasted till 1838 and thereafter the British gradually annexed the entire region. Initially Assam was made a part of theBengal Presidency, …….. ( Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assam)" [ What was the official/ court language in Bengal Presidency if we have to believe that Act XXIX of 1837 abolished Persian and replaced it with English ?]
" Since English was increasingly being employed as the language of instruction, Persian was abolished as the official language of the Company's administration and courts by 1837." Source: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Company_rule_in_India)"
Some indications are there in the following links:
HISTORIOGRAPHY OF THE FORMATION OF ASSAMESE IDENTITY: A REVIEW (MADHUMITA SENGUPTA)
A thematic review of Planter Raj to Swaraj: Freedom
Struggle and Electoral Politics in Assam, 1826-1947 by A.
Guha; Assam: A Burning Question by H. Gohain; Roots of
Ethnic Conflict: Nationality Questions in North East India
by S. Nag; Social Tensions in Assam Middle Class Politics
by A.K. Baruah; and India Against Itself: Assam and the
Politics of Identity by S. Baruah.).(Source:http://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/collections/journals/pdsa/pdf/pdsa_02_01_07.pdf)
Should you find any conclusive material on this point, any whichever way, at any time, please let me know. I shall also keep up my effort. Incidentally, Assam in the Days of the Company and Oxomor Nabajagoron aru Ona Oxomiya Xomprodaiyar Bhumika are also not available in the market!
Uttam Kumar Borthakur
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