Guwahati: The Asam Sahitya Sabha (ASS), an influential literary body, has criticised the move to make Hindi a compulsory subject till Class 10 in North-Eastern states and asked the government to concentrate on conserving and promoting indigenous languages.

In a statement, ASS secretary-general Jadav Chandra Sharma said if Hindi is made compulsory, the future of indigenous languages and Assamese as a link language will be endangered.

He also said the Sabha had been pressing the state government for the inclusion of Assamese in CBSE and English medium schools, but no progress has been made in this regard so far.

Opposition parties in Assam have criticised the Centre’s announcement that all the eight North Eastern states have agreed to Hindi being a compulsory subject till class 10 and called it a “step towards cultural imperialism”.

The opposition parties, including the Congress and AJP, have demanded the withdrawal of the decision, which it said is against the interests of the people of the region.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said at a meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee in New Delhi on April 7 that all NE states have agreed to make Hindi compulsory in schools up to Class 10. He had also said that nine tribal communities of the region have converted their dialects’ scripts to Devanagari and 22,000 Hindi teachers have been recruited for the eight states.

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