Jalpaiguri: An office of the Kamtapuri Bhasa Academy was opened here on Wednesday to work for the conservation and development of the language.
“During the erstwhile Left rule, people had laid lives while organising a movement over the demand for recognition of Kamtapuri language. But it is chief minister Mamata Banerjee who has formed the academy to recognise the movement and the contribution of those people,” state tourism minister Gautam Deb said after he inaugurated the office.
At the event, Atul Roy, the vice-chairman of the academy and the president of Kamtapur Progressive Party (KPP) that has been consistently vocal over the demand for recognition of Kamtapuri language, also appreciated the move.
“The Left Front government had put several people behind bars for the movement. But the chief minister has realised the importance of the movement of Kamtapuri people and has thus created the academy. We are thankful to her,” said Roy.
Last year, the state had announced creation of the Rajbangshi Bhasa Academy and Kamtapuri Bhasa Academy after disputes cropped up among researchers, leaders and erudite people of the Rajbangshi community as to whether the language should be called Rajbangshi or Kamtapuri.
“The chief minister did not take any risk and announced formation of both the academies. She was also quick to include leaders of political parties and organisations which have organised movements on the demand as office bearers of the academies,” pointed an observer.
While Atul found a berth at Kamtapuri Bhasa Academy, Banshi Badan Burman, the general secretary of Greater Cooch Behar Peoples’ Association, was made vice-chairman of the other academy.
In his speech, Deb said the academy had been entrusted with the responsibility of framing a dictionary, grammar and syllabus of Kamtapuri language.