Raging controversies bring Sahitya Sabha centenary celebrations under cloud
The Asom Sahitya Sabha which is meant to promote the culture of Assam and Assamese literature seems to have lost its dignity with the controversy arising out of the Sabha’s general secretary Paramananda Rajbongshi’s name figuring in a suicide case of a former employee.
The Asom Sahitya Sabha, which was formed in 1917, has completed 100 years and ahead of its centenary celebrations in Sivasagar the controversy has smeared the Sabha’s lofty position. Former presidents of the Sabha like Kanak Sen Deka, Lakhsminandan Bora and Nagen Saikia had demanded for removal of its secretary Paramananda Rajbongshi. “The main culprit is Paramananda Rajbongshi and the problem has arisen because of him. As the president has already resigned, the general secretary or the working president does not have any power; the existence of the general secretary is purely incidental. In the absence of the president, the vice-president has to take the responsibility,” said former president of Asom Sahitya Sabha, Kanak Sen Deka while speaking to G Plus.
The former president said that a new committee should be formed by conducting an election and the centenary celebration should be taken over by the new committee. “It has been mentioned in the guidelines that in the absence of the president, the vice-president should be given the responsibility and now that the situation has turned worst possible, two-three new members should be appointed and they should conduct a free and fair election. The new committee will conduct the centenary celebration. The general secretary has said that the celebration will be conducted by the vice-president which is irrelevant. After the resignation of the president there is no existence of the committee as he is the prime leader of the Sabha,” Deka said.
He said that Rajbongshi is the main culprit; he thinks that the Sabha is his personal property and Dr.Dhrubajyoti Bora is also equally responsible as he followed Rajbonshi’s ideology. “During my term when the General Secretary Jagadish Patgiri had indulged in financial anomalies we had immediately formed an enquiry committee to bring out the truth. When it was proved that he was indeed part of some financial corruption he was dismissed. For the recovery of the money a case has been filed against him now. Dhrubajyoti Bora should have also taken some steps against Rajbongshi rather than follow his instructions. The term of office at the SahityaSabha is two years but Bora accepted the proposal of Rajbonsgshi to arbitrarily extend the term for another year just for the centenary celebrations,” said Deka.
Deka added that the president is the mainstay of the Sahitya Sabha and if anyone violates the rules and regulations the president should take strict action. It is due to the violation of rules that such controversies arise. Had Bora taken action against Rajbongshi such a controversy couldn’t have arisen.Rajbongshi had been elected general secretary for two terms, became vice-president then again got elected as general secretary. He has himself conducted the election in his term and elected himself for the posts.
It is due to these controversies that the centenary session (slated for February 2-5) hascome under a cloud. Several branches of the Sabha too have demanded Rajbangshi’s ouster; it was instead its president Dr Dhruba Jyoti Borah who put in his papers expressing his helplessness to run the century-old organisation because of Rajbangshi’s style of functioning.
Rajbongshi, who has chosen to cling on to his post, has denied the charges and instead accused President Borah of running away from his responsibilities. “Majority of the Sabha’s executive committee members have asked me not to resign. The allegations against me are not true,” Rajbongshi has claimed. He also asked Borah to withdraw his resignation failing which he has also threatened to install Vice-president Parag Thakur to the post of the president.
Meanwhile, a group of leading intellectuals and writers have asked all former presidents of the Sabha to come forward to salvage the century-old institution in this hour of crisis. “All the past presidents of the Sabha should come together to shoulder the responsibility of salvaging it from this crisis that has emerged just before the centenary session,” former President Lakshminandan Bora said.
Formed in 1917 with the objectives of development of Assamese language, literature and culture, the Asom Sahitya Sabha has about 1,000 branches with over two lakh members.
Dr. Dhrubajyoti Borah, during submission of his resignation, said that he was constrained by the indifference of the Sabha management to the adverse public opinion building up against the Sabha and the general secretary’s various acts of omission and commission. He said that the Sabha executive has also ignored the justified concern of well known Assamese writers and intellectuals over the unpleasant developments of the Sabha. According to him he also urged Rajbongshi to quit temporarily in view of the recent developments for the greater interest of the Sabha but to no effect. He asked the general secretary to quit as many as five times and the last time was in the presence of the steering committee members during the last executive body meeting but he refused.
Former president of AsomSahityaSabha, KanakSenDeka, demands formation of a new committee to take charge of the centenary celebrations
The Sabha was formed in 1917 with the objective of promoting Assamese literature and culture
The Sabha has lost its dignity after the controversy and the Sabha members have misused the powers given to them
The centenary celebration is slated to commence from 2nd February at Sivasagar
Holding of the centenary celebration has become uncertain due to the controversies
Stay updated on the go with GPlus News. Click here to download the app for your device.