Amid the nationwide lockdown to contain COVID-19, Asam Sahitya Sabha president Kuladhar Saikia discussed several issues with the various branches across the globe in a special webinar on May 16.
Assam Association of North America (AANA) conducted a global webinar with Saikia on May 16. This is a significant milestone for the Sabha – it is the first time that a president of the sabha has addressed a global audience of more than 80 people in the 100 years history of Asam Sahitya Sabha.
Assamese organizations and Asam Sahitya Sabha chapters from various parts of the world, along with enthusiastic participants from Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Oman, Kuwait, India (Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru), Scotland, Britain, Netherlands, Canada and multiple states in the US availed of the opportunity to listen to Saikia and participate in a live question and answer session following his address.
Saikia emphasized that the Asam Sahitya Sabha is a very important nation-building tool. He dispelled the common misunderstanding that participation in the Sabha was limited to writers and scholars – it is open to all individuals who love Assam, its language, and culture.
He discussed the importance of preserving rare and old Assamese literature by digitization, developing creative ways to engage the next generation of Assamese everywhere in our language and culture, focus on enriching the Assamese language with words and phrases from other dialects spoken in the state. The Global Assamese Community exchanged ideas on promoting and preserving the Assamese language, shared their current efforts towards this goal, and wholeheartedly supported the visions of Saikia, with an assurance to assist Asam Sahitya Sabha in any way possible.
The webinar lasted over three hours. It started with a keynote by Suranjoy Hazarika, president of AANA, and Shakuntala Choudhury, president of the Asam Sahitya Sabha (North American Chapter). The event was conducted and moderated by Jonali Baruah, general secretary of AANA.