Assam remembers Miles Bronson’s contribution to Assamese language

From Our Correspondent

 Guwahati: It was a Christian missionary scholar , Miles Bronson who shouldered the responsibility to develop Assamese language in 19th century. The people of Assam have not forgotten his immense contribution towards welfare of their language.

Assam on Friday paid rich tributes to the American Baptist missionary Rev Miles Bronson, on the occasion of his 200th birth anniversary. Bronson compiled the first Assamese dictionary way back in 1867. Not only that, he also brought out the first Assamese language newspaper ‘Orunodoi’ in 1845.

Assam Sahitya Sabha (ASS), the apex literary body in the State has drawn up a year-long programme to mark birth bi-centenary on Miles Bronson beginning on Friday . It will also be observed as the “Year of the Dictionary.”

Bronson commemoration programme includes publication of at least two new Assamese dictionaries, a series of seminars and awareness programmes on dictionaries, setting up three bronze busts of the pioneer and generating awareness about correct use of the language in times of television and other social media, according to Paramananda Rajbongshi, General Secretary of the ASS.

Bronson came to Assam in less than 10 years after the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam had been annexed to colonial British India. He wrote a number of books that have enriched several languages of the region.

Besides writing various books including ‘A Spelling Book and Vocabulary in English, Assamese, Singpho and Naga in 1839, he also wrote two books in the Garo language in 1863. He played the key role in restoring Assamese as official language and medium of instruction in Assam in1873 after it had been replaced by Bengali in 1836 by the British.