NEW DELHI: Irony died a thousand deaths yesterday when the unsure and the unclear Assam government didn’t have an answer to the question, “Who is an Assamese”?

The obscurity of Dispur was unveiled in the Assam State Assembly yesterday when the Assam Accord Implementation Minister Bhumidhar Barman informed the Assembly that the state government has not yet been able to finalise the definition of the Assamese people.

The clarity on the definition is absolutely necessary for the implementation of the Assam Accord whereby constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards would be provided to the “Assamese people” under Clause 6 of the Accord.

Barman gave this information while replying to a question by Phani Bhusan Choudhury, a legislator of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), during the question hour, and also added that the state government had asked Asam Sahitya Sabha, the apex literary body of the state, to fix the definition of Assamese but they were yet to come up with one.

Keshab Mahanta, another AGP legislator also expressed concern about this issue and reiterated the fact that it would not be possible to implement Clause 6 of the accord without a proper definition.

Barman then pointed that though the AGP had submitted a proposal defining Assamese people for the implementation of Clause 6 during their first tenure, however, it was rejected since it wasn’t found appropriate.

It is pertinent to mention here that in October, 2005 a committee of ministers was constituted by the state government in order to examine the various issues relating to the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord which included the definition of Assamese people.

Presently, this issue is under examination of the cabinet sub-committee.

The sub-committee has also held a number of meetings, seeking the views of political parties, sahitya sabhas, youth and student organisations, among others, on the definition of Assamese people and has deliberated on the same.

However, there hasn’t been any lucidity on the subject till date.