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Guwahatians defies diktat, observe I-Day

Guwahatians again defied the diktats of the militants today, held community functions and hoisted the National Tricolour with great enthusiasm at various places to celebrate the 65th Independence Day of India.

On the Guwahati Press Club campus, the Independence Day was celebrated in a befitting manner and on the occasion, senior journalist Ranen Kumar Goswami hoisted the National Tricolour.

Mentionable that Journalists Forum Assam earlier appealed to the people of Northeast India to celebrate Independence Day defying the diktat of the militants. In a press statement, issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and its secretary N. Thakuria, the forum argues that both I-Day and Republic Day are two auspicious occasions for every patriotic Indian to pay their respect to hundred thousand martyrs of India’s Freedom Movement.

Mentionable that the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) with 11 other Northeast India based armed outfits have called for a general strike on August 15 with an aim ‘to boycott and prevent’ the 65th I- Day celebrations in the region. The joint statement issued by Paresh Barua led ULFA faction, which was endorsed by Hynnitrep National Liberation Front of Meghalaya, Kamatapur Liberation Organisation, Kanglei Yaol Kanna Lup, Kangleipak Communist Party, People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak, People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak/Progressive, Revolutionary People's Front, United People's Party of Kangleipak, United National Liberation Front of Manipur, Tripura People's Democratic Front and National Liberation Front of Twipara declared about the general strike starting from August 14 midnight to August 15 evening (5.30 pm) throughout the region.

After hoisting the National flag at press club, Goswami called for resolute fight against the forces of terror and secession. Terrorism that has been trying to disrupt the democratic process in this part of the country, is backed by enemy countries, he said.

Every Indian citizen has the right to celebrate the National Days of the country, like the Independence Day and the Republic Day, and he or she should come out boldly to assert this right, he said, and criticized the role of a section of the media in this respect. It is high time to rise against all those forces which have been trying to disrupt the democratic process in the country, he said. The gathering was also addressed by senior journalist Ajit Patowary. Later, the participants of the function took out a procession and paraded the GNB Road between the Press Club and the Reserve Bank of India point.

At Kumarpara Pachali, noted educationist Prof Dilip Kumar Barua hoisted the National Tricolour and made an appeal to the students to strengthen the democratic process of the country.

At Paltanbazar Netaji Chawk, former MLA Ajay Dutta hoisted the national flag. The function was jointly organized by the Paltan Bazar Nagarik Samiti, Paltan Bazar Byabasayee Samiti and the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangha.

On the occasion, the Bharat Mata Pujan Samiti held a function on the south bank of the Dighalipukhuri. Noted actor Biju Phukan hoisted the National Flag in the function, which was also addressed by noted litterateur Gagan Chandra Adhikari.

The parents of the Kargil battle martyr Captian Jintu Gogoi were felicitated at the function and floral tributes were also paid at the portraits of the Bharat Mata and Captain Jintu Gogoi.

The Bharat Bikash Parishad celebrated the Independence Day at its Uzanbazar Sati Radhika Shanti Path office. The National Tricolour was hoisted at the function by noted playwright Arup Chakravorrty. The function was also addressed by former Chief Conservator of Forest (Social Forestry) Rudra Goswami and social worker Anima Hazarika. In Shantigram housing complex of Khanapara, Independence Day was celebrated with various programmes. The tricolour was hoisted by educationist Prof Ashok Goswami.

Independence Day was also celebrated at Padma Tiny Tot’s in Kharghuli, where children participated in various programmes including flag hoisting, patriotic dance drama and art competition. The head mistress Padma Lakshmi narrated the pupils about importance of India’s I-Day, where the guardians were also present.

It needs mention here that a limited number of city-based journalists teamed up with some leading Guwahatians to raise the voice of protest and signal the beginning of the resistance to the militants’ diktats in the State in January 1998.

Since then these journalists, along with their like-minded fellow Guwahatians, have been continuing with their campaign against the attempts of the militant groups to scare away the people from celebrating the National Days.

This campaign has now been able to win the hearts of the people in growing number and today the attempts of the militant groups to create panic among the people with their terror threats have been frustrated to a great extent. The growing number of Independence Day celebration functions in the city prove this fact.

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Nava Thakuria's picture

Senior journalist based in Guwahati.

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