Skip to content Skip to navigation

Assam decides to defy militant's diktat

If it becomes a ritual for the separatist groups of Northeast India to impose diktats on the Republic and Independence Day of the country, it seems to emerge as a self regulated responsibility for the conscious citizens to reject it outrightly. With that spirit a citizens' meet in Guwahati on January 21 called upon the people of Assam and Northeast to celebrate the Republic Day in each and every locality of the State and hoist the National Tricolour atop every house. Organised by the Journalists' Forum, Assam (JFA) at Guwahati Press Club, the meeting came to conclusion that 'a clear message should go to those issuing a diktat against any celebration of the Day, that people will no longer tolerate any anti-national threat and will give them a fitting reply'.

Mentionable that four armed groups of the region had earlier imposed a boycott call on the forthcoming R-Day celebration. In a Solidarity Statement issued by Kamatapur Liberation Organisation, Manipur People's Liberation Front, Tripura People's Democratic Front, United Liberation Front of Asom had urged the people to boycott and prevent any celebrations on January 26 in Northeast India.

The region, surrounded by Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Burma and Bangladesh, nurtures nearly 30 armed groups who have been fighting New Delhi for demands ranging from sovereignty to self-rule. The draconian law like the Armed Forces Special Power Act 1958 is still applicable in the region. In the last few years, many armed groups have gone for ceasefire with the government, but the region remained conflict ridden till date.

"The imposition of Indian constitution in the region completes 59 years this 26th January. During this period, scores of thousands of our peoples have been killed, tortured, maimed and hundreds of our womenfolk have been raped by the Indian Occupation Forces," the statement, signed by the ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa and e-mailed to the media persons, stated.

"We will fight to the last for our sovereign independence. There can be no compromise on this issue," the statement declared adding that they 'believe in a political process to resolve the conflict satisfactorily.' But, the armed groups reiterate, they remain firm in their stand 'to counter India's military repression' in the region.

Upholding the genuine and legitimate aspirations of all the people and ethnic groups of the region, the statement revealed, 'a general strike will be observed on January 26, 2009 from 1 am to 6 pm throughout the region'. They appealed the 'patriotic organisations of the region' to endorse the statement and observe the Boycott and General Strike in their own capacities.

But defying the diktat, a group of journalists and senior citizens of Assam had already decided to observe the 60th Republic Day as they had been doing in the previous years. The celebration will include the hoisting of national flag on the premises of Guwahati Press Club and also a procession in the city streets.

"The martyrs (of India's Freedom movement) embraced death during the struggle so that we can live today as independent nation. This day is an occasion to express our gratitude to them. We cannot forget them just because a group of militants want to terrorise us into forgetting them. We must inculcate a sense of patriotism in our younger generation and teach it to respect the Flag," said D N Bezboruah, a veteran journalist based in Guwahati.

The former president of Editors Guild of India, Bezboruah also added, "We may not be happy with a particular government or successive governments. Governments come and go, but should that make us blame our glorious history of freedom struggle that has given us the right to determine our own future, or even to change the governments we dislike?"

The R-Day celebration last year witnessed the participation of citizens, students and journalists, who had joined both the government and public celebrations. The participants in the press club programme also took out a procession that paraded the main streets chanting slogans like Vande Mataram, Bharat Mata Ki Jai, Jai Ai Asom etc.

The Guwahati citizen's meet in another resolution asked the State government to activate the defunct citizens' committees in every ward under every police station of the city. Various speakers pointed out that if the government wants people's co-operation in its anti-terror campaign, the authority must ensure honour and legitimate support to those committees.

Mentionable that the authority initiated for 60 ward committees in Guwahati during 2001, where the local police station in-charge was assigned as the secretary and a distinguished citizen as the president of the committee. But the structure got deteriorated due to negligence and ill-treatment of the authority.

Presided over by JFA chief Rupan Baruah, the meet was addressed by Hiten Mahanta, Ranen Kumar Goswami, Pramod Kalita, Jagadindra Rai Choudhury, Shaktimoy Das, Nava Thakuria, Dhanjit Kakati, Mukut Singha Chutia, Biraj Das, Pankaj Duara, Ruby Das, Ajai Dutta, Simanta Barma, M. S. Mazumdar, Gaurdas Roy and R. K. Buragohain.

Almost every speaker claimed that the common people had lost its trust on the police. And hence, it is difficult to motivate them to come forward for an engagement with the police and also the authority. The speakers emphasized that the new committees should deal with terror issues with utmost conviction and the government must propagate a legal structure to nurture the public support in the ongoing anti-terror campaigns.
Author info

Nava Thakuria's picture

Senior journalist based in Guwahati.

Add new comment

Random Stories

U.S. Representative concerns over brutal crackdown on #CAA protesters

28 Dec 2019 - 9:58pm | AT News
A representative of the United States House of Representatives, Debra Anne Haaland issues statement in social media showing concern on police crack down on protesters of the on going protest against...

Pankaj Bora elected to Rajya Sabha

16 Dec 2011 - 4:08pm | editor
Congress leader Pankaj Bora has been elected to the Rajya Sabha Uncontested. The official announcement was made on Thursday when the date for withdawal of nomination was over. Apart from the forme...

Bhupen Hazarika remembered in Kokrajhar

5 Nov 2015 - 5:31pm | Hantigiri Narzary
Singing fans and common publics of Kokrajhar, heart town of BTAD administration recalled contribution and dedication  of maestro Dr Bhupen Hazarika towards cultural integration and development...

Gold medalist Laimwn Narzary feted

5 Jul 2015 - 5:51pm | Hantigiri Narzary
BTC deputy chief Kampa Borogoyary and wel wishers accorded warm welcome and felicitated Laimwn Narzary, gold medalist in the World School Athletics Championship recently held in Wuhan, PR in China at...

Other Contents by Author

It’s shocking to report that a number of Guwahati-based scribes and RTI (right to information) activists have been facing interrogation and even arrest by Assam chief minister’s special vigilance cell following the allegations of Sewali Devi Sharma, the prime accused in Rs 105 crore State council of educational research and training (SCERT) scam, as being blackmailers to her in different occasions. The arrestees include a female reporter (identified as Pujamoni Das alias Honey Kashyap, who reportedly took a large volume of money from Ms Sharma) along with a satellite news channel reporter named Bhaskarjoti Hazarika.  RTI activists namely Rabijit Gogoi (who pretended to be a...
Can we imagine a world of zero poverty, zero unemployment, and zero carbon emissions with a new approach in post-corona economics! Ask Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and he will answer in the affirmative. The university professor turned revolutionary banker believes that the human race should not only dream about a safer world by reducing global warming, wealth concentration and unemployment, but also work in that direction with personal and collective capacities. In his latest book titled ‘A World of Three Zeros’, Prof Yunus proposes a new economic system focusing on every human being as an entrepreneur in the making. He believes that humans are not born to work only for...
Guwahati: Assam is all set to host first sustainable financial working group (SFWG) meeting and Youth 20 inception meeting as part of India's year-long G20 presidency, where it is meticulously chalked out various tour programs that would help in promoting the State’s rich biodiversity and socio-cultural heritage in international arena. The authorities have completed the preparation to welcome the foreign delegates to the State. Guwahati is adorned with digital wall painting, thematic gates, flags of G 20 countries, LED cut-outs, standees, hoarding, etc as part of branding and beautification. The government has also completed the arrangement for the visiting delegates to places of...
Guwahati: India observes National Press Day on 16 November with an aim to pay tributes to everyone who contributed to the growth of print media along with its mentor & watchdog the Press Council of India (PCI). Moreover, it’s also an occasion for the practicing media persons to introspect seriously over their noble profession where it has been heading in the post-Covid-19 pandemic era. Since its inception and functioning, the PCI continues to symbolize a free and responsible press in the largest democracy in the world. Among all press or media councils, functioning in various countries, the PCI is recognised as a unique entity that exercises authority over the media and also safeguards...
Participating in a debate on satellite television or digital channels needs some homeworks to make the deliberations short and clear. Unless you face an arrogant anchor and unruly participants, the experience in talk shows normally emerges as an intriguing one. It happened to me, as I had recently participated in a digital media discussion on the pertinent issue of National Register of Citizens  (NRC) in Assam, where the prime guest was none other than the immediate past State NRC coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma. The talk show host Dikshit Sharma put the questions in a clever way so that the issue comes alive and my part was just to interpret Dev Sarma’s version for clarity to the valued...
Guwahati: It was an amazing experience to attend the foundation day of a 25 year old press club in central Assam on a lazy Sunday, where a number of senior citizens along with rural scribes and novice journalists were waiting to listen to my speech. It’s easier to address a journalist’s meet- where we can discuss many issues with liberties, but while the audience includes respected senior citizens and young people, it becomes a difficult task to speak to them together. First, the question that arises, how much should I highlight the eroding credibility of the mainstream media around India in general and Assam in particular and secondly what may be the role of social (alternate/digital)...
Guwahati: A year-long celebration of 100 years of sports journalism in Assam begins coinciding on the day while the first ever news related to a football competition is published in Asomiya (a weekly news magazine mentored by Chandra Kumar Agarwala) on 1  July 1923. Assam Sports Journalists Association (ASJA), which is affiliated with the Sports Journalists Federation of India (a national affiliate of the International Sports Press Association), has taken the lead in celebrating the occasion that will culminate on 1  July next year. On Saturday, flags for ASJA and the centenary celebration were hoisted by ASJA’s founder president Balendra Mohan Chakraborty and his successor...
Reactions from the public (sensitive readers) against a news item in any newspaper (also news channel) are usual in India, but outrages against the mainstream media outlets in digital platforms for not covering a particular issue is definitely an unusual phenomenon. The north-eastern state of Assam witnessed such public fury against some of the editor-journalists for avoiding press conferences by opposition political parties where they targeted the state chief minister for his family’s alleged land scam. The organized public uproar in the alternate media was so intense that the celebrity editor-journalists of Assam did not dare to clarify their positions. They preferred to avoid the...
Hyderabad: The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) has strongly condemned the incident of assault on a Manipur journalist and urged the state chief minister, N. Biren Singh, to book the culprits under the law. The National Union of Subscribes also wished for an early recovery of Elangbam Rameshwar, who works as a Thoubal correspondent for the Naharolgi Thoudang regional daily newspaper, which is published from Imphal. Local media hinted that the handiwork was masterminded by some Congress workers in the Thoubal locality of the north-eastern state, who were attacked by a group of 20 to 25 masked men in the morning hours on 24 October. The rural reporter faced assault at his residence in the...
Hyderabad: The national executive committee meeting of Indian Journalists Union (IJU), which concluded on Sunday in the capital city of Telangana, discussed various burning issues concerning the practitioners of journalism across India and emphasized on effective safety & security to journalists, reforms in Press Council of India (PCI) and basic minimum facilities to the media fraternity sustaining the spirit under freedom of the press to serve the largest democracy on the globe. Chaired by IJU president K Sreenivas Reddy, the two-day meeting held at Tourism Plaza in Begumpet locality expressed serious concern over killings of journalists by anti-social elements and filing of cases...