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Students’ movement: A stroll down the memory lane

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  25 Dec 2016 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Dec 24: On the eve of the centery celebrations of students' movement in Assam today, some current and former student leaders of Assam have taken a stroll down the memory lane, and said that students' movement still holds the key in Assam and any neglect to the Assam Accord will lead the State towards turmoil afresh.

Talking to this reporter today, former student leader Nekibur Zaman said: "The Asom Chatra Sanmilan was formed on December 25, 1916 in order to keep the culture, language, literature, history and geographical territory of Assam intact. It, however, became defunct later leading to the birth of the All Assam Students' Union (AASU). Then came the movement in support of the demand for Assamese as the medium of instruction in the State. Student leaders Mozambil Haque and Anil Bora were martyred in the movement. In 1974 when I was a class X student the first session of the AASU was held at Tinsukia with Lalan Prasad Singh, a Bihari by community, was taken as the president and Jatindra rayan Choudhury as the general secretary. It was at that session a 21-point charter of demands for mixed economy was adopted. Then trade unionist George Ferndes was on record saying that it would take 50 more years for the students of other States in the country to demand the charter raised by the AASU. It was followed the emergency in India. And the AASU turned ictive. In 1977 the AASU held its session at Tezpur where the 21-point charter was reduced to a 17-point one. Lalit Rajkhowa was made the president and gen Sarma was made the general secretary. After that the AASU virtually had two headquarters - one at Pathsala and the other at Guwahati. Prafulla Kumar Mahta came as the president and Bhrigu Kumar Phukan as the general secretary in the Sivasagar session in 1978. The Assam Agitation began in 1979 and continued till 1985 with the inking of the Assam Accord, albeit, at the sacrifice of 855 martyrs. The Accord led to the birth of the AGP. A large number of political leaders in the State now were leaders of the AASU. Maybe, the AASU had some loopholes that led to the formation of separate students' bodies by various ethnic groups in the State with individual identities. The good sign now, however, is that the current AASU leaders have been taking all the 26 ethnic organizations of the State intact with them. There may be criticism against the AASU, but it is the only organization in the State that has been playing the role of the Opposition and becoming an active stakeholder in each and every issue concerning the State. There can't be any neglect to the Assam Accord. Only the Assam Accord can provide constitutiol safeguards to the people of the State. Any neglect to the Accord will only invite more turmoil in the State."

Talking to this reporter, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya said: "The students' movement in Assam is a long sojourn. The very basis of the student movement in the State was all-round development of Assam. At every level, various leading lights led the movement. The students' movement for the safety of the indigenous people of the State will continue."

AASU president Dipangko Kumar th and general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said: "Since the birth of the Asom Chatra Sanmilan at Latasil playground in the city it is seen that the students' community of the State has been taking strong steps for ensuring a secured future of the indigenous people of the State, development of its languages and culture. In the Indian struggle for independence, the language movement, food movement, Assam Agitation etc., the students' community in the State contributed much."

To commemorate the day on December 25, the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) will unfurl as many as 100 flags at as many places sharp at 10.30 in the morning. On request from the students' union, renowned sculptor Biren Singha made a special flag for the centery celebrations. Soon after the hoisting of the flag, Rasarash Laxmith Bezbaruah, Karmaveer Chandrath Sarma and others who had their contributions to the development of students' union in the State would be paid homage. It will be followed by tribute to the martyrs. Various other branches and units of the AASU will then celebrate the day at their respective places with various programmes.

The AASU has been celebrating the centery celebrations of students' movement in the state since December 25, 2015 by lighting as many as 99 flames on that day. The AASU has also planned various other programmes in the days ahead.

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