From our Correspondent
MANGALDAI, Nov 26: The leaders of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the regiol political party Asom Ga Parishad (AGP) often said that the supreme sacrifice offered by the martyrs of the historic Assam Movement would not be allowed to go in vain. In all spheres, be it the implementation of the Assam Accord or in the matters related to the entire Asomiya, the sacrifice of these martyrs must be given due honour.
But are these leaders aware of the status of the first martyr or swahid of the Assam Movement that rocked the entire State from 1979 to 1985 till the signing of the Assam Accord? Though 38 years have passed, surprisingly the people of Assam are still confused over it. Though all martyrs, who had sacrificed their lives for the just cause of the motherland, are of equal status, yet the AASU as well as the media in the State are not concerned over the first martyr of the Assam Movement. The irony is that the first martyr of the Assam Movement, as per the official record, is a Bodo youth and hence everyone is indifferent about the supreme sacrifice of this lesser known swahid.
As per the official record of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and All Darrang District Students’ Union (AADSU), a youth belonging to the Bodo community from village Tezialpara under Kalaigaon police Station in Darrang district (now in Udalguri district) and a pre-university (Arts) student of Mangaldai College attained martyrdom on November 27, 1979 in a tragic road accident while he was coming to join the first mass rally at Gandhi Maidan here in Mangaldai jointly organized by ADDSU and presided over by eminent freedom fighter and president of Mangaldai Zila Ga Sangram Parishad, Pani Ram Das and in that rally the leaders of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) had declared him to be the first martyr of the Assam Movement. On December 10, 1979, Swahid Khargeswar Talukdar of Bhabanipur in Barpeta district attained martyrdom while taking part in the road blockade to prevent Abida Begum, wife of former President Fakharuddin Ahmed from submission of her nomition paper for the Lok Sabha election from Barpeta Parliamentary Constituency. In that blockade, the butcher of Assam, KPS Gill played the key role in brutal killing of Swahid Khargeswar Talukdar.
As time passed none, including the AASU leaders, till date are not aware that Swahid Mukunda Boro was the recognized martyr. The media also are not going to go through the records or the history. Talking to The Sentinel, a number of active workers of the Assam Movement of Darrang district have expressed strong resentment over the indifferent attitude towards the status of the first martyr. They even opined that denying of the first martyr status to Swahid Mukunda Boro was an insult to the Bodo community who initially took part in the Assam Agitation. Hiren Kumar Saharia, the then general secretary of Kalaigaon Anchalik Students’ Union whose detention under tiol Security Act (NSA) was confirmed for a term of one-year by the Gauhati High Court, who also accompanied the body of the martyr from Mangaldai to Tezialpara on that eveningm termed it as very unfortute that the leaders of AASU were still not aware of the status of Swahid Mukunda Boro. Significantly, the BJP government in the State has also described Khargeswar Talukdar as the first swahid instead of Mukunda Boro in their official records.
Significantly, the Asom Ga Parishad (AGP) which was formed on the basis of the supreme sacrifice of the 855 swahids, came to power in the State twice but the party has also forgotten the first swahid Mukunda Boro. However, the Executive Member of BTC for Transport, Soil Conservation and Cooperation, Jagadish Sarkar has taken up the initiative for providing a dwelling house to Kiran Boro, the sister of the swahid. Kiran Boro has persolly constructed a bust of the swahidin her residence from the amount she had received from the State Government. The bust will be unveiled at a function to be organized on November 27 at Tezialpara.
On this day of the 38th death anniversary of Swahid Mukunda Boro on November 27, a section of active workers of the Assam Movement have appealed to the AASU leaders and the State Government to clarify their stand on the status of the first martyr of Assam Movement and to offer the due honor and recognition to Swahid Mukunda Boro.