MANGALDAI: An unprecedented gathering of more than 15,000 people, including farmers, women, and students from a cross-section of society, transformed the historic Pothorughst’ into a holy place of pilgrimage to join the 130th celebration of the ‘Krishak Swahid Divas’ on the third day’s programme.
Mention may be made here that on this day of January 28 in 1894, 140 rural farmers of the Darrang district were brutally killed by the British as they raised their voice against the increased land revenue.
Agriculture Minister Atul Bora, Water Resource Minister Pijush Hazarika, Parliamentarian Dilip Saikia, Chief Post Master General of Assam Circle Subrata Das, Vice Chancellor of Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat Dr Bidyut Chandan Deka, former president of Axam Sahitya Xabha Dr Dhrubajyoti Bora, and several other prominent persons of the state have paid rich tribute to the martyrs of the historic Pothorughat peasants’ uprising of 1894. Minister Atul Bora graced the open session of the four-daylong celebration of ‘Krishak Swahid Divas and Raij Mela’ organised by the State Agriculture department in collaboration with the Darrang district administration and the local public at the ‘Krishak Swahid Samadhi Kshetra’ of the present Pothorughat on Sunday.
Addressing a huge gathering, Minister Bora gave a brief account of the progressive changes that have taken place in the state agriculture sector in recent times with the introduction of technologies through different government schemes. He observed that presently educated youths have come forward to take up agriculture as a means of livelihood, which is a positive sign for the future. He also referred to the improved vegetable production in Darrang and the export of vegetable products to several markets in foreign countries, including London, Dubai, Bangladesh, Bhutan, etc. He mentioned the plan to set up a horticulture park and beautify the peasants’ martyrs site. On the same stage, Mangaldai Parliamentarian Dilip Saikia released a special postal cover in memory of the martyrs published by the Indian Postal Department. Three full-length books published in connection with the historic Pothorughat peasant uprising were also released on the occasion. A half-hour-long documentary prepared by the State Public Relations Department and directed by Bobby Sarma Barua was also released in the evening.
Earlier on the day, State Water Resource Department Pijush Hazarika also paid deep tribute to the martyrs. He also took part in the Bhumi Pujon ceremony at the site where a proposed memorial at an estimated cost of nearly Rs. 1 crore is to be installed. A colourful procession, with the participation of a highly enthusiastic troupe, was also taken out to mark the day.