MANGALDAI: As the leaders of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), All Assam Students' Union (AASU) or the State Government headed by the BJP, which came to the power with the slogan of 'jati, mati and bheti' are not aware of the sacrifice of Dulal Sarma of Kalaigaon, now in Udalguri district, nor interested to know the poor plight of the family members of this 'unsung hero' of the six-year long Assam Agitation spearheaded by the AASU and All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad, a benevolent businessman of Guwahati has come forward to stand beside the family members and gifted a very costly still camera worth Rs. 1.73 lakh to pave the way for their livelihood.
During the peak of the Assam Agitation in 1980, a youth with strong emotions and active involvement in the Assam Agitation gave a new dimension by writing Tez Dim, Tel Nidio (I shall shed blood, but not oil) with his own blood on the main road at Chandmari. The State Government on April 18, 1980 had imposed curfew in Guwahati following atrocities committed on the peaceful picketers at Narengi who were opposing the transportation of crude oil from Assam. The next morning on April 19, lakhs of people coming from different corners of the city and outskirts spontaneously came out to the streets to defy the curfew, thereby creating a record in the history of Assam Agitation. The agitated sea of protesters, including the women, marched forward to Narengi to continue the picketing with more strength and enthusiasm. Thousands of supporters from different places of the State started to make a beeline to Guwahati to join the picketing and road blockade.
A 20-year old Dulal Sarma, son of marginal farmer Chandra Kanta Sarma and Hema Prabha Devi of village Dabutola near Kabirali under Kalaigaon Police station, could not resist his temptation to join the unprecedented picketing in Guwahati as his elder brother Bimal Sarma was the commander of the local unit of the voluntary force of AASU and joined the agitation. On April 23, while being a member of the large sea of agitators to take part in the road blockade at Chandmari in Guwahati, Dulal Sarma all of a sudden cut his chest with a blade and wrote Tez Dim, Tel Nidio in bold letters with his blood on the main road. Though Dulal Sarma was immediately taken to the Gauhati Medical College Hospital at Pan Bazar in a critical stage, this incident gave a new dimension to the agitation as the spot in Chandmari was immediately transformed into a holy place and the agitators started lighting earthen lamps, incense sticks and start indefinite devotional prayers. All the leading national dailies covered this unique sacrifice in their front pages with the photo of Dulal Sarma.
After his discharge from the hospital, Dulal Sarma returned to his native village but due to their poor financial condition he started to search for some employment and in 1982, Executive Engineer Ganesh Changkakoty of the Water Resource Department offered him a post of khalasi and he worked there till his death on April 16, 2001. In 1987, Dulal Sarma married Krishna Sarma and got settled in a very small plot of land donated by his father-in-law at Choudhury Chuba at Mandakata Bazar in North Guwahati under Jalukbari LAC.
It is very hard to believe that though his widely talked sacrifice added a new enthusiasm and emotion to the Assam Agitation, till date not a single leader of the Assam Agitation, the leaders of the AGP or the present BJP have visited the family members. The schemes declared for the sufferers of the Assam Agitation too failed to reach the family members of Dulal Sarma. However, the All Guwahati Students' Union few years ago had constructed a memorial at Chandmari inscribing "Tez Dim, Tel Nidio mentioning his name but without his address which often creates confusion on the proper identity of this 'unsung hero'.
A kind hearted businessman of repute of Guwahati, Gopal Deka, on hearing the poor plight of the family members of this unsung hero of Assam Agitation, with the help of 'Seuji Asom', a non-government organization, on February 18 came to their house at Choudhury Chuba, Mandakata in North Guwahati and gifted a costly still camera to Mikumoni Sarma, son of late Dulalm Sarma. Mikumoni has already completed a course in photography and is hopeful to maintain his family with the income to be earned with this camera. Office bearers of Seuji Asom, namely adviser Bhargab Kumar Das, president Hiren Kumar Saharia, members Ganesh Dutta, Hitesh Hazarika, Anjan Saharia, Purnima Saharia, Biplab Kashyap and businessman Dinesh Sarma were also present in the function.