Round Table Talk
Axom Xahitya Xabha and ga Hoho will form a Co-ordition Committee to build up a permanent dialogue forum between the two sides
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Oct 9: In an attempt to build friendship and brotherhood between the two neighbouring communities, ga and Assamese civil society groups today advocated for consistent dialogues at various levels to bring to an end the festering distrust, suspicion and widening gulf between the two states.
The first-ever ga-Assamese Round Table Talk held at Indian Institute of Bank Magement (IIBM), Khapara, also asserted that while the civil societies should vigorously endeavour to enhance people-to-people contact, both Assam and galand governments and the Centre must seriously pursue the vexed issues that involved the two states for their amicable resolutions.
In a bid to begin a much needed dialogue process between the two neighbours, the day-long deliberation, organized by nda Talukdar Foundation (NTF) Guwahati, was attended by delegates from both sides who expressed serious concern over accumulated mistrust, animosity and mindsets conditioned through myths.
Both sides agreed that there should be some institutiolized mechanism from civil societies for effective interventions whenever some unwarranted incidents occurred in inter-state border areas and de-escalate tensions arising out from even a small incident.
The ga delegation led by noted social worker and peace crusader Niketu Iralu comprised apex tribal council ga Hoho's president Chuba Ozukum, ga Mothers' Association's adviser Prof Rosemary Dzuvichu, ga Students' Federation (NSF) president Subenthang Kikon while Assam was represented by noted academic Prof Udayan Misra, Axom Xahitya Xabha president Dr Dhrubajyoti Bora, AASU chief adviser Dr Samujjwal Bhattacharya, Purbanchaliya Tai Sahitya Sabha president Dr Dayanda Borgohain, former Upper Assam Commissioner Sayad Iftikhar Hussein among others.
The meeting presided over by NTF president Nitya Bora, was attended by a galaxy of academics, senior jourlists, columnists and social workers as invitees, who also put forwarded their valuable suggestions towards fostering goodwill and fraternity between the two communities.
Niketu Iralu, who strongly believes in power of human goodness, said that both fears and hopes actually brought two sides to talk to each other this morning for finding a way forward. He expressed the hope that such a dialogue would definitely improve relationship between the gs and the Assamese, but at the same, "we should not allow the crimils and lumpen characters to hold us ransom."
Udayan Misra reminded that it would be very unfortute for both the Assamese and the gas if they were allowed to be swayed by the anti-socials and goons as well as by the indifferences from the privileged sections. He maintained that the perceived differences and stands on contentious issues could be sorted out only through dialogues in a democratic environment.
Appreciating the initiatives for holding such an important deliberation, ga Hoho president Chuba Ozukum also insisted on maintaining age-old relationship between the two neighbours at any cost and preventing all unwarranted situations that might lead to misunderstanding and distrust.
Pointing out that the root of Axom Xahitya Xabha lies at Kohima, its president Dr Dhrubajyoti Bora said that such meeting of minds and hearts would "show us an way forwards" towards resolving many conflicting issues.
ga Mothers Association (NMA) adviser Prof Rosemary Dzuvichu asserted that in any conflict situation the women could play a very pro-active role in resolving differences if they are united, and called upon Assamese women to work together with their ga counterparts to create an environment of trust, friendship, love and compassion.
Highlighting the age-old relationship between the Ahoms and the gas, president of Purbanchaliya Tai Sahitya Sabha Dr Dayanda Borgohain insisted on holding such dialogue on regular basis for mitigating the present environment of entrenched suspicions against each other.
AASU's chief adviser Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya urged the organizers of the round table to continue their endeavour for a consistent dialogue process involving the two neighbours.
Speaking on roles of media in conflict situation, senior jourlists Prasanta Rajguru and Bano Haralu appealed to media persons to be more sensitive and responsible while reporting any untoward incident which involves two states. The reporters should maintain self-regulation and check the temptation to sensatiolise the happenings, they suggested, adding it was most imperative to gather views and opinions from both sides.
Attending the meeting as an independent observer, NEC member C K Das said peace and normalcy in the region is pre-requisite for growth and development, and civil societies can play a major role in creating that environment.
Wrapping up the event, NTF president Nitya Bora insisted that the civil societies on both sides should make sincere efforts to hold such meaningful deliberations at least twice in a year to continue the dialogue process.
Senior jourlists Samudragupta Kashyap, Mril Talukdar and Atanu Phukan undertook this bold initiative to organize the round table in the backdrop of festering distrust, suspicions and animosities between the two communities.