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Militants defied on India's republic Day

Militants defied by Journalists on India's republic Day


By Nava Thakuria


India's national flag - (photo credit: Citizen News Service).

If it becomes a ritual for a section of the armed outfits to impose a boycott call on the celebration of Republic Day and Independence Day in many parts of the northeast India, the rising counter-reactions against such diktats turned equally true to the term.

The 59th Republic Day of India on 26 January 2008 also witnessed a boycott call from four outlawed outfits and as usual it has been hit back by a group of journalists of Assam (India) with advance announcement that they would hoist Tricolour in the city press club to mark the republic day. They have also made an appeal to the people of the region to celebrate the auspicious day with fanfare.

In a statement, the group of working journalists and writers including noted author Nirupama Bargohain and veteran journalist Dhirendranath Chakrabarty had made the appeal to hoist the Indian National Flag atop their houses and in their own localities on the occasion of 59th Republic Day of the country.

"The Republic Day of the country should be celebrated by the citizens in recognition to the sacrifices made by the martyrs, who accepted martyrdom to wrest liberty for their compatriots. Many of their colleagues also under underwent tremendous hardship to free the country from the colonial yoke," said in the statement adding, "The people of the region should remember those martyrs and freedom fighters on occasions like Independence Day and the Republic Day by hoisting the Tricolour in a befitting manner."

Earlier four insurgent groups of Northeast comprising the banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), Manipur People's Liberation Front (MPLF) and Tripura People's Democratic Front (TPDF) issued a joint call to boycott of the R-Day registering their protest against the Indian colonial occupation on the region.

In a joint statement, signed by the ULFA chief Arabinda Rajkhowa and sent to the journalists, the armed groups had also called for a general strike beginning from the midnight of January 25 till 6 pm next day and made plea to the revolutionary people of the region to prevent celebrations of the day.

"The imposed Indian constitution has undermined the basic unity of the region by fragmenting it on ethnic lines as part of India's colonial policy of divide and rule", the statement added, "We have reiterated time and again that the destiny of the region lies only in interdependent unity and coexistence with sovereign independence among the fraternal peoples of the region."

However, the group of Guwahati based brave journalists insisted on the celebration of the R-Day and appealed the citizen of Guwahati to take part in their function on the Guwahati Press Club campus in the morning of January 26 on the occasion. The other signatories of the appeal include Rupam Baruah, Ajit Patowary, Nava Thakuria, Hiten Mahanta, Ranen Kr Goswami, Bhupen Bargohain, Pramod Kalita, Girin Karji, Kumud Das, Manish Goswami, Sabita Lahkar and Mukul Kalita.

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(Nava Thakuria is a senior journalist based in North-east India)

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