UDALGURI, Jan 29 - �The Kalita Janagosthi having a population of 70 lakhs in Assam is the most neglected community now. The other indigenous organisations of the region utilised the valour, might, wit and intellect of the Kalita community on different occasions but took the opportunity to better themselves and left us ignored. Right from the historical period of king Bhagadutta, Maniram Dewan, Mukunda Kakati and till recently Khargeswar Talukdar, the first martyr of historic Assam agitation launched in 1979 by the AASU, many youths, patriots of the community sacrificed their lives for the sake of their motherland. Despite such sacrifices, the community has been deprived of their rights and privileges.�
This is the summary of the two-hour-long speech of Dr Ramen Kumar Kakati, general secretary of the Kalita Janagosthi Sanmilan, Assam here during the Padmakanta Sahariah memorial open session at the Bishnu Rabha Kristi Sangha premises, which was christened as Dr Banikanta Kakati Kshetra for the two-day conference.
Dr Kakati elaborated on the reasons as to why scheduled tribe status should be first awarded to this community and then only declare Assam as the Sixth schedule State for the protection of the indigenous people of the region. In his speech as the appointed speaker, the general secretary of the organisation informed that 50 per cent of the martyrs of the historic Assam agitation belonged to the Kalita community including the first martyr Khargeswar Talukdar. He also said that the Kalita community in the BTC is the third largest community.
�Even though the BTC Chief Hagrama Mohilary assured to protect the land rights of the non-tribal people living in BTC region in the Tamulpur conference of the organisation held two years back, but he has not fulfilled his assurance till date and we are being harassed in terms of land right protection,� he lamented.
The open session chaired by Dr Bhaben Chandra Kalita, president of Kalita Janagosthi Sanmilan, Assam was also addressed by Ripen Daimari, MCLA of Bhairabkunda constituency, among others. Dr Phanindra Deka, chief adviser of National Rural Development Agency released the souvenir Kulota on the occasion.
The last day of the conference got under way with a cultural procession flagged off by Dilip Kumar Das, Deputy Commissioner of Udalguri district. Gitali Kakati, a popular singer, enthralled the large audience with her songs in the cultural evening.
It is to be noted here that after the last executive meeting of the organisation held on January 27, a new body of the organisation was formed with Dr Bhaben Chandra Kalita of Guwahati as president, Dr Pabindra Nath Talukdar of Guwahati as working president, Dr Ramen Kumar Kakati of Tamulpur as general secretary, Joysurya Borah of Tinsukia and Kajal Borah of Sonitpur as vice presidents, Dalim Bayan of Udalguri, Dipak Kalita of Morigaon and Pradip Borah of Jorhat as secretaries and Akhil Kalita of Udalguri as publicity secretary respectively.