Lt Gen R.P. Kalita pays tribute to martyrs of Patharughat uprising in Assam
Guwahati, Jan 31: Lt Gen R.P. Kalita, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command, recalled the great sacrifice made by Assamese peasants during the Patharughat revolt of 1894 against the unfair taxes levied by the British.
He also paid a flower tribute at the Indian Army-erected monument to the fallen soldiers in the Darrang district's Patharughat, an Army officer informed on Tuesday.
Patharughat uprising is amongst one of the great historical milestones in Assam's rich history and its glorious contribution towards India's freedom struggle. After the British annexation of Assam in 1826, they began imposing heavy land taxes, much to the resentment of the farmers. The tyranny grew further wherein the British government decided to increase agriculture land tax by 70-80 per cent.
Across Assam, peasants began protesting this move by organising 'Raij melas' or peaceful people conventions. Despite these gatherings being democratic, the British perceived them as "breeding grounds for sedition".
On January 28, 1894, when British officers were refusing to listen to the farmer's grievances, things heated up which led to brutal massacre of 140 farmers and grievous injury to 150 others. Though the incident took place 130 years back it still inspires all to dedicate ourselves in the service of the people and the nation.
In order to highlight the supreme sacrifice of the common people of Assam a memorial at the incident site was inaugurated on January 28, 2001 by the then Governor of Assam Lt Gen S.K. Sinha. The memorial was constructed by the Indian Army in close cooperation with the civil administration.
Army has been celebrating this day since 2001 as 'Swaheed Krishak Diwas'.
This year, at Patharughat memorial, a wreath laying ceremony was held on Monday and was attended by Lieutenant General Kalita. Dilip Saikia, Member of Parliament from Mangaldoi, Major General S. Sajjanhar, Chief of Staff Gajraj Corps, General P.K. Bharali (retired) and many other senior retired military officers and civil dignitaries were present on the occasion.
Numerous programmes, including a joint medical and health camp, were organised. The event witnessed a massive participation of nearly 10000 attendees, the Army officials said.