GUWAHATI, Oct 25 - As a tribute to those who lost their lives in the October 30 serial blasts and as an affirmation to resist all anti-national forces that have created mayhem in public life through bloodshed and terror, a cross section of the society has called for avoiding sound during Diwali celebrations this year.
With the festival of light coinciding with the black day this year, many feel that the celebration should be kept in such a way that the sentiments of the families of the victims are not hurt and the solemnity of the most horrific day in the history of the State is not lost.
Executive member of the Purvottar Marwari Sanmilan, Bikash Gupta, is of the opinion that the auspicious occasion should be celebrated with light and colour only. �October 30 was a macabre day of the dance of death. The State was wounded and it is our duty to reaffirm our pledge to fight against terrorism on this day,� said Gupta, adding that Diwali celebration does not need sound of any kind as light is enough to bask in the glory and significance of the day. Insisting that bursting of crackers should be totally avoided on October 30, Gupta mentioned that if at all people want to burst crackers they can either pre-pone or postpone their desire.
�I feel we should come forward and make a sacrifice this year by avoiding crackers. It is not that Diwali will every year coincide with the black day of the State. So why not we make this small sacrifice as a mark of honour to all those who lost their lives in the tragedy,� said Gupta.
On the other hand, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya stressed the need to root out terrorism from the State. He said that acts of terror have brought untold miseries to the people, shattering their dreams and leaving them mentally scarred. �We, the people of the State, should never forget the day when Assam was torn apart by terrorists. October 30 is a day that reminds us how helpless the common people are. It is our responsibility to pay tributes to those who lost their lives on October 30 and our appeal to the people is that they should go ahead with Diwali celebration keeping in mind the solemnity of the day,� said Bhattacharya.
Aditya Khakhlari, general secretary of All Assam Tribal Sangha, voicing his sentiments said that this year all the extravaganza of Diwali, including bursting of crackers, should be avoided as a mark of honour to the October 30 victims. �I feel we can make our stand clear on terrorism by totally refraining from sound during Diwali,� said Khakhlari.
The State BJP, while emphasising the need to honour the victims of October 30, said that people should celebrate Diwali in a restrained manner this year which is not a big demand on them.
Spokesperson of APCC, Apurba Bhattacharya, however, feels that a religious celebration should not be targeted to create artificial pressure on the citizens to curb their festive spirit. He pointed out that the most important factor was to realize the horror of terrorism and to take the pledge to fight against terrorism. �We cannot force the people to refrain from celebrating a religious occasion the way they want it. But at the same time, we also need to remember those who left the world before time because of the mindless act of extremists. So I feel the real way to show our respect to the victims of October 30 is to realize from our hearts the pain of the families of the victims and to commit to end terrorism,� said Bhattacharya.