GUWAHATI, March 31 - Leading citizens from different walks of life have urged the indigenous people of Assam in particular and all bona-fide citizens of Indian origin in general to shake off their �lethargy and snobbery� and come out in large numbers on April 4 and April 11 to exercise their franchise �in order to protect Assam and the Assamese culture and identity from the organised and massive invasion of forces hostile to Assam and the country.�
Addressing a congregation held under the auspices of the Loka Jagaran Mancha on Monday, these citizens explained the value and significance of the vote and stressed the need for people as patriotic and responsible sons of the soil to cast their votes in order to foil the �sinister designs of anti-national forces� to grab power in the State in a bid to establish sovereignty of foreigners over the 20 million indigenous and several lakh bona-fide Indian citizens.
Making a historical analysis of the parliamentary voting system with the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 and the Declaration of Civil Rights and installation of the elected ministry of Sir Robert Walpole in 1721 and the American elected government under George Washington in 1789, senior journalist DN Chakravartty said that the present-day Indian citizens are lucky in that they are now entitled to exercise freely their right to vote � the right for which several thousand people � old and young, men and women � laid down their lives during the country�s freedom struggle.
Drawing an analogy of Assam�s present-day misery with the invasion by Mirzumla in 1662, Chakravartty appealed to �all the children of the soil in Assam and all those whose ancestors were born in the territory of present-day India� to shake off their lethargy and come out in large numbers so that there would be 100 per cent casting of votes for the permanent safety of Indian citizens.
Dr Lakshmi Nandan Bora, Prof Bhaba Krishna Mishra, Dr Banikanta Sarma, Kuntala Deka, Abhijit Sarma, Pranjal Saikia and Sumanta Chaliha, while addressing the congregation, dwelt on the �organised conspiracy of Badaruddin Ajmal and his ilk in collusion with the party in power� to drag the indigenous people to a new and pitiable state of serfdom.
Urging the Assamese people in particular and all the indigenous communities and Indian-origin people in general who were generally apathetic towards casting votes, to rise to the occasion, the speakers cautioned them that unless they took a solemn decision to thwart the �vicious designs of the AIUDF� and the Congress to subject the indigenous people of Assam to a state of slavery, history would never forgive the present-day Assamese �for their worst crime of the national history.�
Dr Rohini Kumar Baruah, who presided over the function, expressed the hope that the Assamese people would read properly the writing on the wall and take proper decisions to escape from an impending disaster.