GUWAHATI, Jan 27 � In a growing number, Guwahatians this time defied the diktats of the militants in celebrating the Republic Day. In a major display of their zeal to celebrate the Republic Day, a large number of youths and school children too took out processions and held community functions at various city localities to unfurl the National Tri-colour on the occasion.
The National Flag was also hoisted on the residential compounds on the occasion. Cultural functions and quiz and sports competitions were also held in many localities and apartments as part of the celebrations.
However, during the celebrations, the traditionally popular slogans Bande Mataram and Jai Hind were replaced by relatively new slogan � Bharat Mata Ki Jai, in many localities.
The group of the city journalists, which started the campaign to defy the militants� diktats in celebrating the Republic Day and Independence Day of the country by hoisting the National Flag at a public function on January 26, 1998, took the cudgel this time too to defy the militants� diktats.
Under the banner of the Journalists� Forum of Assam (JFA), these journalists saluted the National Tri-colour on the Guwahati Press Club compound and took out a procession with the National Flag, exhorting the people to pay homage to the martyrs of the freedom struggle by hoisting the National Tri-colour at their residential complexes and work places. A group of other people, including children, joined them in these activities.
Hoisting the National Flag on the occasion, senior journalist Dayanath Singh called upon the people to resist any threat to the dignity of the National Tri-colour. The colours of this flag are connected with the sacrifices of the martyrs of the freedom struggle, he said. Singh, whose father was a freedom fighter, remembered how his family was subjected to repression by the British colonial rulers during the Quit India Movement. His house was demolished and was forced to flee to his native place in the Uttar Pradesh, he reminisced.
Earlier, senior journalist Rupam Barua described how a spark lit on the Press Club compound by a section of the city journalists in 1998 in the face of heightened militancy, spread like a fire to arouse patriotism among the people and to make them defy the militants� diktats.
In Kumarpara Pachali, the day was celebrated with a big function with the participation of nearly 2000 people from various walks of life, including school children. School children conducted the function, which was organized by the Jatiya Divas Udjapan Mancha, Kumarpara.
Veteran teacher and octogenarian citizen Satyen Ram Phukoon hoisted the National Tri-colour on the occasion and made a fervent appeal to the people to uphold the cause of freedom and equality for the greater interest of the society. On the occasion, a quiz competition among the school children and sports competitions among the elderly people were also organised.
The National Tri-colours were also hoisted in community functions at Ulubari Chariali, Athgaon Sati Joymoti Path Pachali, Athgaon Binapani Samiti campus, Athgaon Pukhuripar Yubak Sangha campus and several localities of Maligaon, Pandu, Birubari, Panjabari and Rukminigaon, among others.