GUWAHATI, Aug 10 - A cultural congregation voicing the concern of the people at the society�s eroding democratic base in the current socio-political context will be held here on August 12.
Addressing the media here, noted intellectual and social scientist Hiren Gohain said it is high time for the conscious citizens and all the right thinking people to stand for social harmony, denouncing any religious fanaticism and to criticise the wrongdoing of any high and mighty in the interest of the common people.
The cultural congregation and a silent march, supported by a number of prominent citizens from different walks of life, will be held from 10.30 am on August 12. The Lakhidhar Bora Kshetra will be the venue for both the programmes.
Though it has been planned as a one-day event, Dr Gohain hinted at the formation of a citizens� committee to take up the issue further in an organised manner.
An appeal from the eminent citizens has expressed concern at the concerted move to divert the people�s attention from the fundamental issues like poverty, unemployment, economic development, etc., to upholding certain religious practices like protecting cows and prohibiting others from eating beef, etc.
The signatories of the appeal include Nilmoni Phukon, Radhika Mohan Bhagawati, Annada Charan Bhagawati, Benu Misra, Apurba Sarma, Awani Borthakur, Nirupama Borgohain, Tultul Barua, Anuradha Dutta, Abdul Mazid, Anil Raychoudhury, Anima Guha, Sudakshina Sarma, Jahnu Barua, Nipon Goswami, Santana Bordoloi, Hyder Hussain, KN Hazarika, Prashanta Rajguru, Pona Mahanta, Toshaprabha Kalita, Udayaditya Bharali, Manisha Behal, Abu Naser Sayed Ahmed, Prafulla Mahanta among others.
�In a democracy, citizens are the biggest power. No ruling party or powerful organisation can be bigger than the Indian Constitution. Unfortunately, we are witnessing a degenerating mindset, which is not healthy for a society like ours,� noted writer Harekrishna Deka said.
When asked about their reaction to the State government�s decision to name a number of model colleges after BJP ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya, the citizens� forum that organised the press meet said the State government has failed to explain to the people of Assam as to why they are obliged to accept so many colleges in his name and what are his contributions to the State.
Expressing concern over the threat to the socio-religious harmony prevailing in Assam, posed by the religious fanatics, the forum stated that the demographic composition of the State is such that any religious conflict may create chaos. �Besides economic underdevelopment, Assam is facing the issue of the presence of illegal foreign nationals in the State. The religious prejudices on the part of the State and the Central governments have stood in the way of resolving the issue through a secular democratic way. Under such circumstances, the forces creating religious tension in society must be firmly dealt with,� it added.