TEZPUR, Sept 28 - Though much has been said about the supreme sacrifice of martyrs and freedom fighters of Dhekiajuli and Gohpur in the 1942 Quit India Movement, in the real sense no initiatives have been taken either by Government agencies or the bodies to establish their importance at the national level.
Apart from observing September 20 every year as Martyrs� day, the martyrs themselves are yet to receive proper recognition. A study of history reveals that the Dhekiajuli episode of the Quit India Movement was of such a magnitude that it had shocked one and all. It is to be mentioned that echoing the lyrically-written words on the bronze plaque � When you go home/ tell them of us and say/ for your tomorrow/ we gave our today� in memory of the martyrs of the Japanese invasion, during the IInd World War in Sonitpur, many patriotic figures established an example of supreme sacrifice laying down their lives before the British Army on September 20, 1942.
During the Quite India Movement, Assam witnessed an unmatched battle of tears and blood, when Kanalata Baruah and Mukunda Kakoti of Gohpur and Moniram Boro, Ratan Kochari, Mongol Kurku, Sarunath Sutia, Kumali Devi, Khohuli Devi, Lerela Kochari, Doyal Das Panika, Tileswari Baruah, Monbor Nath and Muhiram Koch made the ultimate sacrifice for the country�s independence. Kanaklata, a teenaged girl and Mukunda Kakoti embraced death at Gohpur while in Golaghat Kushal Konwor, the then president of the local Congress committee was hanged, after being falsely charged of derailing a train. The revolutionists decided to unfurl the Indian national flag throwing away the Union Jack. For carrying out such a dangerous plan, only the determined, courageous and dedicated members of �Mrityu Bahini� were allowed to get involved.
Accordingly, on September 20, 1942 the revolutionary camp of Gohpur of the then undivided Darrang district, decided to unfurl the National Flag at the local police station. Hundreds of youths who had already crossed 18 years of age as per committee rules joined the Mrityu Bahini. However, Kanaklata Baruah, a 17-year-old Assamese girl, an orphan, begged the committee leaders to let her join. Overwhelmed by the girl�s courage and irresistible urge, the committee decided to make an exception. This teenaged girl later became the captain of the woman cadres and proceeded towards Gohpur police station. Despite being warned by Rebati Mahan Some, officer in charge of the police station, not to move even a single step further, Kanaklata marched with the Tricolour and was shot dead. Amidst this bloodshed, the rebellious mass still managed to unfurl the National Flag facing the British gunfire.
But the Dhekiajuli episode, in which altogether 11 persons, majority of whom were from Kaoimari, Barpukhuri, and Bargain areas, laid down their lives at the hands of the British army on that particular day is a different story. Khaneswar Boro, secretary of Sonitpur ABSU and Mintru Hemrom, general secretary of Sautali Students� Union in an exclusive interview, expressing their strong resentment over the controversy on the alleged discrimination in giving recognition to these martyrs, said that though a total of 11 martyrs were recorded in the Government's gazette notification in the Dhekiajuli incident, altogether 12 persons were shot dead. Nowhere else had such a huge casualty occurred during the Quit India Movement, but their supreme sacrifices are yet to be recorded in any corner of the history of India�s freedom movement, though the name of the freedom fighters of States like Punjab, Haryana or other parts of the nation, is honourably placed in Government records and included in the text books of the school curriculum, thereby keeping their memory alive, the two office bearers lamented, adding that these martyrs have been deprived of their due recognition.
They further alleged that some of the so-called leaders of the area, who claim to be playing a vital role in taking forward the issue, for giving adequate recognition to these 11/12 martyrs, have been spreading an environment of national and communal disintegration among the common people, by separately erecting statues of three martyrs among those of 12 martyrs namely Khohuli Devi, Manbar Nath, Kumali at Kawoimari Ghatwa area. They claimed that the sacrifice of the remaining 9 martyrs belonging to the Boro and Adivasi communities were by no means less than these three persons. �They were not Boro, Adivasi or Assamese, they were freedom fighters who went out to embrace death in the hand of the Britishers with a dedication and commitment for the nation�s freedom and integration,� they said.
A noted social worker and member of a freedom fighter family who didn�t want to be named, vehemently condemning the act of separate construction of statues of these three martyrs said that this act is nothing but an insult and dishonour to the martyrs, which has spread communal disharmony among the common people of the society.
Moreover, saying freedom fighters like Omeo Kumar Das and Puspalata Das, Bijay Chandra Bhagawati, Phanidhar Das, Mahadev Sarma, Jyotiprasad Agarwala, Gahan Chandra Goswami, Kamala Prasad Tripathi and many leaders who played a vital role in taking forward the movement among the public, are yet to get their recognition, the duo further mentioned that while the Gohpur incident has been highlighted in the national scenario, giving due honour to Kanaklata and Mukunda Kakoti, the same has not happened in case of the 12 martyrs of the Dhekiajuli episode.
Apart from a few venture schools and hospitals (which are in a dilapidated condition), established in the name of these unlucky martyrs nothing has been done.
�It has been noticed that over the years, in the name of martyrs everything is going wrong due to politics. The tragedies of the martyr families remains unheard and despite repeated requests to the Government to include the names of the martyrs in the school curriculum, nothing has been done,� they pointed out.