GUWAHATI, Nov 24 � The two-day national seminar on �Freedom Struggle of North-east Bharat against the British (1828-1947) with special reference to Rani Ma Gaidinliu� got under way at the Sudmersen Hall of Cotton College today.
The event has been organized jointly by the National Committee for Birth Centenary Celebration of Rani Ma Gaidinliu and Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Samiti, Assam, in collaboration with Cotton College.
Delivering his keynote speech at the inaugural session, national president of Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana, Prof. Satish Chandra Mittal said that the North-east had always been an enlightened region since the age of the Ramayana to that of the freedom struggle.
Highlighting the struggle of Rani Gaidinliu, Prof Mittal said that the British tried to spread Christianity in India along with colonial rule, and Rani Ma Gaidinliu opposed such cultural invasion by saying �invasion by foreign religion and foreign culture will pose a danger to the Naga identity. Beware of these dangers.�
Rani Gaidinliu not only fought against the British rule, but also against cultural invasion, he added.
In his inaugural address, vice president of the organising committee, Prof Nagendra Nath Sarma said that Rani Gaidinliu was a unique lady who raised her voice against the British at the age of 13 years and spent long 15 years in jail before being released from prison after India�s independence.
ABISY�s national organizing secretary, Dr Balmukund Pandey said that there was an enduring quality about Indian culture which had remained intact even after repeated invasions by foreigners since 800 AD.
Former Director General of National Museum, New Delhi, Prof Rabin Choudhury released two academic books on Rani Ma Gaidinliu and Swami Vivekananda. In his speech, Prof Choudhury said that freedom fighters of the region including Rani Gaidinliu should be highlighted at the national level.
Earlier in the session, all the dignitaries lighted the lamp and paid homage to Rani Gaidinliu and Bir Lachit Borphukan, the great Assamese general who vanquished the all-conquering Mughals in the 17th century. The session was initiated by Dr Sudeshna Bhattacharya, Associate Professor Department of Sanskrit, Gauhati University.