GUWAHATI, Feb 26 - Tributes were paid to the memory of Sepoy Mutiny martyrs, Maniram Dewan and Piyali Baruah, on the occasion of the 160th year of their martyrdom here today.
The meeting, held under the auspices of the Maniram Dewan Trust, was presided over by its president, Bhupendra Nath Das.
Arun Baruah, great grandson of Dewan, welcomed the guests and explained the significance of the day.
Senior journalist DN Chakravartty, while inaugurating the function, described Dewan as the most outstanding statesman and revolutionary of India�s first organised struggle for freedom.
Referring to the multifaceted genius and wide range of contributions of Dewan, Chakravartty said that he could rightly be described as the pioneer industrial entrepreneur of the whole country, who was 32 years senior to Jamshetji Tata who is commonly known as the country�s first industrial entrepreneur.
Parag Phukan, retired senior executive of Reliance Defence Engineering Ltd, who addressed the function as the appointed speaker, delivered an illuminating speech embellished with various hitherto unknown facts about the illustrious life of the patriot.
He also mentioned that besides being the country�s first pioneer of the tea industry, Dewan was also engaged with multifarious business enterprises including iron-smelting, gold-procuring by using traditional methods, rock salt production, various cutlery, handloom, boat-making, brick-making and a dozen other industrial activities.
He referred to the great administrative and managerial acumen of Dewan and described him as a pioneer of India�s business management. A versatile genius, Maniram Dewan was a great historian and a great scholar in half a dozen languages.
The meeting was addressed by Radha Bora and Banti Barpujari, who paid eloquent tributes to the memory of Maniram Dewan and Piyali Baruah. Piyali Baruah was hanged alongside Dewan at Jorhat for the same offence at the same place.
Rohini Sarma recited a poem eulogising the martyrdom of Dewan.
Das, in his presidential address, urged the Chief Minister to impress upon the Government of India to issue a postage stamp in the memory of Dewan and to install his statues in Guwahati and other important towns.