GUWAHATI, Aug 5 - On the occasion of his 67th death anniversary, Bharat Ratna Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi was fondly remembered across the State through various tribute programmes and memorial meetings.
Prime Minister of Assam in the pre-Independence period and the first Chief Minister of the State in the post-Independence India, Gopinath Bordoloi has a prominent place in the history of Assam for his pioneering role, from the freedom movement to opposing the grouping plan that prevented Assam from becoming a part of the then East Pakistan (presently Bangladesh).
In a memorial meet organized by the Gopinath Bordoloi Trust, and family members of the late leader, various aspects of his life and times were discussed by the eminent speakers.
Noted journalist Mrinal Talukdar, while referring to the lack of support to Bordoloi from the Centre, particularly by the then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru, said that the last four years of life were utterly painful and humiliating for Bordoloi.
Bordoloi died on August 5, 1950 at the age of 60.
�From the decision of evicting the immigrants to food crisis in Assam, Bordoloi�s several pleas to the Centre for assistance went unheard. His interest in the inter-dominion conferences after Independence also started waning due to Nehru�s indifferent attitude towards the issues of Assam. While the issues concerning West Pakistan dominated the political sphere of India, the threat to Assam cropping up from East Pakistan were totally hushed up, which deeply pained Bordoloi,� he said.
Prashanta Rajguru, executive editor of Assamese daily Amar Asom, also highlighted several aspects of his personality, including a sensitive outlook towards the issues concerning the existing diversity in the State.
�Some people question his role on the basis of a comment by Dr Rafiq Zakaria on the floor of Parliament by quoting from Abul Kalam Azad�s book India Wins Freedom. Truth is that one needs to go deep into the book that argues that there was no valid reason for forcing Assam to join Bengal,� he added.
Scholar and historian Dr Rajen Saikia also dwelt on several aspects of pre- and post-Independence Assam. �More than a political leader, Bordoloi was a statesman who worked for inclusive growth. Unfortunately, he did not get the kind of support from the national leaders that he should have got. Moreover, he also had to face the jealousy of some of the peers,� he stated.
Dr Saikia further highlighted and appreciated the much needed flexible approach of Gopinath Bordoloi to protect Assam.
Earlier, Birendra Nath Bordoloi, son of Gopinath Bordoloi, delivered the welcome speech. A number of cultural programmes were also organized on the occasion.
The Kamrup (Metro) District Administration also organized a tribute programme at Lokapriya Shantisthal near the Nabagraha crematorium. Sports, Culture and Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Naba Doley paid floral tribute to Lokapriya Bordoloi. Freedom fighter Gopal Chandra Goswami, social worker Hem Bharali, Guwahati Mayor Mrigen Sarania, MLA Siddhartha Bhattacharyya, former MLA and Gopinath Bordoloi�s son Capt Robin Bordoloi and Kamrup DC Dr M Angamuthu among others were present on the occasion.
An all-faith prayer was also held on the occasion.