GUWAHATI, Feb 26 � A commemoration meeting held by the Maniram Dewan Memorial Trust today demanded publication of a postage stamp in memory of Maniram Dewan, the martyr of the First Indian War of Independence, on April 23 next on the occasion of his 209th birth anniversary. The meeting was held on the occasion of the 156th death anniversary of Maniram Dewan and Piyali Barua at the Rupnagar Mukti Jujaru Bhawan here.
The meeting also urged the State government to organise official functions in memory of Maniram Dewan and his fellow freedom fighters.
Both Dewan and Barua were hanged by the British colonial rulers on February 26, 1858, for their involvement in the First Indian Freedom Struggle in 1857, popularly known as the Sepoy Mutiny.
On the occasion, two functions were held in the city today, the Rupnagar function being one of them. The other function was held at the Guwahati Press Club by the Assam branch of the All India Patriotic Forum. The Assam Freedom Fighters� Association assisted the Maniram Dewan Memorial Trust in organising the Rupnagar function.
Delivering the memorial lecture at the Rupnagar function, writer Bimal Kumar Hazarika described Maniram Dewan as the most outstanding personality in the country�s First Freedom Struggle.
Despite a section of the intellectuals� bid to malign the image of Maniram as a minion of the feudal lords, he remained the harbinger of new industrial awakening in the country, Hazarika claimed.
Hazarika also mentioned the scholarship of Dewan and his contemporary Piyali Barua and spoke on the valour demonstrated by Dewan�s other contemporaries, like Bahadur Gaonburha, Farmud Ali, Madhu Mullick, among others, who were deported to Andaman.
The vice president of the Trust, Bhupendra Kumar Das, spoke on the contributions made by Dewan as the first Indian tea planter.
In his presidential address, DN Chakravorty said that besides being the pioneer in the field of tea industry, Dewan was the first journalist of Assam, too. He was a regular representative of the Samachar Darpan published from Calcutta.
Dewan also had command over several languages, including English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian and Bengali. He had authored the voluminous history book Buranji Bibek Ratna. His other works include Barabhuyanr Charitra and Bhakti Pradip.
Keshab Kanta Barua, working president of the Assam Freedom Fighters� Association, also spoke on the occasion. Earlier, the function was inaugurated by Arun Kumar Barua, the great grandson of Dewan.
At the Guwahati Press Club function, rich tributes were paid to Dewan and Piyali Barua and their contributions were remembered. The function was addressed by the State president of the Forum Rupam Barua, Colonel Monoranjan Goswami, Ajoy Dutta, Major General Purnananda Das and Jaharlal Saha, among others.