DIBRUGARH, Oct 31 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today tried to dispel the prevailing fear of marginalisation of various communities in the State, assuring that the Government was determined to protect the language, culture and traditions of the Assamese people.
In a modest function organised at Chowkidinghee ground here today on the occasion of the birth anniversary of the former Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel-cum-National Unity Day, Sonowal said that the indigenous people of Assam need not fear.
�Let me tell you that the State Government has resolved to protect the various languages, cultures and traditions of the ethnic communities of Assam. This Government has pledged to strengthen the cohesiveness of the greater Assamese community. There is nothing to be scared about,� he said without mentioning about the proposed controversial Citizenship Bill 2016.
Earlier, eminent litterateur and educationist Dr Nagen Saikia, who also addressed the gathering, raised the issue of palpable fear among certain communities of Assam on the issue of the proposed Citizenship Bill.
Sonowal called for sincerely following the basic principles of unity, integrity and sovereignty that were upheld by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the former Deputy Prime Minister of India.
�The manner in which leaders like Patel and Mahatma Gandhi worked for the country�s unity, integrity, sovereignty and just society must be upheld. All must engage ourselves sincerely for fostering brotherhood, understanding, unity and integrity among diverse communities of the country,� he said.
The National Unity Day-cum-birth anniversary celebration of the former Deputy Prime Minister was organised by the district administration. Patel is also called the �Iron Man of India� and a symbol of good governance, national unity and integrity.
The official programme was attended among others by Pallab Lochan Das, Minister for Tea and Ex-Tea Tribes� Welfare, Deputy Commissioner Laya Madduri, MLAs Prasanta Phukan, Rituparna Baruah, Chakradhar Gogoi and Vinod Hazarika.
Earlier, the Chief Minister also paid homage to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel by placing a wreath at his portrait.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also visited his alma mater Don Bosco Higher Secondary School at Boiragimoth to pay respect to the institution and his teachers who educated and groomed him during his stint of schooling.
He was accorded a warm welcome and felicitation by the students, teachers and the past pupils of the school. This was Sonowal�s first visit to his school as the Chief Minister of Assam. He is also a lifetime member of the Don Bosco Alumni.
Sonowal recalled his teachers, particularly Benjamin Ekka and Siddheswar Buragohain, who he said, were instrumental in guiding and disciplining him and two of his brothers in the school.
In his exhortation to the students, Sonowal said that student life is the golden period of life and every moment must be spent judiciously. �You must dream for a golden living in future by making the best use of your student life. There is no short cut to success.
If you work hard now, you will glow wherever you stand. If you shine, your family, society, State and the nation will radiate the same light,� he said.
The Chief Minister further called upon the students to love their State and the motherland like their mothers. �Glorify your motherland, only then you will experience the warmth of your land. Love, respect and honour your motherland in the manner you show love and respect to your loving, caring and kind-hearted mother. If you love your motherland, you must generate interest to discover more about her; its beauty, her problems, natural resources, its people, culture and resolve to work for its growth and development,� said Sonowal.
To the school authorities, the Chief Minister urged upon the administrators to strive to convert the school into one of the best in the country. He also asked the administrators of the school to incorporate sports and culture development in their education system.
�Sports and culture must go hand in hand with education�, he said.
Bishop Joseph Aind, Salesian Provincial Fr Nestor Guria, Rector Fr Kamil Hora, Principal Fr VA Thomas, President of Don Bosco Alumni, Shalkil Ahmed Khan were among others who spoke on the occasion.
Dibrugarh MP Rameshwar Teli also attended the function along with other MLAs.