GUWAHATI, Oct 23 - October 30, a ghastly day of blood and tears in the history of Assam is still fresh in the memory of Pranita Deka, Anima Deka, Kamala Choudhury and others who lost their loved ones in the serial blasts that left a State and society scarred.
Although time is the biggest healer of all pain, yet this day every year evokes those terrible images that have never been erased from memory. On this black day, these women who lost their spouses, the sole bread winners in their respective families, would prefer the solidarity of the people towards the blast-affected families as well as a mark of tribute to all who lost their lives.
With Diwali, the festival of lights this year falling on the same day, Pranita Deka, wife of late flower vendor Deepak Deka, Kamala Choudhury, wife of late auto driver Rajesh Choudhury and Anima Deka, wife of late vegetable vendor Lankeswar Deka feel that Diwali can be celebrated in a different way sans the crackers this time.
�October 30 is a black day for Assam. We would like the people not to burst crackers as a mark of honour to the victims,� said Pranita.
Kamala, who started working as a GMC sweeper to run the family after the incident, is against bursting of crackers on October 30. She feels the sound of crackers will inflict further injury to the wounds of the affected families. �Diwali is a festival of lights and it can be celebrated without noise too and since it is coinciding with the black day, I really want the citizens to refrain from bursting crackers in memory of those who left the world untimely,� said Kamala. This brave woman who has not allowed despair to take over her, will get some respite if her job is regularised.
Many citizens feel that since Diwali is a festival of spreading the light of knowledge, of joy and camaraderie, it can be celebrated without the use of crackers this year to mark the black day.
Filmmaker Mridul Gupta who has already appealed to the people to desist from bursting crackers, said that this would be a gesture of solidarity from the community with the families of the blast victims. �I was witness to the gory scenes at Ganeshguri, which I can never forget in this life time. We have done very less for the families that were affected by this dastardly act. I personally feel that we can express our support to these families by desisting from the use of crackers this Diwali.�
Similar sentiments were echoed by a young citizen Suditree Devya. She observed that the spirit of Diwali will become more meaningful when the community at large will come out to pay tribute to the blast victims by not using crackers this year.
�I feel that the people should settle for spreading the light and colour of the festival instead of resorting to creating noise on the black day. We as citizens have a duty to affirm our respect for those who departed before time and refraining from bursting crackers will just be a very small gesture on our part,� said educationist GP Sarma.
On the other hand, veteran journalist DN Chakravartty is of the opinion that appealing to the citizens to totally desist from bursting crackers would not be effective. But he pointed out that the people as a mark of respect to the victims should exercise restraint while celebrating this year. �I feel that there should be some scope for paying silent tribute to the victims on October 30 which incidentally coincides with Diwali,� said Chakravartty.