Patriotic people’s front  wants Guwahati war memorial

Patriotic people’s front  wants Guwahati war memorial

Amidst an unwanted debate over an under-construction war memorial in Guwahati, a forum of nationalist people has strongly urged Assam government to complete the monument on a war-footing management. 

Amidst an unwanted debate over an under-construction war memorial in Guwahati, a forum of nationalist people has strongly urged Assam government to complete the monument on a war-footing management.

Patriotic People’s Front Assam (PPFA), while supporting the construction of the State-level war memorial on northern bank of Dighalipukhuri (literary meaning a long pond) inside the city, appealed to the section of citizens, who are opposing the noble mission, not to create hinders on its progress.

It may be mentioned that a group of citizens, led by Assamese academician Dr Hiren Gohain, has been opposing the first war memorial depicting the 1671 Battle of Saraighat, which is under construction following the initiative by Rajya Sainik Board with the support from the State government, arguing that the concrete structure has violated ‘norms concerning preservation of heritage/historical sites and water-bodies, besides impacting the tank’s ecology adversely’.

However, All Assam Ex-Servicemen Association rejects the logic that the up & coming project would in no way distort the heritage appeal, aesthetic beauty and ecological sanctity of the historic water-body (Dighalipukhuri).

Colonel (retired) Rabin Das, secretary of the association, pointed out that the war memorial would be constructed on the available vacant land over the northern bank of Dighalipukhuri. The construction process is guided in such a way that the water body never gets disturbed and cutting trees was also avoided, he added.

Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi laid the foundation stone of the rupees 10 crore budget war memorial in May last year, where noted Assamese sculptor Biren Singha has designed the statues and other artifacts for the project.

The war memorial would comprise the statues of Mohabir Lachit Barphukan with other soldiers in the Battle of Saraighat (over might river Brahmaputra), an Amar Jawan Jyoti reverse rifle with a helmet on top, an uniformed soldier with his rifle reverse arm salute and also relief panels depicting iconic battle scenes from pre & post independent India.

Regarding the choice of the location, Commodore (retired) Kamalesh Chandra Choudhury, VSM (retired), who is the secretary of Rajya Sainik Board, highlighted that the Dighalipukhuri had its own importance during the six hundred years of Ahom rule. As Assam is yet to get a State-level war memorial, the coming-up project at Dighalipukhuri would be a fitting tribute to the known & unknown martyrs & heroes, who sacrificed their lives for the motherland in various battles & wars, added Choudhury.

BS Gogoi, a respected Guwahatian also asserted that Dighalipukhuri played an immense role in the famous naval battle of Saraighat and hence it is the most appropriate place for a war memorial in the whole of Assam.

“One does not find any justification for the belated opposition to the project as it was in the news for the last six months. A year back, the northern portion of Dighalipukhuri remained open for various illegal activities. Immoral and anti-social activities were once the order of the day there!” said Gogoi.

The PPFA, in a recent statement issued by Rupam Barua, Jagadindra Raychoudhury, Pramod Kalita, Mrinal Talukder, Anup Sarma, Tarali Chakrabarty etc, expressed anguish that a few citizens have raised objections to the war memorial citing the reason that it might disturb the aquatic animals of the pond, where as the monument would be raised on land areas only.

The forum reiterated that a war memorial in the city was a long standing demand from the patriotic people of the alienated region and hence the project must not get suffered because of some unfunded reasons floated by a section of citizens.

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