Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid his tributes to the people who sacrificed their lives in the Assam movement (1979-85) and said their passion towards the progress of the state and empowerment of its citizens continue to inspire us all.
“On Swahid Diwas, we pay homage to the great martyrs of the Assam Movement,” Modi said in a tweet.
Demanding detection and deportation of illegal immigrants from the northeastern state, at least 855 people gave up their lives in the historic six-year-long Assam agitation beginning from 1979.
The agitation culminated with the signing of the bi-partite Assam Accord on August 15, 1985 in the presence of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
In response to Modi’s tweet, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said in a tweet: “PM Narendra Modiji, your homage will inspire the nation to fulfil the ideals of the great martyrs of the historic Assam Movement, who laid down their lives for a secured Assam and a secured India, and for the protection of its people.”
Attending the ‘bhumi pujan’ in Tezpur to mark the beginning of the construction work of ‘Swahid Smarak’ (martyrs’ memorial) and ‘Swahid Udyan’ (martyrs’ park) in remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives during the agitation, Sonowal also appealed the youth to imbibe the ideals of the martyrs and dedicate themselves for the prosperity and progress of Assam by obtaining knowledge and skill through education.
The Chief Minister also released the first volume of a four-part ‘Tathyakosh’ (data book).
He said that the morales of the martyrs must be taken as guiding principles for making an ideal future society so that the identity of the Assamese race never dies out.
Sonowal said since the BJP assumed power in 2016, constant efforts have been made to preserve the legacy of the martyrs of the Assam agitation in all earnestness.
“Irrespective of the people belonging to different religions, caste, creed and language, they are now safe and secured in Assam. We have to work hard with all sincerity and devotion to make an ‘Aatmanirbhar’ (self-reliant) Assam,” the Chief Minister said.
Assam’s Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Industries Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Agriculture Minister Atul Bora, Chief Minister’s media advisor Hrishikesh Goswami and Assam BJP chief Ranjit Kumar Das, among others, were present in the function.