While answering this question everyone will have separate answers and reasons to prove them right. If someone goes for change in political system, another one will go for development in separate fields and some people may say that the need of this hour is independence. But, very few people speak up with analysis.
To start with, even if we take the issue independence of Assam, it is a far flung dream as of now. The ground reality is bit sour to digest, but it is the truth that dreaming of a Sovereign Assam today is similar to a fairy tale. It might hurt the sentiments of many people, to whom I really apologize and so I request them to have an in-depth look on the facts I have mentioned here before taking it harshly.
Many people think that the Ahom kingdom of Assam was annexed into British India through the treaty of Yandabo But the reality is bit different if we have a close look. It was in 1818 that the Ahom King, disturbed by repeated invasion of Burmese requested assistance from the British East India Company based in Calcutta (now Kolkata). The British responded to the request, and fought and defeated the Burmese army. It was then, when the Ahom King gave away a part of its territory to the British as a reward. The British took the chance and by taking advantage of the weak Ahom King extended its territory, finally leading to the extinction of the Ahom Kingdom in 1838.
India gained independence on August 15, 1947. In the time when India was fighting for independence, Assam and Northeast (as known after independence) too fought for the same. Some of them fought on the call of Indian National Congress, whereas some others fought on their own to establish the right of Assam and Northeast as a Nation. History says that when India sang its song of freedom, our Naga brothers sang their own song of freedom.
After Independence of India, things changed. Assam was a princely state and so the other states of the region too. But the entire region was annexed into India without any consultation with the Kings of the region. It was the first instance in post independence India when this region was deceived by India. This was followed by repeated deception by the government of India. The sons and daughters of this soil, who fought for independence on the call of INC didn’t got any place in the history books prepared by the government of India. From Mughals to the Maratha’s, from the Queen of Jhansi to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Chandrasekhar Azad etc. everyone got their right place in history. But what about Kanaklata, Mukunda Kakoty, Piyoli Phukan, Maniram Dewan the Maharajah of Manipur and others who fought for the same cause. Isn’t it a clear case of utmost negligence? Just think one.
In 1962, this region got another blow from the then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru when he said on All India Radio, “my heart goes for the people of Assam, alas! Assam I can’t save you.” The Indian army to tried to fled from the battlefield and crossed the Brahmaputra to escape from Assam. These memories are still fresh in the mind of the witnesses of the Indo-China war till date.
The 1970’s witnessed some major political developments in the region. With the uprising of a separatist movement, the prediction of Angami Zapu Phizo made in 60’s turned out to be true. It was Phizo who once said, “the people of Assam have not yet faced what we the Naga’s have faced in Nagaland, one day when they will do the same to you as of us. That day you too will take up the guns in your hand to speak against them.”
The United Liberation Front of Asom(ULFA), who is leading the independence movement, got a massive support from the people soon after it came on the surface. Many promising youths of Assam joined the movement for the greater interest of the motherland, without giving a second thought. Some of such leaders were Rajen Sharma(Uddipta Hazarika), Heerak Jyoti Mahanta, Swadhinata Phukan (Kabiranjan Saikia) etc. Rajen Sharma, the first Publicity Secretary of ULFA and still the icon of revolution, was also a famous poet of that time and his poem was able to change the thought of the then generation. The joining of Heerak Jyoti Mahanta a meritorious student and son of aristocratic father, aspired many others to follow him. Same was with Swadhinata Phukan, who served as the Assistant Publicity Secretary of ULFA. The statements issued by Swadhinata Phukan were so sharp, witty and intellectual that till date no one has been able rise to his level. On the other hand, Heerak Jyoti Mahanta who rose to the rank of Deputy C-in-C, was a farsighted leader and a true revolutionary. Their contribution to the independence movement of Assam cannot be questioned by anyone. It is for their contribution and the support of the people of Assam that movement of ULFA went so far. In fact the need of this hour is another Heerak Jyoti Mahanta and Swadhinata Phukan in Assam.
Visionary like Parag Kumar Das is very rare. His courage, his spirit, his intellectuality is perhaps something, which none of our so called intellectuals have got. His vision to see Assam as an independent nation and his farsightedness prompted him to write the book, Swadhin Axomor Orthoneeti. Today many people claim Parag Kumar Das as an institution and pay tribute as a national martyr, but is it really enough. How many of us are really following his footsteps. To be honest, Parag Kumar Das is not just a martyr or an institution today. He is an ideology itself. I know and I belief that we can’t get another Parag Kumar Das, but still we can bring him back. And the only way to do it is to promote and to spread his ideology, thereby giving birth to a new school of thought, a new ideology and i.e. none other than Paragism.
All are aware about the deception of the government of India and its negligence towards our region. But unfortunately, very few of us are aware about the ideals of those leaders I mentioned above and the reason why they are today hold in absolutely high esteem. It is the need of this hour now, to educate and to spread their ideals and thoughts among the youths and other common public, so that, their dreams can be fulfilled.
It is at point of time that we need to create leaders like Rajen Sharma, Parag Kumar Das, Heerak Jyoti Mahanta, Swadhinata Phukan etc. who can bring back the golden periods of Assam. And who can vision the future of Assam with open eyes. We need to create such leaders for the greater cause of the motherland and for the people of Assam, so that true development can be achieved. Nothing can be a better tribute to them. And this is what we need today.