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Former CM statue unveiled as centenary tribute

- First sculpture of Assam’s ‘illustrious son’ installed in heart of Dhubri on Swahidi Diwas

Dhubri, Dec. 10: Dhubri paid tribute to its illustrious son, Sarat Chandra Sinha, just ahead of his birth centenary by unveiling his first statue in Assam on Swahidi Diwas (Martyrs’ Day), today.

The statue of Assam’s fifth chief minister was unveiled by Dhubri deputy commissioner Kumud Chandra Kalita in the heart of this town, opposite Dhubri circuit house and the office of the superintendent of police.

Kalita said he was highly inspired by Sinha’s humbleness and simplicity. Recalling his university days, he said he often used to meet Sinha in Guwahati’s buses and vacated his seat for the jananeta (leader of the masses).

“It is a great privilege that I have got the opportunity to unveil the statue of this great, down-to-earth man. He was the son of this district, a farmer’s son who fought hard to bring revolutionary changes in the fields of co-operative movement, panchayati raj and the land ceiling act,” he added.

Kalita said it was time to rediscover the ideology, principles and philosophy of the charismatic leader. “This statue will definitely act as a symbol of inspiration for the coming generation,” he added.

Addressing the meeting, Kalpana Roy Sinha, wife of Major (retd) Prasanta Kumar Sinha, the second son of the former chief minister, recalled the days she had spent with him. She said her father-in-law was a very different man.

“It is not easy to define him because it is not possible to express everything in a speech or even a book. He led a simple life without troubling others but remained deeply concerned about the common people. He made every effort to eradicate poverty,” said Roy Sinha, who is the head of the department of physics at Assam Engineering College.

Talking to The Telegraph, Major Sinha said he was very pleased with the initiative and efforts of the Dhubri DC and the local people. “But we will be more pleased if we see the next generation following his principles and if it helps to uplift the underprivileged. My father will remain a father to me and not the former chief minister. I have been following his teachings and moral values of life and ethics,” he added humbly.

Earlier, Haider Hussain, littérateur and journalist who released a souvenir Sarat Smriti, spoke at length on the life and politics of Sarat Chandra Sinha and his association with him. Sarat Smriti has been jointly edited by Upendrajeet Sarma, a professor at BN College, and Joydeep Barua, journalist and social worker.

“Sinha was an unparalleled leader and his every step was for the betterment of society. He was least concerned about himself and had discarded all comforts of life. It is unbelievable how a man of his stature could lead such a simple life with a strong belief in himself. Sinha has to be rediscovered for his deeds,” Hussain added.

Asked, sculptor Biren Singha said sculpting Sinha’s statue was a dream come true.

“It is now up to the people to decide how the statue looks and how it inspires them. He was the tallest figure in politics,” Singha said.

The 10ft-six-inch statue of the former chief minister is made of glass fibre and has been installed on a pedestal specially designed by artist Sandip Saha of Cooch Behar in north Bengal.

Born on January 1, 1914 in Bhaktapara village under Chapor police station of Dhubri district, Sinha did his schooling from his village school, passed higher secondary from Indra Narayan Academy, graduated from Cotton College and obtained his law degree from Banaras Hindu University.

During the reorganisation of states on the basis of language after Independence, he vehemently opposed the move to include the then undivided Goalpara district in West Bengal. When Meghalaya was carved out of Assam in 1972, the language movement broke out in Assam and Sinha demanded introduction of Assamese as the sole medium of instruction.

He became the interim chief minister in 1972 and was elected the chief minister the same year. He held the post till 1978.

He passed away on December 25, 2005 at the age of 90.

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