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Stamp tribute to Assamese icons

- Bezbaroa, Baruah covers released

Jorhat, Feb. 26: One is considered the doyen of modern Assamese literature, while the other played an important part in the freedom struggle.

The Assam Postal Circle today paid tribute to Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaroa and freedom fighter Sankar Chandra Baruah by releasing two special covers featuring the two stalwarts at Assampex, a two-day philatelic exhibition, which started at the Radha Kanta Handique Bhawan here.

Advocate Arundhati Bezbaruah, granddaughter-in-law of Bezbaroa from Sivasagar, and Ajit Baruah, chairman of Golaghat Municipal Board and son of Baruah, released the commemorative covers along with Arundhati Ghosh, chief postmaster-general, Assam circle.

Ghosh said the event was being held after several years and more such exhibitions would be held all over the state this year.

“Stamps tell us the history of our country, its celebrities, literature, culture, flora and fauna and even scientific discoveries and equipment. The two stamps released today also have such value,” she said.

She exhorted the gathering to write letters and greeting cards as these could be preserved for posterity. “I have a collection of letters from my father, but in those days if text messaging was available, I don’t think I would still keep what he wrote,” she added.

Ajit said it was a proud moment to go back in time and recollect the contribution of his father to the freedom movement. “My father joined the Congress in 1921 and he joined the underground movement in 1942. He became a nuisance to the British by masterminding many subversive acts, which disrupted the communication network. A reward of Rs 10,000 was declared to arrest him alive or dead.”

“My mother and three of my elder brothers and sister had to face immense humiliation from the rulers during those times,” he added.

He narrated how his father had been jailed several times but after his arrest in 1945 from near Numaligarh, he was not hanged as the process of transfer of power had begun. “Towards the end, he joined the Socialist Party and fought for the rights of the landless,” he said.

Saumitra Pujari, who conducted the session, said at the annual conference of the Congress Socialist Party in March 1948, Jay Prakash Narayan had saluted three persons who started the bagawat (revolt) of 1942 — Bapto, Nana Sahib Patil and Sankar Chandra Baruah.

Bezbaruah said Bezbaroa, who was a pioneer of modern Assamese literature, had also contributed to the movement to establish Assamese as a separate language from Bengali.

The special covers, printed on an envelope, will cost Rs 5.

Fifteen philatelists are displaying stamps from all over the world at the event. A stamp design competition was organised for schoolchildren in the afternoon and there would be a quiz on philately tomorrow.


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