Assam: Authorities 'forget' Netaji's anniv in Cachar office, journalists step in
A statue of Netaji being cleaned by three local journalists

SILCHAR: Non-observance of freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary at a government office in southern Assam’s Cachar district has evoked strong reactions from various quarters. 

Locals said authorities at the Katigorah circle office, around 28km from Silchar town did not organise any ceremony at the office on January 23, 2023 (Monday), the 126th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

A statue of Netaji, installed in the office’s premises a few years ago, covered in dust, was not cleaned. A garland put on the statue last year was also not changed. Three local journalists: Imad Uddin Mazumder, Sanu Choudhury and Pranab Malakar came to know about this on Monday afternoon, after which they went to the office and cleaned the statue.

The journalists went to a nearby shop and brought a new garland, lamp and incense sticks for performing a ceremony to pay tribute to Netaji. Ratnaraj Paul, the owner of the shop from which the journalists brought the garland, lamp and incense sticks, expressed displeasure over the circle office authorities for not organising any ceremony to pay tribute to Netaji on his birth anniversary and handed over the items to the journalists free of cost. The new garland was then put on the statue and the lamp lit and the incense sticks burnt in front of the statue by the three media persons in the presence of a few other people, local residents said.

Imad Uddin Mazumder told EastMojo that they went to the Katigorah circle office around 3:30 pm on Monday after hearing about the non-observance of Netaji’s birth anniversary at the office. They found the office gate locked with no staff. They entered the premises, cleaned the statue and performed rituals. The brief programme concluded around 4:45 pm, Mazumder said.

Meanwhile, the “negligence” by the Katigorah circle office authorities in not paying tribute to Netaji has drawn sharp reactions from various circles. Local people vented their ire, saying Netaji’s birthday is observed across the nation, but the circle office authorities did not bother to do anything. The staff, by not paying tribute to Netaji, had insulted the prominent freedom fighter and demanded necessary action in this regard, they said. 

Katigorah circle officer Minerva Devi told reporters that she could not come to the office on Monday as she was unwell. Tributes are paid to all freedom fighters, including Netaji, on Republic Day (January 26), she added apparently trying to “make up” for the non-observance of Netaji’s birthday at the office.

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