Staff Reporter GUWAHATI, Aug 12 - ‘For our country and for our people’ – a cultural congregation and silent march with a call to ensure social justice and peace and to uphold democratic values of the country, was organised at the Lakhidhar Bora Kshetra here today. A number of eminent citizens, concerned over the eroding democratic base of society and the rise of religious fanaticism, organised the march in which a number of prominent individuals and organizations of the State participated despite inclement weather conditions.
The cultural congregation and silent march taken out in Guwahati on Saturday. – AT photo
“All the right-thinking citizens and patriotic people should come forward to play their part for retaining the secular democratic basis of our society. At a time when some people are trying to teach patriotism by wielding the stick, people will have to come forward to protest,” scholar and social scientist Hiren Gohain said while addressing the gathering.
“The poison of communalism is being sprayed across our universities, research institutions and our educational system. The citizens are even being told what to eat and what to wear, which is unthinkable in a democratic country, where the citizens derive their power from the Constitution itself,” he added.
With an objective to create social awakening through cultural programmes, songs, poetry and skits, the programme was also attended by a number of artistes.
Renowned singer Sudakshina Sarma and Rishiraj Sarma enthralled the gathering with Dr Bhupen Hazarika’s Nami Aha Xundorore Xena Shilpi Dol. Ganashilpi Ghana Deka presented Hihote Amak Gaan Gabo Nidiye (they don’t let us sing our songs). A number of young artistes also participated in the programme.
Journalist Ajit Bhuyan argued that the attack on the freedom of speech and expression was evident from the government decision to ban documentaries on Amartya Sen and banning the short movies on Kashmir, Rohit Vemula and JNU.
“The impact of demonetisation and GST on common people, when studied properly, presents a picture in contrast to what is being popularised,” he added.
Editor of Amar Axom Prashanta Rajguru, while deliberating on the role of media in the present circumstances, said that even the media has failed to bring a complete and impartial picture of the present situation to the common people.
“Even the media is an industry highly dependent on the corporate. A disturbing trend is being noticed, when media is flashing the news that suits the agenda of its corporate bosses. Even the social media that had the potential to reflect the situation of common people is highly being misused to silence the rational voices,” he added.
Santana Bordoloi, Dilip Hazarika, Haider Hussain, Harekrishna Deka, Kirti Kamal Bhuyan among others also attended the programme.