DIBRUGARH, Jan 11 - In a special interactive symposium organised among veteran Congressmen and young leaders of the party at the Rajiv Bhawan here today, former minister Indreswar Khaund today lamented that people were becoming increasingly self-centred.
The veteran Congress leader, who turned 100 on November 26 last year, that no one in this world was a stranger. “A person may not be of one’s own relation. He or she may hail from another locality or can belong to another community and religion, but all these are man-made differences. God, the Creator, has given all of us life. We all are men in the eyes of God and that is how we are related to one another. If we deviate from this philosophy, we will be heading towards a conflict situation,” said Khound.
Khound, who wore a dhoti and a khadi shirt to the symposium today, had joined active politics in 1952 when the first Assembly elections were held after India’s Independence. He was an elected representative from Tinsukia North and later from the Tengakhat Assembly constituency. He was also the president of the Undivided Lakhimpur District Congress Committee.
The centenarian exhorted the young political leaders to have a clean heart and clean mind to serve the people and the nation. While comparing the days of the earlier government with the present government in the State, Khound said that a leader or a representative nowadays tends to become proud as soon as he or she gets a ministerial berth, post or any other office. They pretend not to know their visitors and other people. Whenever the public visit these leaders, they fail to ask people how far they have travelled to meet them or how they could be of help to them.
The symposium was presided over by Dibrugarh District Congress Committee president Atuwa Munda. It was attended by veteran Congressmen like former Union minister Paban Singh Ghatowar, Khirud Saikia, Bhadra Bhuyan, Ajit Chaliha, Feroz Ahmed Khan and several others. The programme was also attended by members of the NSUI, Youth Congress and Mahila Congress units.
Ghatowar, in his speech, stressed the importance of protecting democratic ideals. He said that there was a time when two poll contestants travelled together and addressed voters from one podium, criticising each other, yet their relationship remained cordial. This healthy rivalry is today developing into a bitter hostility. People’s minds are being poisoned with hatred towards other political parties. This is very dangerous for democracy and for the nation. It is a pity that the country, which is yearning to become a global power, has reached the nadir of politics.
Ghatowar felt that certain forces were working round the clock to alter the Indian Constitution by attempting to redefine the rights and privileges of citizens. The State’s culture and traditional practices are also being tampered by the saffron brigade, alleged Ghatowar.
Earlier in his welcome address, Munda said that through the interactive programme, the objective was to educate and train young leaders of the party. He asked the veteran leaders to suggest, advise and guide them in all their future endeavours.