GUWAHATI, Jan 24 – The 125th birth anniversary of late Kuladhar Chaliha, a renowned freedom fighter of the State, was celebrated at a function at the Rabindra Bhawan here today. Chaliha was the first elected Speaker of the State Assembly in the post-Independence era. He was also a forerunner of the anti-opium movement in this part of the country.
On the occasion, a book titled – Deshneta Kuladhar Chaliha – on his life and works was released by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. The book is authored by senior journalist and editor of Asam Bani, Dilip Chandan.
The book has been published by the family of late Kuladhar Chaliha.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who had a personal association with Chaliha, lamented the fact that there was no book on the life of Kuladhar Chaliha until today. “A dedicated social worker, he was deeply inspired by the Gandhian principles. I hope, this book would contribute immensely towards popularising the ideals of Chaliha,” he added.
Eminent social worker Hema Bharali stressed on translating the book into English so that more and more people can know about the contributions of Chaliha towards the freedom struggle of the country.
Noted Gandhian Natwar Thakkar also recalled his brief association with Chaliha and said that Assam and the country as a whole has shortage of books and write-ups on many freedom fighters, who dedicated their entire life for making the country free from the yoke of the colonialism. “The universities of Northeast may also take up projects on the leaders of freedom struggle, so that the future generations can know about their sacrifices towards building the nation,” he added.
Former Dibrugarh University Vice-Chancellor Kamal-eswar Bora also dwelt at length on the life and works of Chaliha with special reference to the anti-opium drive in Assam. Chaliha played a crucial role in this drive, he said.
Arati Saikia, eldest daughter of Kuladhar Chaliha also recalled about her childhood days with her father.
Speaking on the occasion, Dilip Chandan said that it took him around five years to compile the data and write the book about the Deshneta.
Earlier, the welcome speech was delivered by Chiranjit Chaliha, youngest son of Kuladhar Chaliha.