JORHAT, July 2 - With an intention to let the present and upcoming generations know about the life, works and significant contributions towards the development of Assam made by late public leader and parliamentarian Hem Barua, who was a multi-faceted personality of yesteryears, his family recently launched a website.
The name of the website is hembarua.org. Hailing from Jorhat, Barua (1915-1977), a noted freedom fighter, socialist leader, educationist, poet, translator, travel enthusiast, a prolific writer, and a parliamentarian, was one of the stalwarts of his times.
Barua was a Lok Sabha MP from 1957 to 1971, representing Praja Socialist Party first from the Guwahati seat and then twice from Mangaldai. He was a voracious reader, gifted orator and is known for his spellbinding speeches in Parliament, while raising important issues and problems of Assam. Barua who, altogether authored 35 books (in English and Assamese), was also the founder Principal of B Barooah College in Guwahati.
His younger son Anjan Barua, who retired from the State Bank of India as a top official, and is now settled in Guwahati, told The Assam Tribune, that their father who had contributed to the Assamese society in various fields, had succeeded in drawing the attention of the Centre and other members in Parliament by his prolific speeches on the socio-economic scenario of the region.
Lamenting that there was lack of effort by the successive governments in power in Assam and also by the civil society to remember Barua and acknowledge his contributions, Anjan said the family on its own has taken the initiative to keep alive his legacy and to inspire the new generation.
He said neither any award or memorial lecture in his father’s name been instituted by any Government, except for a road named in Guwahati by the Janata Party Government in the late 70s. A decision taken three years back by GMDA to install a statue of Barua in Guwahati is yet to be implemented even though the statue was ready over a year back.
Anjan said his father still holds the record of delivering the highest number of speeches (853) by any Member of Parliament from the North-eastern region during his three tenures in Lok Sabha and had played a vital role in the construction of the first Saraighat bridge over the Brahmaputra, setting up of the oil refinery in Guwahati, fertiliser unit in Namrup in Upper Assam, and having the NF Railway headquarters in Maligaon, among his various contributions.
He said Barua had gone to jail during the Freedom Movement and also after Independence for participating in demonstrations against the Government in support of various demands.
Anjan said with information technology playing a major role in today’s world, the website having comprehensive information on Hem Barua’s life and works has been designed by Avinibesh Sharma, a youth from Jorhat.
He said Sharma, a research scholar who completed his masters in History from Delhi University three years ago, had a year ago launched a website under the name www.vintageassam.com, incorporating valuable nuggets on the State’s history and culture.
Sharma said the website on Barua has several sections, giving a deep insight into the life of the great man. The website has sections like life, literary works, speeches and articles, letters and anecdotes. Sharma said the website will be updated time to time and efforts were on to procure audio speeches of Barua to be included in the site.
Anjan, while stating that his father was the first parliamentarian from India to visit Israel in 1965 at the request of Israeli Government when there was no diplomatic ties between the two nations, said his wife Rupali Devi has recently opened two pages on the Facebook on Hem Barua and was getting a warm response.