GUWAHATI, Feb 28 - “We shall have to triumph over the historic injustice meted out to Swahid Piyali Baruah. We shall have to bring him out of the darkness of oblivion and give him his due by preserving his memory and telling the new generation the story of his heroism.”
Dr Soumitra Puzari, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Jorhat College, stated this while delivering a speech as the appointed speaker of a memorial function organised in Jorhat on February 26 in conformity with the 159th death anniversary of the hero of the Assam edition of India’s first war of independence.
The function was organized jointly by the Piyali Baruah Smriti Rakshya Samiti and Ananya Choladhora at the Choladhora Sarbajanin Samannay Kshetra.
“Possibly due to a systematic design by some quarters and/or a deliberate, biased attempt on the part of certain historians, Piyali Baruah’s stellar role in the revolt was kept hidden in the shadows. This wasn’t fair at all. The historians made only feeble references to this great senapati of the 1857 war of independence. As a result, generations of people have grown up hearing about only Maniram Dewan, while Piyali Baruah, the chief executioner of the abortive attempt to uproot the British from Assam, remained ignored in the annals of Assam history,” Dr Puzari rued.
“There exist several instances pointing to the fact that Piyali was sidelined by the historians despite all the evidence in his favour,” he said, stressing the need to do everything possible to revive the memory of this unsung hero.
“Another unfortunate factor against him was the likeness that his name shared with that of Piyoli Phukan, who was hanged 28 years before Baruah’s hanging,” he pointed out.
The function was presided over by Piyali Baruah Smriti Rakshya Samiti president Dr Basanta Goswami and anchored by its secretary Debojyoti Srutikar.
The second edition of the annual magazine Ananya Choladhora was released during the function by senior citizen Rishi Kumar Baruah. The ceremony was moderated by Ananta Kumar Sarma, where Paraj Bokul Baruah spoke briefly on the background of the magazine.
Noted sports organiser Dr Tapan Dutta, secretary of the Choladhora Puja Samiti Khirod Saikia and Pragati Mohila Chora president Dipti Sarma were among those who were present at the well-attended function.