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Bhanu’s comment on Rupkonwar kicks up storm
Shambhu Boro
 TEZPUR, March 23 - Vehemently criticising former Deputy Commissioner of Sonitpur District MGVK Bhanu’s ‘belittling’ comment on cultural icon Rupkonwar Jyoti Prasad Agarwala in a public meeting yesterday at Gohpur, nephew of the cultural icon, Pranjit Agarwala today said that MGVK Bhanu who hails from south India having no any concrete knowledge on Jyoti Prasad Agrawala should not dare to pass such derogatory comments on the highly-revered Assamese cultural figure. It is to be mentioned here that the retired IAS officer who served as the Deputy Commissioner of Sonitpur district from 1994 to 1996 has been fielded as the candidate for the Lok Sabha from the Tezpur seat by the Congress.

After the declaration of his candidature, Bhanu was accorded a warm welcome by the party workers here on Tuesday. He opened the party’s district head office for elections and kick started his election campaign among the voters. As a part of it yesterday he had addressed a public meeting where he commented that Rupkonwar Jyoti Prasad Agarwala was not an Assamese, rather he was a Marwari person and was respected for having made a few cultural contributions towards Assamese culture and literature.

Demanding an apology from the Congress candidate for such an unwanted comment on the cultural icon, Pranjit Agarwala mentioned that MGVK Bhanu’s statement on Rupkonwar exposes his ignorance about the revered Assamese icon whose contributions towards establishing the Assamese identity through a socio-cultural renaissance is considered next only to that of the patron saint and founder of the Assamese race Srimanta Sankaradeva. “In his ignorance tomorrow Bhanu may even question the Mahapurush’s identity as his ancestors too were not from Assam but presumably from a part of erstwhile Bengal which is now in Bangladesh.” He added that Bhanu may not be aware that the constituency he hopes to represent was once the socio-political field of Rupkonwar from where he inspired the Assamese people to fight for the freedom of India. Doing a few beautification projects in Tezpur during his tenure as Deputy Commissioner doesn't give him the right to compare himself to Jyoti Prasad Agarwala and belittle the icon. In fact Bhanu after displaying such ignorance and arrogance should ask himself whether he is fit to represent Tezpur considered to be the cultural capital of Assam.

“I think Bhanu the hired Congress candidate doesn’t know that Jyotiprasad Agarwala was a firebrand freedom fighter and revolutionary. A scion of one of the wealthiest and most illustrious families of Assam, he joined the freedom movement while still a student in his teens. However, from 1930 after returning from the Edinburgh University and Germany where he studied Economics and film-making respectively, he plunged into the freedom movement with the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi when Gandhiji came to Tezpur and stayed at their ancestral home “Poki”. He formed the “Mrityu Bahini” (Death Squad) on the principles of non-violence but with the motto “Karengay ya Marengay”. His patriotic songs were the inspiration behind the struggle for Indian independence in the region. During the ‘Quit India’ movement of 1942, under his fearless leadership people, particularly in north Assam, came out and courageously faced British bullets and many, like the schoolgirl Kanaklata, Mukunda Kakoty etc., embraced martyrdom while trying to hoist the Tricolour in places like Gohpur, Sootea, Tezpur and Dhekiajuli. He was also jailed and to escape imprisonment (so that he could continue guiding the independence movement) he had to frequently remain underground.” Pranjit Agarwala said.

Sharply reacting to Bhanu’s alleged comment on the cultural icon, Debabrata Sharma, the general secretary of Tezpur Sahitya Sahitya Sabha urged Bhanu to have a through study on the cultural icon before giving comments on him. “Not only Bhanu, no one should by passing such comments insult the unmatched contribution of Rupkonwor Jyotiprasad Agarwala towards the Assamese society, culture and literature,” he said.

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