|Phulaguri martyrs yet to get recognition |
RAHA, Oct 20 – The local people of Phulaguri on Friday paid homage to the peasants who died in firing by the British military 152 years ago.
It may be mentioned that in 1861, a total ban was imposed on the cultivation of poppy. This prohibition led to a serious riot at Phulaguri in Nagaon. The local farmers who were dependent on this cultivation for their livelihood, were badly affected. The British Government then imposed tax on betel nuts and leaves. The local people were unable to bear the burden of such a strict tax regime. This led to the peasants of Raha, Barapujia, Saragaon, Katahguri to revolt against the British Government. Later, public meetings were held to criticise the taxation policy of the British Government. The district authorities of Nowgong then sent Lieutenant Singer to find out the root cause of the trouble and to suppress the revolt with a firm hand. Lt Singer’s rude behaviour and ill management made the people more hostile. Many rioters were killed, and some were sentenced to death. Lt Singer was brutally killed and his body was thrown in the Kolong river by some peasants.
But today neither the State Government nor any social organisations have come forward to commemorate the heroism of the common people and the heritage of Phulaguri. The local people’s aspiration to get national recognition to this event in the country’s freedom struggle like the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on April 13, 1919, is yet to get recognition. “In fact, the Phulaguri massacre occurred long before the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, and the people of Phulaguri want the martyrs of October 18, 1861 killings to get national recognition in the annals of India’s freedom struggle, said Dandamohan Saikia, headmaster, Phulaguri High School.
Today, after 152 years people hardly remember these peasant martyrs. There is no effort to hold any function to mark the Phulaguri event as an event of national importance.