Charigaon-The Untold Story of Independence

1942, the year whole world cry out of violence, the year Nazi leaders attended the Wannse Conference to coordinate the “Final solution to Jewish question” the systematic genocide of Jews known as the Holocaust, the year Singapore Surrender to Japanese, the year battle of Midway, battle of Coral sea, battle of Guadalcanal Island (Salomon Island) begun, the year car makers of US switch from making cars to war materials, the year Holocaust: Anne Frank receives a diary for her thirteenth birthday, the year human heart feels the need of world union; world peace, the year United Nation was signed in Washington with 26 countries.

In India (The country who wake up at the midnight hour) Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi passed the “Quit India” resolution, for which he was arrested in Bombay by British forces. Newly married couple Indira Gandhi (former PM of India) & Feroze Gandhi (Adopted child of MK Gandhi, a Parsi lawyer & former MP) were arrested for their participation in “Quit India” movement and along with all other leaders. At Bombay Mahatma addressed the nation with a slogan “Do or Die”,”Karo ya maro” .This words from the priest of non-violence create a very deep impact in the revolutionary mind of Indian people. The movement becomes so strong and spread to every corner of India. Everyone was ready to die for their country, for their freedom from British slavery. In Assam also people joined the movement and whole nation stand as one.

In Charigaon, Assam Lakhyeswar Barua declared tiny Charigaon area as a sovereign independent state and formed a government. He himself become the first Proclaimed president and formed a seven-member Presidential Cabinet. He made this announcement at a heavily attended meeting at Rebakanta Barua Public High School near Charigaon, about 4 km from Jorhat town on 11 August 1943.

Cabinet Included-

The self-proclaimed “first President”- Lakhyeswar Barua

Minister for ‘Home Department’- Jagat Chandra Saikia

Minister for ‘Education’- Golap chandra Dutta

Minister for ‘Defence’ – Debicharan Borbora

Minister for ’Public Works’- Sonaram Saikia

Minister for ’Co-operatives’- Krishnaprasad Saikia

Minister for ‘Revenue’- J Bordoloi .

The powerful British force took quick action and arrested him. His Ministers went underground and British sent him to jail.

Lakhyeswar Barua (1894-30 Nov.1990): studied science in cotton college, Guwahati and graduate from there and then left his study to join freedom movement at the call of Mahatma Gandhi. In 1921, he was jailed for 14 months. He was the man who had the courage to stand against the powerful British Empire, who had the courage to challenge British government and declare the tiny Charigaon as an independent nation.

This unique part of freedom struggle has been noted by former Union Minister Sharad Power in his book “Contemporary Political Leadership” and “Quit India Movement” by Anil Kumar Sharma. Former President of India Fakharuddin Ali Ahmed (1974-77) addressing a public meeting at Assam Agriculture University saluted him as the “First Real President”. Former PM Late Rajiv Gandhi also visited his house in 1988 when he came to Assam.
Many people sacrifice their life during freedom struggle so that our new generation can be born in a country which will be no longer a country of slavery. Due to their struggle India get Independence at the mid-night hour of 15th Aug. 1947. But do you think this is the independence/freedom what our Bapu wanted for his people? What did he want? What he wants now? What is independence/freedom? Freedom from poverty; anger; violence, equality in caste; religion; gender, a nation where everyone can breathe open air, enjoy the open sky, where everyone can have a dream and have equal chances to fulfill them. Where everyone has the right to think, right to speak, right to die.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake
                                                                                                                         Rabindranath Tagore


This is real independence what Bapu always dreams off. This does not matter who ruled our nation White or Black, Hindu or Muslim or Christian or Sikh, Men or Women, Human being or Alien.

This is the time for everyone to realize our Bapu’s dream and wake up to turned them into reality.

A nation who wake up at the midnight hour with a twin enemy is not so easy for him to complete his dream. This is what politics give us.

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