Nation wide preparations to celebrate Indias’s 64th I-Day with pomp and gaiety have been on everywhere. Ministers,high ranking civil and police officials have had a tough time to make the celebration a success. Far away from all these hectic activities, a 95 year old freedom fighter has other ideas in mind.He feels that their dream of a free and peaceful India had been shattered. He is sad at the loss of qualities like morality and dedication among the leaders for which they had sacrificed their prime youths 75 years back.
Pani Ram Das, one of the few renowned living freedom fighters of Assam,who had spend more than two years in British prison,now at the age of 95 years recounts his old days of struggle sitting in his Ashram at Kalaigaon. He was born in a poor family in Jajjali village in Darrang district on April 7 in 1917.Being a very sharp student he passed the matriculation examination in 1937 in first division from Calcutta university. Defying a brilliant personal career he joined freedom struggle to be send to British prison on several occasions. Pani Ram Das had a clear vision on his mission to make the nation free and prosperous. So he did not join politics like his colleagues and established an Ashram at Kalaigaon to work for poor and needy.
Pani Ram Das is now forgotten by the society.When asked his feeling on the occasion of I-Day he said with regret that sacrifice of thousands had ben forgotten by the country. People hardly understand the meaning of dedication and sacrifice not to speak of the significance of the Tricolor. He is sad when hears of the thousand corer scam; enhancement of the salary of the MLAs; frequent unnecessary foreign trip of the leaders; frequent bomb blasts at public places etc. He narrated a few examples of the past great leaders whose priority was peoples welfare only. In one such incident Sardar Ballav Bhai Patel (first home minister of India) had refused to attend a felicitation ceremony in USA,saying that he was busy with the people of India and could not spare time for the felicitation ceremony. On another occasion when Bimala Prasad Chaliha (CM of Assam) was seriously ill was advised by doctors to attend a hospital in USA for better treatment. Chaliha too refused the proposal on the ground that state financial position was not sound to support his trip.
Pani Ram Das is of the opinion that country is not safe at the hands of present day politicians. He appeals people to raise their voice against all kinds of violence and corruption practices. He concludes his comment with his favorite quotation :
“I seek neither kingdom nor Heaven nor even salvation;
I see the deliverance of afflicted from affliction”.-Najrul Islam