The five-day youth convention organised by the Janjati Dharma Sanskriti Protection Forum in Guwahati from December 24 to 28 proved a unique experiment. More than 4,500 Janjati youth including a large number of girls from all states of north-east and Nepal participated in the convention. It was the biggest assembly of Janjati youth under the banner of any social organisation including the Christian Missionaries, which are active in the region for more than 200 years. A total of 120 representatives from over 200 Janjati communities of north-east participated in the convention. The organisers had expected about 3,000 youth but the increased number overwhelmed them. All youth came in their traditional dress, which presented unique picture at their venue. The function also witnessed a marvellous presentations of folk dances and cultural activities.
The convention was organised at Nehru Stadium. Before the formal inaugural ceremony, the youth organised two grand processions, which began from Sonaram Field from West and Chandmari Engineering Institute from East of the city. Thousands of people thronged the routes of the procession to have a glimpse of the procession and welcomed the youth with clapping. The leading personalities like Shri Kanak Sen Deka, president of the Asom Sahitya Sabha, Shri Dhirendranath Chakravorty, editor of Daily Assam and Swami Yatindranand Giri were among the prominent personalities present at the Nehru Stadium.
Swami Yatindranand Giri was so much moved with the presence of the large number of Janjati youth in traditional dress that he said though he delivered discourses world over, he has the darshan of real Bharat at this function. He told the organisers if they organise such a function in Haridwar or any other big city of the country, he would bear all the expenses.
The service activities that the Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram started in northeastern region about 27 years ago have started showing results. Earlier people used to think that the states of Mizoram, Nagland and Meghalaya have fully gone in the clutches of church and it would be impossible to bring them back to the mainstream. But when the leaders of more than 50 Janjati organisations were honouerd at the five-day convention, people were surprised to see the change. The missionaries used to say in Nagaland and Mizoram that ?you are the last child to become Christian?. But they now realised that still there are lakh of ?children? to whom they could not reach so far despite having unlimited power of wealth and resources. The Kalyan Ashram workers reached them with very little resources and untied them for the protection of their culture and traditions. This is the reason why they stood with their traditional culture and knowledge. The name of most of the organisations and the Janjati communities that were honoured were heared for the first time by the audience who wondered how the Kalyan Ashram workers reached them.
Shri Kanak Sen Deka said he realised the real India at this function. He described separatism that developed terrorism world over and globalisation as the two major dangers. He said with the objectives with which the Forum has been working for protection of Janjati culture and tradition, the Asom Sahitya Sabha would fully cooperate. He said only such organisations would protect the humanity in future.
Shri Dhirendranath Chakravorty said he had seen such a gathering in the stadium after more than three decades, which is more important than the sixes and centuries of the India and West Indies cricket teams. ?Before coming here I did not have the idea of such a huge gathering. It is unfortunate that some misguided youth by killing local people are paving the way for illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators in the region,? he added.
Shri S.C. Lekcha, former speaker of Sikkim Assembly said we should ask ourselves whether we love our Janjati and the country? ?If we love them, the responsibility to protect them also lies upon us,? he added.
Shri Jagdev Ram Oraon, president of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, said Janjatis have made supreme sacrifice for the nation right from the days of Ramayana, Maharabharata and also during the British slavery. The history could not forget their contribution. The way he cited the names and contribution of various freedom fighters belonging to various states moved the gathering. Prominent among those who were present at the convention were Shri Navam Atung of Arunachal Pradesh, Shri Tarun Chandra Bodo, vice president of Boro Sahitya Sabha, Shri Gangmai Kameng, Dean of Manipur University and Shri Jaleshwar Brahm, secretary of the Forum. Shri Jagdamba Mal conducted the proceedings of the convention.
Shri Jaleshwar Brahm, later talking to mediapersons on December 26 said the missionaries took unfair advantage of the poverty of Jajanti people. Shri Thumbai Jeliang of Nagaland said the missionaries claim that 99.9 per cent of the total people of north-east have adopted Christianity. But the fact is that hardly 50 per cent of the local people have become Christian. Shri VLP Sakcha of Mizoram said since the day Mizos have attracted to Christianity, the consumption of narcotics had increased and the youth have attracted to wrong path. He said terrorist activities have increased in the two districts of the state since the influence of Christianity increased there. Shri Kali Prasad Chakma of Tripura said terrorists in the state prevent people performing traditional pooja. (FOC)