Assam CM Pays Tributes To Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi on 72nd Death Anniversary

He also paid tributes to the martyrs of the Alaboi battle where thousands of Ahom soldiers displayed their utmost valour before sacrificing their lives for their motherland.
Assam CM Pays Tributes To Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi on 72nd Death Anniversary

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday paid rich tributes to freedom fighter and first Chief Minister of Assam, Bharat Ratna Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi on his 72nd death anniversary, at a programme organised at his 'samadhisthal' at Navagraha in Guwahati.

Taking to Twitter, CM Sarma wrote, “Paid rich tributes to the stalwart of freedom movement Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi on his 72nd death anniversary at his Samadhisthal in Navagraha. His key role in helping Assam remain a part of India by opposing the grouping policy will be forever cherished by the people.”

He also paid tributes to the martyrs of the Alaboi battle where thousands of Ahom soldiers displayed their utmost valour before sacrificing their lives for their motherland.

Gopinath Bordoloi was a politician and Indian independence activist who served as the first Chief Minister of Assam. He was a follower of the Gandhian principle of non-violence as a political tool. Due to his unselfish dedication towards Assam and its people, the then Governor of Assam Jayram Das Doulatram conferred him with the title "Lokapriya" (loved by all).

Early Life and Education

Gopinath Bordoloi was born on 6 June 1890 at Raha. His father was Buddheswar Bordoloi and mother Praneswari Bordoloi. He lost his mother when he was only 12 years old. He got admitted in Cotton College (then an affiliated college of the University of Calcutta, now a separate autonomous university) after passing matriculation in 1907. He passed I.A. in 1st Div. In 1909 and took admission in the renowned Scottish Church College (also affiliated to the University of Calcutta) and graduated in 1911. He then passed M.A. from the University of Calcutta in 1914. He studied Law for three years but came back to Guwahati without sitting in the final examination. Then on request of Tarun Ram Phukan, he took up the temporary job as Headmaster of Sonaram High School. During that period, he sat and passed in the Law examination and started practicing in 1917 in Guwahati.

Political Life

The Assam Association was the only political organisation of Assam in that period. Assam Congress was formed in 1921 as a branch of the Indian National Congress. Gopinath Bordoloi's political life started when he joined the Indian National Congress as a volunteer in that year. He actively participated in the fight for independence. He was arrested in 1922 due to active participation in the Non-co-operation movement and was put in jail for a year. When the movement was called off following the Chauri Chaura incident, he went back to practising law. From 1930 to 1933, he kept himself away from all political activity and got involved in various social works after becoming member of Guwahati Municipal Board and Local Board. In addition, he was constantly demanding a separate University and High Court for Assam.

In 1935 Government of India Act was articulated with a view to form British India. Congress decided to participate in the Regional Assembly election in 1936. They won 38 seats and became the party with majority in Assembly, but due to a dubious law meant to reduce the power of Ministers and the Cabinet, they decided to remain as opposition party instead of forming the government. Gopinath Bordoloi was elected as the leader of the opposition party. With the support of other parties apart from Congress, Md. Sadulla formed the Cabinet of Ministers. The Congress party was gaining people's support as the government remained unaware of the basic problems of Assam. The Md. Sadulla Cabinet Ministers resigned in September 1938. The Governor then invited Gopinath Bordoloi to form the government and accordingly they took oath on 21 September.

The reasons of Gopinath Bordoloi becoming Chief Minister of undivided Assam were his political prowess, superb personality, truthfulness and behaviour which attracted not only his colleagues but also people of various communities. Congress got recognition as a powerful political party in Assam by virtue of his ability and intelligence. His contributions as Chief Minister were mainly to stop Land Tax, stop giving lands to migrant Muslims to secure the right of indigenous people etc.

The new government did not last long as World War II began in 1939. Gopinath Bordoloi's Cabinet resigned in 1940 following an appeal by Mohandas K. Gandhi. He was arrested again in December 1940. However, he was released before completing one year in jail due to ill health. When Quit India movement was launched in August 1942, the Congress party was declared outlawed and all leaders were arrested.

In the meantime, Md. Sadulla formed the government with the promise to help British in World War II and indulged again in communal activities. Gopinath Bordoloi was released from jail in 1944 and he straightaway started opposing the government with the help of other leaders. Md. Sadulla then offered to discuss the matters. An agreement was reached which included immediate release of all political prisoners, removing the ban on procession or meeting, correcting the process of rehabilitation of migrant Muslims, etc.

In July 1945, the British announced their decision to form a new constitution for India after holding the central and regional election. Congress too participated in the election in 1946 and they became the major party in Assembly with 61 seats out of 108. They formed the Government and Gopinath Bordoloi was made Chief Minister unanimously.

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