The highest honour of the Motok community, Swargadeo Sarbananda Singha Award was presented to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in a programme held to mark the 213th Swargadeo Sarbananda Singha Divas and Sanskritik Samaroh of the Motok community at Rajkumar Longkeswar Gohain Khetra, ITI playground in Tinsukia on Sunday.
The award, presented by the socio-cultural, youth and student organisations of the Motok community led by Sadou Asom Motok Sanmilan, carries a chaleng chador, a smarak of the Motok King Sarbananda Singha, a citation and cheque for Rs 1 lakh.
Addressing a gathering on the occasion, Chief Minister Sonowal highlighted the people-centric administration of Swargadeo Sarbananda Singha and urged the people of the State to uphold his values in building a strong and vibrant Assam.
“Swargadeo Sarbananda Singha set up the Motok kingdom with the help of the people to serve their cause and governed the province with the advice and support of the people. Therefore, to keep his ideals alive the people of the state would have to replicate his vision and ideas in different fields of their works,” Sonowal said adding that the Motok community is an integral part of the Assamese society and they are known for their courage and bravery.
This community would have to play a more important role in taking the Assamese community forward in the days to come, he observed.
Chief Minister Sonowal further said that Assam is a blessed land where legendary rulers like Swargadeo Chaolung Sukapha, Swargadeo Sarbananda Singha, Lachit Borphukan, Birangana Sati Sadhini and Bodosa were born.
Similarly, spiritual gurus like Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva, Madavdeva, Aniruddhadeva, Harideva and Damodardeva inspired the Assamese community with moral and ethical values.
“The Assamese community would have to follow their ideals and work with greater enthusiasm to promote peace, harmony and brotherhood amongst all communities of the State,” said the CM.
Stating that the State Government is making its best efforts to boost the abilities of the youth to face the challenges of the 21st century, Chief Minister Sonowal said that the State Government is committed to preserve the culture, language and heritage of each of the communities irrespective of their size. He also exhorted the people of the state not to panic under any circumstances and reaffirmed that the government is working to protect the interest of all the communities with equal importance.
Underlining the flourishing economy of the State, especially of the Upper Assam region during the British rule, Chief Minister Sonowal informed that the State government is working to rebuild the economic condition of the state and has taken up number of projects in this regard during last two years.
“We want to build our economic foundation through agriculture. We have successfully developed a conducive environment for investment and industrialisation through Advantage Assam which helps to strengthen our economy and cultural bonding with the South East Asian nations,” said Sonowal.
Chief Minister Sonowal in his speech also announced that the state government would construct a Bhawan in the name of Swargadeo Sarbananda Singha at Guwahati with a museum to display the weapons and artefacts belonging to the period of Motok rulers and informed that land for this purpose has already been allotted.
He also mentioned that the State Government is taking up another project to showcase the rich culture and heritage of all the communities of the state and a building named as Ekota Bhawan near the Dr Bhupen Hazarika Setu is under progress.
Apart from this, Sonowal also informed about a sports university to be set up at Chabua in Dibrugarh district in the name of Aniruddhadeva. He also said that the State Government would take all possible measures to preserve the rich cultural heritage of all the communities of the State.
State Cultural Affairs Minister Naba Kumar Doley, speaking on the occasion, said that as per direction of the Chief Minister, the Cultural Affairs Department would celebrate the Swargadeo Sarbananda Singha Divas as a government programme from next year, which will be organised at different places of the State.
He mentioned that the celebration would help in generating more awareness about Swargadeo Sarbananda Singha amongst the youth and promote harmony.
As part of the celebration, a souvenir was also released by Minister of State (Independent charge) for Power Tapan Kumar Gogoi. Fourteen leading persons of the Motok community were also felicitated on the occasion for their contributions in different fields to the society.
Earlier, Chief Minister Sonowal also took part in a cultural event showcasing the folk culture of Sonowal Kachari named ‘Rongkhola’ at Gobindapur, Panitula in Tinsukia district on Sunday.
The cultural event was organised by Tinsukia district regional unit of Sonowal Kachari Students’ Union.