Himjyoti Talukdar’s documentary Till We Meet Again, Parag on radical journalist and human rights activist Parag Kumar Das, allows one to get to know certain facets of his character but not the totality.
Himjyoti told Northeast Now that the documentary was more a tribute to Parag Kumar Das and was released on his birth anniversary on February 24 last.
It was that day when Parag Das’ 84-year-old mother died hoping in vain that justice would be meted out to him by catching of his killers.
Parag was born on February 24, 1961 and gunned down by unidentified assailants on the street of Guwahati on May 17, 1996 when he was 35 years old.
The man, who founded and led the Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (MASS), stirred up a hornet’s nest by writing hard hitting articles against exploitation by the Indian government, riled the State machinery, by calling for a mass uprising and even secession from India so that the indigenous people of the land could own their own resources.
The 30-minute documentation, more of a narration by individuals closely associated with him, is uploaded on YouTube, the link is
The documentary touches on the periphery, leaving out Parag on rumoured links with United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), his relationship with his wife and children, what motivated him to take up the pen leaving his managerial job in Gauhati Stock Exchange and more.
“This is just a tribute, an introduction of the man to the next generation. A move by the family to keep his memory alive,” Himjyoti said.
The background commentary in English by Reeky Sharma and the subtitles in English by Avnivesh Sharma lend for better understanding of the man and is sure to attract wider viewership.
The audio-visual quality of clippings of his speeches are poor but one can gain an idea of how popular he was among the masses by the large turnout of people; the last clipping of his funeral procession also indicate that he had touched hearts and minds.
His publications, the weekly Budhbar and Aagaan in which he spoke of the structure of an internal colonialism, the need for a democratic and peaceful struggle, the people should be allowed to self control, in order to protect their unique language, heritage, history and culture are brought to the fore.
Among those who spoke about him and attempted to explain his activities especially in the sphere of human rights and his eternal fight against the violations, molestation, rape of women and killing or maiming of men by security forces in the name of counter-insurgency operations, are author Dhrubajyoti Borah, Supreme Court advocate Nandita Haksar, human rights activist Anjali Daimari, senior journalist Ajit Kumar Bhuyan, senior advocate of Gauhati High Court Arup Borbora, writer Apurba Kumar Baruah, human rights and social activist Shamim Akhtar.
The documentary aptly sums up that in order to understand Parag, one has to first know the socio-economic and political circumstances of Assam in the seventies, eighties and early nineties as things have changed now.