Guwahati: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said the Union government is focused on promoting all-round development of the northeast and various progressive measures taken by it will help Assam and other states in the region to scale higher peaks of progress and development.
He was addressing a gathering at an event here after presenting the ”Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Award for National Integration and Contribution” to eminent writer and scholar Nirode Kumar Barooah, members of Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust and members of the Shillong Chamber Choir.
The vice-president emphasised that the Union government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was focused on the need to promote all-round development of the northeast.
“As initiatives over the past seven-and-a-half years reveal, development, peace and prosperity have been the top priorities for the central government,” he said.
To drive home the point, he cited the example of the historic Karbi Anglong Agreement to end the decades-old crisis ensuring Assam”s territorial integrity, a statement from the Vice President Secretariat said.
He expressed confidence that Assam will be a shining example of development in the northeast. Naidu also referred to the central government”s thrust to improve air connectivity in the northeastern region.
Paying tribute to freedom fighter and the first chief minister of Assam ”Lokpriya” Gopinath Bordoloi, the vice president said he was one of the makers of modern India.
He said Bordoloi was a visionary leader whose unparalleled contribution to protecting India”s integrity and sovereignty in the turbulent times of the Partition deserved a special mention.
As the first chief minister of Assam in independent India, he implemented an array of progressive industrial policies and was also responsible for establishing many educational institutions, including Gauhati University.
Bordoloi is said to have been a gentle giant — soft-spoken and mild-mannered yet committed to truth and wedded to his ideals, he said.
Naidu said Bordoloi”s statesman-like personality had transcendental appeal, and people across communities, denominations and political affiliations looked up to him.
While more than seven decades have elapsed since his premature demise, he occupies a revered place in the hearts of the people of Assam in particular and the nation in general, the vice-president noted.
Congratulating the recipients of the award, Naidu noted that Nirode Kumar Barooah had come from Germany.
“Barooah ji”s sterling contribution lies in introducing Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi to the larger international audience through his valuable research work and books,” he observed.
Naidu also lauded members of the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust, Assam Branch, for their stellar contribution to the cause of reconstructing the lives of rural women and children through their initiatives.
Congratulating the members of the Shillong Chamber Choir for this achievement, he said it was in recognition of their contribution to the cause of national integration through music and culture.
“Music and culture can promote national integration, especially when divisive forces are trying to weaken the country. The need of the hour is to promote peace and make the country strong and prosperous,” Naidu said.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said Bordoloi was a visionary leader, who laid the foundation of modern Assam and always stood for the interest of the people of the state.
Bordoloi”s stellar role, uncompromising attitude and commitment ensured that Assam remains an integral part of India, he said.
The CM added that Bordoloi would always be remembered for his stand against the ‘Grow More Food’ policy of the Sadullah government and the grouping system of the Cabinet Mission, among other contributions. PTI