Thursday, July 9, 2009

KAMAL BHATTA -an unsung hero

I was going through mother's old pictures .There she was 12 years old with all her cousins.Suddenly I saw someone who was about 5 years.A boy -what struck me was his looks golden hair ,fair face and burning eyes.I pointed it towards my mother and asked who it was ? She looked towards where my finger pointed and suddenly there was a drop of tear in her eyes.She choked and then she went quite.I stood there preplexed never ahd I see my mother so emotional except maybe when we felt sick .Who was this cousin of her's what was so special about him.I stood there waiting not knowing what to say.Suddenly dad came saw the picture and looked at mom.He then replied that WAS your mom's cousin KAMAL BHATTA .The way he said the name was so funny it was like dad was taking god's name.Not understanding I asked again who....he said your uncle and one of the greatest son's Assam ever produced.And soon I heard a saga a tale of valour corage and love for your land.

It was way back in the 1970's my mom was a 12 year old girl.She had gone to visit her uncle and aunt.It was the season of floods in Assam.So one day her aunt took her to see lot of ducks which she had collected.They had actually flown in the flood and landed in their house.Mom was amazed to see so many ducks.Suddenly there was a shrill sound "MOM" my mother and aunty looked towards aunty's 4 year old son Kamal.His eyes were burning he commanded"Mom I know those are not our ducks so let them go immediately".There was such command in his voice that his mother didnt dare defy him.She let all the ducks go.My mom 12 years old was afraid to talk to this 4 year old kid who was not a kid in any sense.Such conviction for what was right she had never seen.She left after a few days that incident etched in her memory.

Years passed by it was 1978..the year AASU(All Assam Students Union ) and ULFA(United Liberation Front of Asom) made a mark.Agitations after agitation ..Assam was burning.Mom was in college now.One day she heard the news that Amal ;Kamal's elder brother was shot dead in Nalbari while trying to protest,She was even more hurt to learn that the 15 year old Kamal too had been shot and he was hurt.She went to meet him later that week along with her parents.The kid she left years ago was now turning into a handsome young man.But then she saw his bullet ridden hand she cried inconsolably.Later that month Kamal Bhatta was sent to AIIMS for treatment.He came back after one month his left hand was rendered permanently useless now.Years passed by the young guy passed his 10th and 12th with flying colors .Soon he got admission into Assam Engineering College.

Yes the dream the family had seen was coming true .The young boy was a Civil Engineer now.The family was proud of him.He was also turning into a proficient debator and writer.The whole was proud of this young man.Soon he passed out with flying colors a BE (Hons).His parents his cousins my mom everyone was proud of him.Time passed however and he couldnt find any job.His parents were upset but not he.He said to his father he kept saying to his father dont worry I will do something.I wont go unnoticed.He left home one fine day in search of a job.

It was two years now since he had left his home.One day the family receives a call there was no more Kamal Bhatta ......there was Commader Kamal Bhatta now of United Liberation Front of Assam.The young boy had not forgotten the death of his brother the bullet ridden hand .HE HAD NOT FORGOTTEN HIS FRIENDS WHO WERE KILLED.He had not forgotten anything.He was quite calculative deceptive he knew what he had to do .He knew his goal .And now he was working towards it.Every day bridges were blown off there were skirmishes in the army.Both sides lost ..casualties ran high in both sides.Homes were uprooted.And all this was being attributed to the one handed Commander .He was the man ;army began to dread.He began to live his words

"O people of Assam one day one day will come when you will realise the value of our blood and that day we all will rise to fight for who we are."

Soon he became one of the dreaded genre of so called insurgents not terrosists becasue ULFA back then was not a terrorist but an insurgent group.It was the time for my mom.'s marriage .The whole army battalion in Nalbari had ghearoed the house yet he came and went .After that it was untold misery for my grandparents and my uncles.Every day they were picked up for questioning but no one knew his whereabouts.He contacted his parents a few days after that but they couldnt find him either.The one handed boy spelt trouble.His words reverated of a eglitarian Assamese socity.He talked about the misgivings no oppurtunities no jobs ..batches of enginneers and graduates were jobless. There was no industry in Assam.His grievances were many his solution one -gun.He beleived talk to them in the language they hear.He became a legend because he was rightoues .He became a legend because he was right..he became a legend becasue every action of his was justified .A few years dragged on Opration Bajrang continued .I was born to my parents and my dad was posted in Arunacahl Pradesh.One day she received a letter 'Her favourite cousin was no more.The army ahd shot him."

They came back to Assam that day night.The next day mom watched as her brother burned in the pyre.Such idealism such thoughts such valour such courage standing up for what was right standing up for what was true ....all that went up in flames.Her aunt cried as she watched her son burn ;shouting" there will be hundreds more there will be thousands".Mom looked at the sky and shed a tear .She smiled at her brother who was in heaven as if asking him did he finally get what he always wanted so bad.

I stood there as I listened to the story.I never supported any form of terrorism and I never will.But then this story set me thinking that the four year old boy who scolded his mother can he really be a headless war mongerer.True the times then were testing then so what you do to assert your right it terrorism ?I know I will never be able to answer so I took the photo back from my mother .I turned it and saw a poem which was his favorite:

Moi jano
Edin nohoi edin
Tomalokeu jui bisari
Mor osoroloi aahiba
Edin nohoi Edin
Tomaloke akou mor hote
Hei hondhipotrot swakkhor koriba
Hei dintoloike moi
Okolei uruam
Mor tezor potaka
Eya mor roktoborno protigya..

( I know a day will come
You will also ask for fire
you will come to me
you will stand with me
and take a pledge with me
I wil wait till that day
waving the flag
of my blood
this is my bloodridden promise)

There stands a memorial in the place where he was shot reads

'"hey shwahid tumak salam"

( O martyr I salute you)



  1. I saw the link in Axom community in Orkut. Well written and thought provoking. Am sorry for your uncle. But true, violence is never a solution. Good piece.

  2. thanks frd thats what i want todays youth to realise!

  3. touchn....ur wrdz wnt let him die bro....yes we al do beleive in goals of ULFA to create a better ASSAM.....he ws a righteous hero of our state....i salute him n his emotions bt my path vl lwyz be anti terrism..lts l f us try to achieve his goal,bt wid pride,honour n respect....

  4. heart touching tale ..really provokes our thought

  5. ..........
    So are the tales in a revolution.......
    Anodr poignat yet motivating one........
    The point is , will it lead 2 any solution????
    Or will he have died in vain?????

  6. very touching.............u did a gr88 job yaar!!!!!!!:)

  7. sooooo..... touching.... serious......
    no words to xplain...

  8. Violence is not a solution but spare a thought for those who opted for violence so that we may never have to opt for it. The simplicity of your writing and the forceful content is touching