There are many memories as, as long time residents of Tezpur like to describe it, hahakar, or pandemonium, Jawaharlal Nehru’s speech on All India Radio after the fall of Bomdilla during the Chinese treachery of 1962. In 1962, the sleepy little town in middle Assam, woke up to the very real possibility of war, as Chinese troops swiftly made their way into India and many here feel Nehru was indifferent to the State. Union Minister Kiren Rijiju had said the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was guilty of “letting people of Northeast region down”. He said Nehru assured the people of the region, then known as North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), that “we will save you”, but later announced “surrender” to the Chinese on All India Radio and “he (Nehru) said tata, bye, bye and left us”.

New generations might have forgotten the horrors but the old-timers still recall how Nehru’s choked voice in this part of his radio speech created chaos among the populace. Hearing their Prime Minister sounding so helpless, many people in Tezpur and other areas of Assam’s north bank panicked. Thousands left hearth and home to flee south across the river Brahmaputra. Guwahati was flooded with thousands of such refugees.

Though some of the untold and unheard documentaries have been documented by Films Division documentary, recently on the microblogging platform, Twitter, a handle which goes by the name of Dilpreet Kaur, @KaurageousDils, has shared one such story.

She states that, in 1962,
We had nearly lost the state of Assam to the Chinese with the Govt in Delhi throwing in the towel & leaving the people of Assam at the mercy of the PLA .
It was then that the Assamese girls of the Home Guards, in mekhala chadors, decided to pick up rifles to defend Tezpur against the advancing Chinese troops. These girls stayed back in Tezpur which was being evacuated & stayed there till the ceasefire.

In another tweet, she adds that, the story of raw courage of these Assamese girls in chadors with rifles with the resolve to save their people was never publicised by Delhi ever.

Irrespective of any coverage or mentions, we Indians would always remain proud and grateful of these men and women.

Jai Hind!

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