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‘Tezpur-1962’: An incident that never found a place in History

The film has won the National Award for the Best Investigative Film and documents about the town that was witness to hundreds of people who had to evacuate due to the fear of foreign invasion.

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A sculpture at Tezpur, Assam. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Often referred as the cultural capital of Assam, Tezpur is located on the banks of the Brahmaputra. This place is of utmost importance because during 1962 Sino-India war, this town was witness to hundreds of people who had to evacuate due to the fear of foreign invasion. Samujjal Kashyap, a Guwahati based engineer turned director has tried to catch a glimpse of what they had been through by his documentary “Tezpur-1962”.

On being asked how he decided to make a film on Tezpur, Kashyap said, he came to know about the Youth Emergency Organisation (YEO) that was formed during the evacuation of Tezpur that is approximately 170 kilometres from Guwahati. Even though many believe that everyone left the area, but he came to know that YEO was there to patrol that area. This is how the idea to make a fictional film about YEO struck him. The purpose to make this film was to bring forth the efforts made by YEO that were not recognized and remained untold in the pages of history.

800px-A_view_of_Chowk_Market,_Tezpur
A market at Tezpur. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The town was evacuated because of the wrong assessment by the then centre. Apart from the centre, the Foreign Policy and Forward Policy (which included building of military outposts and patrolling in disputed areas) of Jawaharlal Nehru is to be blamed as well. During that time, the Indian army was not too capable of handling this sort of warfare and during that time, the Chinese troops intruded the area at a lightning speed.

In the documentary, Journalist Mrinal Talukdar said, there is very little information available in the about the incident. The primary reason is that the incident was a disgraceful one, the battle was lost by Indians and that the Government was prepared to take an initiative to bring forth it’s shameful past. Therefore the incident was written about mainly in print but there is hardly any video documentation on it.

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It is a government-sponsored project, so I could not talk about many things. For instance, earlier the Tibetan government collected tax in Dirang. I could not mention that in my documentary. Also, about the McMahon Line, the demarcation was not done properly and the Chinese did not agree on it. I could not mention that either,” Kashyap told to a leading newspaper.

There were many hurdles that Kashyap had to face while shooting the documentary. The Twang roads were in bad condition and due to extreme weather conditions, shooting was difficult. People who were interviewed for the documentary were too old to feature in it as throughout he was concerned about their health. Joshy Joseph, a documentary filmmaker has helped him with the editing, adds Kashyap.

Despite too many hurdles, Kashyap was successful in documenting the incident by giving everyone a taste of these people’s lives. This year, in 2016, the film has won the National Award for the Best Investigative Film.

 

Next Story

India Says Pakistan’s Links with Pulwama Attack Clear For All to See

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits

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Arun Jaitley
"The most favoured nation status which has been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn.", says Jaitley. Pixabay

India has rejected Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua’s claims denying her country’s links to the Pulwama terror attack, saying that JeM, which claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday, is based in Pakistan, and the “links are clear and evident and for all to see”.

The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson on Friday termed as “preposterous” the demand for an investigation, saying there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

The spokesperson said India has not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on bilateral relations and it has been sheltering terrorists and terror organisations such as JeM. He said Islamabad has not taken any action against such groups despite international demands.

India also demanded that Pakistan take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control to create a conducive atmosphere in the region free of terror.

The spokesperson’s response came over Pakistan Foreign Secretary’s briefing rejecting Pakistan’s involvement in the terror attack on a paramilitary convoy in Jammu and Kashmir that killed at least 45 troopers. Janjua met envoys of P-5 countries late on Friday.

The spokesperson said JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the attack was a matter of “grave concern” and it had been condemning “heightened acts of violence in the (Kashmir) Valley”. Pixabay

“The organisation and its leadership are located in Pakistan. LeT and other terror groups have welcomed the news of the attack. These groups are also based in Pakistan. Pakistan cannot claim that it is unaware of their presence and their activities.

“They have not taken any action against these groups despite international demands, especially against groups and individuals proscribed by the UN and other countries. The links to Pakistan are clear and evident for all to see. Its own Ministers have shared the same podium with UN proscribed terrorists,” the spokesperson said.

He said there was audio-visual material linking JeM to the terror attack.

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“The demand for an investigation is preposterous when there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the JeM. There are also other audio-visual and print material linking JeM to the terrorist attack. We have therefore no doubt that the claim is firmly established,” the spokesperson said.

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits.

“We have not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on relations with India. What we have noticed however, are claims to offer dialogue on the one hand, while sponsoring and sheltering terrorists and terrorist organisations such as JeM on the other,” the spokesperson added. (IANS)