So what, if the militants in the North East have called for the 'routine boycott' of Independence Day celebrations in the region, tailors in the workshop of Assam Khadi and Village Industries Board are working overtime for the last few weeks to meet the demand for supply of the national Tricolour of various sizes to buyers from all over the region.
An official informed that the board had to engage several daily-wage tailors besides the permanent staff to meet the supply demand for 20,000 Tricolours on the eve of Independence Day. Last year the demand was for 15,000 Tricolours.
The board has 54 outlets all over Assam and also supplies Tricolours to other states of the region. The board expects to do business of over Rs 10 lakh time by selling Tricolours on Independence Day.
The Tricolours manufactured by the Khadi Board are available in six varieties at different price tags of Rs 370 a piece (6ftx4ft), Rs 270 (4.5 ftx3 ft),Rs 130 (3 ft x2 ft), Rs 90 (2 ftx1.5 ft), Rs 40 (1.5 ft x 1 ft) and Rs 40 (6 inches x 9 inches).
The fabric used in the Tricolour is manufactured by the board through its weavers.
The rise in the demand for new Tricolours for Independence Day celebrations in the region is significant given that outlawed militant organsations active in the region invariably call for a general strike and boycott as a mark of protest against 'India's continued colonial occupation of the region.'
There has been no exception this year too with several insurgents groups including coordination committee of militant outfits in Manipur, the ULFA (anti-talks faction), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (anti-talks faction), Kamatapur Liberation Organisation, Hynnewtrap National Liberation Council, National Liberation Front of Twipra and Tripura People's Democratic Front having called for boycott and general strike from 1 am to 5:30 pm on August 15 to make people stay away from official celebrations of Independence Day in the region.
It may be mentioned that the list of militant outfits calling for I-Day boycott has become much shorter over the years in view of a large number of militant groups coming over ground to join peace process with the government of India jettisoning the path of violence.
Meanwhile, tight security vigil is being maintained all over Assam to thwart any attempt by militant groups like the ULFA (anti-talks) and the NDFB (anti-talks) to disrupt celebrations.
Sniffer dogs have been pressed into service in all official parade grounds in the state on the eve the I-Day celebrations while paramilitary personnel are keeping vigil in all the vital installations in the state.
The police have mounted checking of all sorts vehicles on the road in the state as part of the security arrangement.