Respected people of Assam,
On the eve of 2016 Assembly elections, with utmost urgency and anxiety we want to present some issues before you. The Assembly Elections 2016 run the risk of ruining the age-old communal harmony and brotherhood of Assam and divide people along communal lines. BJP’s failure to get a stronghold in Assam, which is home to multiple ethnic groups have instigated its mother organization, RSS, to incite communal conflicts among various groups. If BJP comes to power in the ensuing elections there is a high possibility that communal violence will erupt and consume the state. After coming to power in the 2014 elections, BJP along with RSS have been undermining all democratic public institutions and replacing them with institutions and people who owe allegiance to the government and act in an authoritarian manner. The kind of communal conflicts unleashed in some BJP-ruled states is a black chapter in the history of the country. The xenophobic violence that occurred 14 years ago in Gujarat is such an example.
The influence of mullahs, sadhus and god-men is increasing on the politics of Assam. Politics is moving away from solving the problems of the common people to dividing people into exclusive groups which are pitted against one another. We have witnessed that emotive slogans of patriotism and anti-nationalism being used to mislead people away from their democratic rights.
We have been alarmed to observe that the economic policies of the government at the Centre have gone against the interest of the middle class and the common people. They are busy appeasing private Indian and foreign companies, giving them tax waivers, and handing over the country’s resources and its ready markets. On the other hand, the government is cutting funding to the welfare policies and the central government has stopped appointments. As opposed to the promises made during 2014 elections, inflation is running high.
In the international market, the price of one barrel of crude oil reduced from Rs 6369 on 24th May, 2014 to Rs 2276 on 25 February, 2016. According to this, the price for 1 litre of diesel should be Rs 28.84 and 1 litre of petrol should be Rs 28.51. (The calculations has been made based on the facts provided by the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan on 7th December, 2015 on the floor of the Lok Sabha). However, currently, the price of 1 litre petrol and diesel are Rs 58.71 and Rs 48.43 respectively. The reason behind such high prices is the increased tax levied by the Narendra Modi government. The situation was such that in one case while the actual price of petrol was 46%, the tax levied was 54%! In this way the BJP government has been pressurizing the common people. The increase in petrol and diesel price has led to an increase in the prices of everything else.
These policies of BJP have hampered Assam as well. Changes have been made to Assam’s special status, the ration to tea garden labourers has been stopped and the special industrial policy for the Northeast has been cancelled. Funds to different departments of the state have been cut. To justify this drastic step the Central government said that the State government has not submitted any utilization certificate of funds but did not mention any step to be taken if funds have been misused. The clash between the Central and the State government is negatively impacting the people. Within a year of coming to power, the BJP government is hell-bent on strangling every mode of democratic protest. This is being complimented by many organisations enjoying patronage of the government and rowdy mobs. The police atrocity on JNU students, the hooliganism of lawyers, the anti-student attitude of Hyderabad Central University administration on the behest of the BJP government – has shocked people who believe in democracy.
In a similar way the government is trying to suppress any protest against the sky high price rise and anti-people policies of the government. Available facts prove that the government is planning to loot the Northeast of its natural resources and eventually exploit the indigenous people of the region. BJP is committed to finish the construction of the Lower Subansiri Dam. In the name of interlinking of rivers, the government has taken the first step by constructing a dam on the river Manas and planning to divert the water outside the state. Basically the plan seems to be to engage the people of Assam in ethnic and communal conflicts while economically exploiting it. The real motive of the present government is to divide the population on one hand and on the other hand, give the rich resources of the state to capitalists and market forces. In such a situation, BJP and RSS have emerged as the real enemy of India’s parliamentary democracy.
In such a complicated moment, the following signatories humbly request the people of Assam to reject the divisive, communal, fascist and corporate agent BJP in the ensuing Assembly Elections. Let every conscious voter of Assam vote against BJP and stand by the interests of the people of Assam.
- Nalinidhar Bhattacharya
- Sudakshina Sharma
- Abani Borthakur
- Nilmoni Phukon
- Hiren Gohain
- Udayaditya Bharali
- Abdul Mannan
- Gautam Bora
- Anima Guha
- Akhil Ranjan Dutta
- Dipen Bezbaruah
- Joshoprabha Kalita
- Dinesh Baishya
- Loknath Goswami
- Adip Kumar Phukan
- Ankur Tamuli Phukan
- Arupjyoti Saikia
- Baniprasanna Misra
- Prasun Barman
- Rituraj Kalita
- Sanjay Borbora
- Amlanjyoti Deuri
- Shivnath Barman
- Shantanu Borthakur
- Sumitra Hazarika
- I Deuri
- Kishor Kumar Kalita
- Ripunjoy Gogoi
- Bishwajeet Chakravarty
- Sitanath Lahkar
- Sharath Phukan
- Siddhartha Lahiri
- Hafiz Ahmed
- Subrata Chakraborty
- Padmalochan Nath
- Debabrata Das
- Dilip Bora
- Rajib Handique
BJP LAOGE TO PAANCH SAAL PACHTAOGE.
Wow! I am amazed to see the level of knowledge on history, economics and politics of India and the world, of you intellectuals! More amazed that many of you taught me in Cotton college and Gauhati University! Instead of stressing on what BJP ‘may do’ in Assam, if you would have explained with examples of what Congress has done in 60+ years of its rule in Center and the states, wouldn’t it be more meaningful?
I am sure, most of you have traveled outside of Assam. Why didn’t you have the courage to do a comparison of Assam and other states in terms of economy, jobs and quality of life there?
You mentioned 2002 Gujarat riots, but conveniently forgotten 2012 Assam riots, 2014 UP riots! Any explanation?
You claim, in last two years, BJP has started dividing people on religious and communal lines. Did you ever see Modi or any other minister talking about religion in last two years? This is the first time a PM has been seriously talking about economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation. Modi keep reminding the common men to fight poverty, and not each other.
Congress and all other political parties have been ruling this country and states on the basis of minority appeasement. This itself is a discrimination. Don’t you see that?
You talked about Lower Subansiri Dam. Most of you must be aware that Assam is a acutely power deficient state. And you expect that without enough power generation, increasing demand can be met with?
This is the first time the an energy minister is seriously pursuing the rural electrification project and providing daily updates about the status. He knows how many villages remain un-electrified till date. Do you even know how many villages in Assam do not have electricity, roads, bridges? Did you ever ask a question to Congress?
While most of you claim to be intellectuals and keep writing your views in books, newspapers and journals, why did you not utter a single word when Sonia Gandhi and Tarun Gogoi silently renamed the Lachit Chowk in Jalukbari to Rajeev Chowk? What justified this name change? At least Hiren Gohain, who is an Ahom, was a Professor in GU, should have felt ashamed in this insult to the most revered army commander in Assam’s history!
Every day, there is debate about illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in Assam. Many of you must have joined debates in TV news channels. But have you ever questioned why Congress did not seal the Indo-Bangla border in 60+ years of its rule?
The list is never ending…
I still don’t believe that you have said/written this with sane mind! Yet, if you still believe you are, then wait until May 19 2016, and you will see positive changes happening in all the above points and many more.
We respect the view of you intellectual, on the contrary we have seen the corruption of cong govt, we want change, its also true that we people don’t have the blind support to BJP but we don’t have the other option to choose, so must go for anti congress govt.
Rather than a genuine appeal to reason, this piece appears to be a typical (and boring) pre-poll rhetoric like any other being currently spewed by the political parties slugging for the assembly seats, only difference is it being tinted with leftist ideals. The honoured intellectuals have painted one party as intrinsically evil over all the others, ignoring the phenomenal misgovernance in the state over the past decade by the other major party govt.; thereby undermining their own credibility.
I am not a BJP fan and granted BJP govt. has yet failed to deliver on some key issues, to blame it for all the wrong that is going on in the country is bigotry, plain and simple. The post devotes a rather long para on petrol price rice owing to taxes but fails to take into account that cess on fuels is one of the steps undertaken to meet the fiscal targets set by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003. Inflation (in Cost-price index) has actually decreased to 5.9 % in 2014-15 from 10.2% in 2012-13 (U.P.A. rule) and projected to decrease to 4.9 % in 2015-16 (Economic Survey 2015-16).
Get your facts right.
That the honoured intellectuals have taken up a regionalist cause is a bit confounding to me given that they give a free chit to all encroachers to nibble at government land in Assam and in many cases prime wildlife habitats (Kaziranga is a well known example). The lower Subansiri dam was the baby of the UPA govt. but we saw no widespread public awareness campaigns in its opposition by them. This is called hypocrisy.
Some political parties for their own narrow short term gains cheer student reactions in the name of supposed �rising intolerance�. Indian people and by extension Assamese people are inherently secular and tolerant and are mostly aware enough to be able to differentiate between facts and rhetoric. There are other points I could add but my fingers are rather sore over typing so much. Assamese people are weary of bad governance and all round misery, they will choose for themselves the lesser of the evils, they dont need a moral sermon.
Who the hell are you to tell who we should not vote or who we should (indirectly). Do you bunch of guys ( with due respect to your Academic credentials…including a very dear teacher of mine) think we do not have our own functioning brain circuitry to decide what is good or bad for us and our children? Well we are all adult & we do not like to be preached & uncalled for guidance …… You guys r free to do it to your family & relatives…excuse us Sirs
In 2 days all these exalted individuals must be eating crow.. the only ones to heed their voices would be Bangladeshi Muslims.