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When AJYCP tries to maintain a movement

Assam’s influential organization Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad along with few other influential groups from northeast India staged a demonstration on Monday in the national capital protesting against the Centre’s move to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955.

Led by AJYCP president Biraj Kumar Talukdar and general secretary Palash Changmai, the protest demonstration witnessed the participation of few hundred protesters held at Jantar Mantar of New Delhi.

“The NDA government at the Centre is trying to settle the Bangladeshi Hindu nationals in Assam to strike political advantages. We find it difficult to understand that despite Bangladesh Prime Minister’s assertion that no Hindu nationals are harassed in the neighbouring country, the move to roll out red carpet to the neighbouring nationals itself suggests a political interest,” said a AJYCP statement.

It also added that the BJP-led government has no right to downplay the sentiments of the millions of northeastern people and the AJYCP won’t remain calm unless the politically motivated move is abandoned. The New Delhi-based Naga Students Association, Manipur Students Union, Tripura Students Association, Khasi Students Union, along with many JNU and Delhi University students participated in the demonstration. SFI leader Prashant Kumar and Tripura student leader Dharanjit Debbarma also joined the protest with a pledge to carry forward the movement.

Meanwhile, in the backdrop of an uproarious atmosphere in Assam against the Union government’s move to grant citizenship to religious minorities from Bangladesh and Pakistan, a nationalist people’s forum raises voice for a concrete refugee policy for the country to deal with such situations in future.

Patriotic People’s Front Assam (PPFA), in a recent memorandum sent to Assam Governor Banwarilal Purohit, argued that India should have the refugee policy ‘to deal with the issue of immigrants logically and legally’ forever.

“We sincerely believe India should sign the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention. Moreover, our government has to ratify the 1967 Protocol relating to the status of refugees,” said the memorandum, signed by some distinguished personalities including eminent historian Dr Nirode K Barooah, former director general of National Museum Dr Rabin Dev Choudhury, eminent publisher Giripada Dev Choudhury, award winning filmmaker Manju Bora, IIT Kharagpur professor Gourishankar S Hiremath, Banaras Hindu University professor Anil K Rai with many others.

The memorandum also expressed concerns that few ‘recent misleading and manipulative statements by some individuals and organizations on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 issue’ were ‘trying to communalise the issue instead of helping to find an amicable solution’.

“The extremely volatile utterances targeting the Hindu minority community of Assam are deplorable and condemnable to say the least,” asserted the memorandum, endorsed by senior journalist DN Chakrabarty, non-resident Assamese professionals Vavani Sarmah & Kalyan Dutta-Choudhury, Ravindra Nath, Dipannita Jaiswal, Jahnabi Goswami, Pranab Kr Sarma, Pranjal Saikia, Jitul Sonowal, Dr Subhra Kinkor Goswami, Onkareshwar Pandey etc.

“We are from this land of glorious civilisation & culture and we feel that our spirit should be that of accommodation of Hindu’s, Buddhists, Christians, Sikhs and other religious minorities who have had to face extreme suppression in erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and also West Pakistan and have been the true victims of partition of India,” pointed out the memorandum, backed by DN Chakrabarty, Rupam Barua, Bidhayak Das, Utpal Dutta, Bobita Sarma, Braja Jyoti Sharma, Bibekananda Choudhury, Bhagawat Pritam, Ujjal Saikia, Jagadindra Ray Choudhury, Girindra Kumar Karjee, Anup Sarma etc.

Appreciating the Centre for taking steps lately to provide shelter to the victims of partition across India, the PPFA clarified that the Hindu minorities in Bangladesh include not only Bengali, but also Rajbongshi, Hajong, Adivasi, Jayantiya and Bishnupriya communities. Similarly, the Buddhists include Chakma and some Assamese people who fled to the Chittagong hill areas of Bangladesh during the Burmese invasion. The Christians include Bengali, Garo, Khasi and Adivasi people. All these people became the victims of Pakistan plan & partition and had to live in a ‘foreign land’, for the creation of which they were not responsible, commented the forum.

The memorandum clarified that PPFA has no intention of communalising the issue but it wants to ‘provide a clear understanding of how history unfolded lest some vested interests and parochial mindsets for their own narrow political gains and cheap mileage would continue to resort to disturb the peace and tranquil atmosphere of Assam’.

“There is a need for a solution to this vexed issue and we would fully agree if those who have been truly victimised owing to the partition and religious persecution are given a place not just in Assam but in all other States of India, a country where the underlying tenets of democracy are tolerance, secularism and freedom of religion, faith, practice and freedom of expression,” concluded the memorandum.

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Nation forgets Gandhi’s wishes

6 Aug 2009 - 3:45am | Daya Nath Singh

Mahatma Gandhi had expressed his clear view on the importance of ‘healthy work culture’ in the Harijan newspaper of 15th October, 1938, emphasizing on hard work by the people of the country, for attaining the goal of freedom. He dared to declare as ‘declaring my birthday as a holiday should be treated as a cognizable offence’. This was a clear indication that the “Great Soul’ was confident of the might of his people, which later on succeeded in bringing freedom to the country. His experiments on Swadeshi movement brought good results. But the present situation has completely changed the whole thing and his dreams are shattered.

Unfortunately, with his assassination in 1948, his ideals and teaching were thrown in the wilderness. His followers used his name, teachings and ideals for making wealth and playing politics. His soul might have felt tremendous pain on the day the Government of India declared his birthday, the 2nd October, as a National Holiday. This decision ignoring his wishes was a great ‘dishonor’ to him. From there the ruling parties in the country started distancing from his ideals. No doubt they kept crying for Gandhian philosophy and remembering his ideals at all critical times.

Ignoring his sentiments and ideals for long sixty years, efforts are on to underplay his teachings and increasing holidays from time to time, with intention to make the people idle by reducing their working capability. It is only in India, where maximum holidays are allowed. The practice of demanding more and more holidays in the industries and offices are continuing regularly. It is unfortunate, when the country needs more work for development and prosperity, our people demand more holidays. More holidays means reduction in working capability of our people.

On the one hand, when there is necessity of hard work due to economic globalization to, counter the challenges of multinational organizations, our country prefers reducing working ability of our people. Whereas there is necessity of increasing ‘work culture’ to bring the country at par with developed nations, the tradition of increasing holidays at work places leads to reducing working capabilities of our people. Politicians and trade unionists are equally responsible for this sort of affairs. Mere slogans cannot lead the nation on the path of progress. It needs hard work and foresightedness in planning. Development needs more work and fewer holidays. Developed nations increase production by reducing holidays and increasing working hours to increase per capita working capability. In Indian politics there is a ‘conspiracy’ going on to reduce capability of our people. Power hungry politicians having interest in multinational companies are busy to get the benefit out of this practice. On the other hand our trade union leaders mislead the workforce over various issues demanding to keep their leadership alive. It is unfortunate, these leaders demand more holidays and other benefits instead of encouraging the workers to increase production, so that the industry may be compelled to pay them more. Due to high illiteracy and lack of right understanding, exploitation of workforce is continuing. Working force fail to understand whether their prosperity depends on more work or holidays.

Government of India has adopted the policy of five days working in a week, which ultimately leads to delaying disposal of works. Not only this, out of 365 days of year, about 25 national, 104 Sundays and Saturdays, besides 65 privilege leaves, casual and medical leaves, provisions are already there. By this way about 2oo days of the year a worker enjoys as holidays. The state governments on the other hand declare local and festival holidays in addition to all these. Another fact that Bandh culture has spread in the country at large scale now a days. On various issues and petty matters any organization declares bandh and it is found that the people give good response to that and enjoy extra holidays. As much misuse and negligence of human resources is done in India, nowhere in the world one can find. Several small nations have attained their position in the developed countries because of proper use of human resources and India is lagging behind even after 60 years of independence.. It is not enough to pay homage to the Great Soul by putting flowers on his Samadhi from time to time. It is time to follow his ideals and make the country self sufficient in the fields of agriculture and industries, which can provide work for all and prosperity for the country.

EMFA expresses grief at Dipak Mahanta’s demise

3 Dec 2015 - 2:15pm | Nava Thakuria

Electronic Media Forum Assam (EMFA) has expressed profound grief at the sudden demise of Dipak Mahanta, an eminent theatre personality and a senior producer at AssamTalks in an accident last night. Mahanta was on his return journey to Guwahati after a shooting schedule at Tejpur, when the vehicle carrying him with few other colleagues faced an accident at Deoshal locality of Jagiroad in the midnight of Wednesday.

Seriously wounded Mahanta was taken to Guwahati Medical College Hospital, but the attending doctors declared him brought dead. The accompanying three television employees namely Ajmir Saikia, Pradesh Rabha and Atul Morang also sustained injuries, whom of course the doctors declared out of danger.

Born in 1961, Mahanta was a creative theatre director, skilled performer, serious playwright and a script writer with humoristic touch. Some of his plays namely ‘Ulanga Roja’, ‘Malati Mam’, ‘Holi’ etc are well appreciated by the theatre appreciators across the region.

Lately Mahanta joined in the field of professional journalism and shifted to Guwahati from Tejpur, his original workplace. Started his television journalism career with NewsTimeAssam, a newly launched satellite news channel, Mahanta lately joined another new channel AssamTalks, as a senior producer.

Mahanta left behind his wife, son with host of relatives and well-wishers. Media organizations across Assam have expressed shock at his untimely death and sent condolence message to the bereaved family.

Government breaking sweat to deal with ANLA

25 Mar 2008 - 4:05am | Nagendra Sarma
It is very much surprising and alarming that despite the presence of the armed security forces, in a small town like Merapani of Golaghat, an organization formed with an object to raise its voice against the Government. Suddenly it turned from moderate to a violent and dreaded militant group with name and style of ANLA (Adiwasi National Liberation Army). Now it becomes so strong that it dared to blast the Rajdhani train recently in protest of the arrest of seven of its cadres who were carrying arms and remunerations with them. At the initial stage of its formation the activities of this organization were limited within the area of Merapani only and then extended to the Golaghat District and then to the entire northeast region. Had the Government would have taken a stern action against it when it was getting itself involved in petty crimes it would not have been grown to the present stage. In course of time ANLA came in close relations with bigger militant group like NSCN(IM), ULFA and other organisations in the region and procured explosives with arms and remunerations from them and also get its cadres trained. The surprising part of the whole episode were alleged to have been going on in the Merapani area under the nose of the neutral force and the local administration but regretfully no steps were taken.

One of the senior officers of the neutral force deployed in Merapani area on the condition of anonymity told this correspondent that they were not properly fed with the intensity of the problem by the civil and police administration and added -“When local administration do not get involved why should we? Our job is to maintain status quo in the area of Assam-Nagaland border.” It may be recalled that the neutral force was deployed in Merapani and other parts of the border of both the states (Assam-Nagaland) in 1985 when there was a fight between the two states and assigned to maintain status quo. In this context, if rightly thought, it was the duty of the local administration to take serious note of the criminal activities of ANLA and not of the neutral force.

Now the strength of ANLA and its network has reached such a level that it seemed difficult to strain its criminal activities like extortion, kidnappings, demanding ransoms and innocent killings etc. It has been a challenging task before the government. Being aware of the impending grave situation suspected to be created by ANLA the government (both State and Centre), army officials and other agencies are reported to have been putting their heads together chalked out a plan to nab the cadres of ANLA and root out its existence.

Meanwhile a large numbers of its cadres including those who are holding high rank in the organization are reported to have been apprehended and put behind the bar. In view of the intensive campaign against the ANLA, its cadres in large number have surrendered before the Government. But according to some of the militancy analyst this can’t be a continuous phase. In course of time it has to be deferred for certain reasons. The militancy analysts are of the view that the deferral period may be utilized by the ANLA for regrouping its cadres and resort to their criminal activities in a different way. Such practices will go on for all time to come. The only solution of such problems is to have a direct talk across the table try to understand what they are fighting for.