JORHAT: Precisely, it’s a boomtime for organizations in Assam in response to a number of issues that keep confronting the northeastern state and its people. But the mission matters here. We need to look at the ideology and modus operandi of an organization in rank and file. Today we are leaving before our visitors an interview with Manoj Gogoi, who is leading the Asom Premi Yuva Chatra Samaj, a one year old organization which claims to have been proliferating its mission in the nook and corner of the state. Here is an except of the interview with Jorhat correspondent BIJOY KUMAR BURAGOHAIN
AT: Welcome to Assam Times. Since you have been leading Asom Premi Yuva Chatra Sangathan, what forced you and your active associates to think of floating the organization even thought the state has no dearth of such organizations
MG: Well, at the outset I am grateful to Assam Times for allowing us to speak to our mind. In fact, Assam has been grappling with umpteen numbers of problems for decades. Some of these issues are difficult to be addressed within a short spell of time. But some issues could be addressed properly if the ruling clique wants. Only goodwill is what required.
AT: That means the government lack good will?
MG: Look. I have already told you. You need not solve all the issues at a go. But some issues could be resolved once you have good will. As for example, the state has been co existing with millions of kilometers of roads and bridges in dilapidated condition. If you have good will definitely you can address the concern. Sadly, this has not happened. I am not saying that the ULFA issue can be sorted out within a month.
AT: Which is the most striking issue right now?
MG: All problems are striking. Since you are asking me to put up in the order of priority, currently, it is the illegal settlers issue which if allowed to exist, will put our identity on the verge of collapse: we won’t be able to remain alive as a nation. This issue needs to be sorted out on priority issue.
AT: The process is in progress to update NRC. Both Centre and the State have been talking of expulsion of the illegal settler honouring the Assam Accord. Why are you disappointed.
MG: This is the real issue. If all Indian states can have NRC with 1952 as cut off year, why Assam cant? Why we need to protect those who came before 1972? Are they not disrupting the demography? We need to stem the root of the problem. If you detect and deport the Bangladeshi settlers coming after 1972, why you can’t talk of those who came in between 1952 and 1972. Is it the practical approach to address the entire issue? That’s why, we do support a set of petitions pending before the Supreme Court to revise the base year. Since we have full confidence on the sanctity of the apex court we are hopeful.
AT: What other issues need immediate solution?
MG: To name these issues would require a huge space which is impossible. In a nutshell, flood and erosion, unemployment and insurgency are the burning preblems. Corruption is linked to all these. All these are damaging, devastating and what not.
AT: Tell us how we need to deal with corruption?
MG: Let me speak. Corruption, what we call world phenomena, is cancerous that cripples our society. We, the civil society organizations must remain on alert. Only an alertness is the need of the hour to counter the menace. We must force the law enforcing agencies to firmly deal with these. We must encourage judiciary to take a bold step. We must ensure that not even a single paise meant for the people go to the pockets of X, Y, Z.
AT: What is the vision of your organization?
MG: We need to unite the people to fight corruption, illegal trade, immoral activities which keep posing serious threat to us. You would be happy to learn that during this short spell of period, we have held many meetings in some areas to make the people aware of the impending danger of the illicit liquor which fetched us immense hope. The response is encouraging indeed. Another vision is the promotion of indigenous commodities and culture. When we have plenty of potentials why we need to import outside commodity. Whatever we have with have at hand are enough to keep our economy growing. When we have every possibility of fishery and poultry farming importing of fish from Andhara Pradesh, poultry does not make any sense. We need to stop the outflow of money from our state.
AT: Do you believe that your organization would be able to achieve the success?
MG: Definitely, since we have sincere effort, we have a huge mission meant for Assam and millions of its people, we have accordingly received huge response from all sides what we need more. Our membership has been growing by leaps and bounds. More and more people have joined our Whatsapp group. We have reasons to be optimistic indeed. We thank Assam Times for along us to ventilate what we do feel it.