— Sandipan Talukdar
Assam witnessed for the first time in its history a big public assembly organized by RSS in Guwahati. The event was named “Luitporiya Hindu Xomabesh” – meaning “Hindu Assembly on the banks of the Brahmaputra River”. Notably the assembly witnessed the presence of Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal, health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Union minister Rajen Gohain, many other ministers and members of the Assam Legislative assembly. Also significant was the presence of many Satradhikar (chiefs of old Vaishnav monastries), tribal leaders from different places of North East, ex-AASU leaders, and leaders from AGP. The extravagant programme was addressed by none other than the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. In his 45-minute long speech Bhagwat, defying India’s secular constitutional ethos, declared that India is a “Hindu Rashtra”.
Mohan Bhagwat’s speech failed to contain even a single sentence on the devastation faced by the people of Assam due to floods, the Amchang eviction drive, growing unemployment in Assam, or aspirations and concerns of the people of Assam about their identity, culture, and heritage. His only project was to try and paint Assam and the North East saffron.
The RSS strategy in Assam has become very clear. There is palpable, growing dissatisfaction towards BJP in the recent times due to steps taken by the Sarbananda Government, be it the Hindu Bangladeshi issue, naming colleges after Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, removal of special status of Assam, eviction, re-initiation of the Big dams, giving out lands to the likes of Baba Ramdev, the arrest of activists like Akhil Gogoi, the repression and injustice unleashed on workers, or the failure of providing employment opportunities to the youth of Assam. The RSS Hindutva campaign is an attempt to cover up the failures of the Sarbananda Government to meet the aspirations of Assamese people on all fronts.
The RSS is intending to kill two birds – growing disenchantment of different tribes towards the BJP style of governance, the growing class contradictions within different tribes – with one stone, its core Hindutva policy. What answer does RRS have about the apprehensions raised by all the tribal political groups and by all sections of the society about their identity, culture, heritage if the Citizenship Amendment Bill is passed? Doesn’t re-initiating the big dams pose a great threat to the geography and environment of Assam? Will these dams not put huge sections of people in danger? What made BJP re-initiate these projects that they themselves vehemently opposed before forming the Govt.? What circumstances led to the withdrawal of special status of Assam when BJP is in government both at Delhi and Dispur? What about giving out lands and other natural resources to corporates, mafias, people like Baba Ramdev where huge section of the people in Assam don’t have land of their own? What about selling the oil fields to the private hands??
RSS has only one answer to these burning questions raised by the people of Assam: what Mohan Bhagwat said in the “Luitporiya Hindu Xomabesh”.