April 07, 2016

India: Stop BJP in Assam - Appeal on 2016 Assembly elections

Stop BJP in Assam

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.
Thank you
Yours faithfully
  1. Nalinidhar Bhattacharya
  2. Sudakshina Sharma
  3. Abani Borthakur
  4. Nilmoni Phukon
  5. Hiren Gohain
  6. Udayaditya Bharali
  7. Abdul Mannan
  8. Gautam Bora
  9. Anima Guha
  10. Akhil Ranjan Dutta
  11. Dipen Bezbaruah
  12. Joshoprabha Kalita
  13. Dinesh Baishya
  14. Loknath Goswami
  15. Adip Kumar Phukan
  16. Ankur Tamuli Phukan
  17. Arupjyoti Saikia
  18. Baniprasanna Misra
  19. Prasun Barman
  20. Rituraj Kalita
  21. Sanjay Borbora
  22. Amlanjyoti Deuri
  23. Shivnath Barman
  24. Shantanu Borthakur
  25. Sumitra Hazarika
  26. I Deuri
  27. Kishor Kumar Kalita
  28. Ripunjoy Gogoi
  29. Bishwajeet Chakravarty
  30. Sitanath Lahkar
  31. Sharath Phukan
  32. Siddhartha Lahiri
  33. Hafiz Ahmed
  34. Subrata Chakraborty
  35. Padmalochan Nath
  36. Debabrata Das
  37. Dilip Bora
  38. Rajib Handique