Post-election, Assam Agitation and RSS dominate debates in Assam

Written by: Maitreyee Boruah
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Guwahati, April 18: There is a general tendency among the politicians that once the elections get over they stop making any kind of controversial statement.

However, the voltage election drama in Assam is yet to be over. Although the second and the final phase of Assam Assembly Elections 2016 ended on April 11, leaders of prominence continue to make controversial remarks raising several eyebrows.

Tarun Gogoi-Himanta Biswas

Take for instance the remark made by the chief minister Tarun Gogoi recently.

He alleged that the Assam Agitation was completely sponsored by the RSS. Experts say the comment was to exploit the sentiments of the Assamese people as he is fighting a tough election battle with the BJP.

Thus Gogoi, who is eyeing to become the chief minister of the northeastern state for the fourth time in a row, dragged RSS' name into the volatile issue of Assam Agitation.

The Assam Movement (or Assam Agitation) (1979-1985) was the longest people-led movement that post-independent India witnessed. The movement was targeted against the large-scale illegal immigrants from Bangladesh into Assam.

The movement was led by youngsters as it was started under the guidance of All Assam Students' Union (AASU), the powerful students' body in the state.

The agitation ended in August 1985 following the Assam Accord, which was signed by the leaders of AASU and the Government of India.

"The RSS entirely funded the movement which was initially an anti-outsider movement. It later turned from an anti-foreigner to an anti-Bangladeshi infiltrator movement. During the movement, the RSS here was headed by one Rajendra Prasad. The RSS backed protesters, particularly the AASU leadership and provided all kinds of logistical help even when they were in jail, to carry out the movement," he said.

Gogoi is not alone in the act of making provocative remarks. Once his blue-eyed boy and now rival, Himanta Biswa Sarma, who has joined the BJP from the Congress, said that there was a need to relook at the Assam Accord - signed by the AASU with the then Rajiv Gandhi government in 1985.

Sarma wants the cut-off date (March 25, 1971) as mentioned in the Assam Accord for detection of illegal migrants from Bangladesh to be changed to 1951. Sarma said, "It would go a long way in providing constitutional safeguards to the political, economic and cultural rights of the indigenous people of Assam, which is one of the prime objectives of the Accord."

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