Other States

AASU may launch political party in Assam

Assamese actor-singer Zubeen Garg at a strike organised by the All Assam Students’ Union in Guwahati.

Assamese actor-singer Zubeen Garg at a strike organised by the All Assam Students’ Union in Guwahati.  

‘The Citizenship Act will render culture, language and heritage of the indigenous people extinct’

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), which has been protesting against the Citizenship Act, on Sunday hinted at launching a political party along with ‘Silpi Samaj’ (artists’ forum) as an alternative to the ruling BJP and AGP as well as to the Opposition Congress.

AASU president Dipanka Nath, addressing a protest meet ‘Concert for Peace and Harmony’ here, supported popular actor-singer Zubeen Garg’s proposal of launching a political party.

“We are in talks with Silpi Samaj and also discussing with people of Assam to think about an alternative. With your (people’s) permission, we will not hesitate one bit to go in that direction (of launching a political party). The AASU will remain apolitical. But, in the interest of the people, along with Silpi Samaj we are ready to go in that direction,” Mr. Nath said to loud cheers from thousands of people at the event. Mr. Nath alleged the Centre decided to implement the Citizenship Act to render the culture, language and heritage of the indigenous people “extinct”.

‘Fight peacefully’

“Our agitation against the Act will be long. Each one of us has to carry on our fight peacefully,” he said.

Claiming that five persons have so far been killed in police firing, Mr. Nath accused the Sarbananda Sonowal-led government of using the State machinery to dominate the protesters.

“They have unleashed their oppressive machinery on people killing five minor students and injuring many others with bullets... this government will be brought down. No government can suppress our struggle with killings and force. We will intensify our democratic movement through non-violent means,” he said.

The AASU president accused AGP of “betraying” the people of the State and said the Congress was also “equally bad”.

AASU general secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi said Sarbananda Sonowal has lost the moral right to say ‘Jai Aai Axom’ (hail mother Assam).

“The Chief Minister, who was silent even after five persons were killed, is suddenly chanting ‘Jai Aai Axom’ instead of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’,” he said.

If agitating to demand the removal of the Act and loving mother Assam is a crime, then people of the State are ready to commit thousands of such crimes, Mr. Gogoi said. “No firing or lathi-charge can break our agitation. But, difficult times are ahead. We have to take the struggle forward in a non-violent manner as the government is conspiring to stop the people’s movement,” he said.

Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad general secretary Palash Changmai said if the State government is serious about protecting indigenous people of Assam, it should implement Inner Line Permit in the State.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 2:16:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/aasu-may-launch-political-party-in-assam/article30314486.ece

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