Akhil Gogoi’s decision to support BJP in Election Faces Wide Speared Criticism from Muslims of Assam
President of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti Akhil Gogoi after getting bail from 29 days police and judicial custody brought out a list of non-Congress candidate from various political parties including BJP, AIUDF, AGP and left parties and described them as potential candidate to defeat Congress. Mr. Gogoi extended his support to those candidates including the six BJP candidates and instructed its cadres to mobilise voters in favour of them.
This move of KMSS to oust the Congress has been facing a wide speared criticism from various conscious citizens to various organizations and some of its own cadres as well. Especially the cadres from Muslim community have perceived the decision as a self destructive move for the organization among the Muslims of the state. Ashraful Islam, a doctoral research scholar at Gauhati University and an active activist of KMSS says “What KMSS did, will be definitely identified as a historic mistake”. He added “I have forwarded my views to him (Akhil Gogoi)”. He fears that this decision has merit to destroy the future prospect of inclusive and alternative politics in Assam. He also gave a hint to rethink on their movement and politics.
Another research scholar at Gauhati University and an active cadre of KMSS Mr. Abdullah Khandakar, who was brutally assaulted by the police in a protest demonstration against Akhil Gogoi’s arrest last month. Khandakar opines that welcoming a communal force like BJP to defeat Congress is a historical mistake which sounds like welcoming the British to take over Maan. To defeat the invaders from Myanmar, British rule was invited to Assam and thus Assam became British colony in 1826 through a pact called “Yandaboo Treaty”. Mr. Khandakar asks “If we were to vote for Badaruddin Ajmal, why we were fighting for a change?” Another young freelance journalist and activist, who was also been arrested by police during agitation against Akhil’s arrest, emotional Ashraful Islam discovers that he (Akhil) has made them fool.
Akhil Gogoi’s statement supporting communal BJP has not only disappointed the Muslim cadres of KMSS but it has ringed the alarm across the community. Mustafa A Barbhuiya, a Post Doctoral Research Scholar at The Johns Hopkins University, USA observes “….however, he (Akhil Gogoi) took wrong track as of now- perhaps being naive. We have people’s right activists in India of the stature of Aruna Roy, Binayek Sen, Medha Patkar, Soni Sori and Iron Lady of Jharkhand Dayamani, so I wish Akhil Gogoi learns from their life and work.” Another bright IAS officer from Muslim community writes in a facebook post “Akhil Gogoi by supporting BJP and AIUDF has shown his true colour. So the fight is now against a particular party and not for ideologies? I saw him as General Secretary of Cotton College Student Union, he was impulsive and whimsical at that time, but after so many years he has not matured as a leader, still the same vapid sloganeering leader. No doubt he is a man of words, but unfortunately only words.”
Abdul Kalam Azad, a post graduate student at Tata Institute of Social Sciences perceives the present development in a chronological order. He said that though Akhil Gogoi talks about peasant’s right and often opines that wearing skull cap and lungi do not make someone Bangladeshi. But his long term vision has never adopted the Muslims whole heartedly. Quoting Akhil Gogoi’s book “Bidexi Somsya Aaru Jatiyo Andolonor Path” Mr. Azad said that Akhil Gogoi wants Muslims of Assam to be remained as second class citizen even after the deportation of illegal migrants. Akhil Gogoi endorsed the suggestions of Prasanta Rajguru, a journalist known to be very close to Hindutva ideology in the said book. The suggestion proposed to reserve the entire assembly constituencies having less than 50% religious minority (read as Muslim) for the indigenous people, the suggestion also says that same rule will be applicable to all local bodies within the assembly constituency irrespective of the percentage Muslim voters. The second suggestion says that Muslims shouldn’t allow purchasing land beyond their Gram Panchayat or Municipality area. Mr. Azad thinks that by endorsing BJP, Akhil Gogoi is taking a calculated risk and eying state assembly election 2016.
The result of the general election will only make it clear how the people of Assam perceive Akhil Gogoi’s endorsement of BJP and other political parties.
[News article on TCN]