Irrelevant ULFA’s relevant issues

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Irrelevant ULFA’s relevant issues

Swapnil Bharali | May 09, 2018 12:53 hrs


Memories come rushing back when any news related to Assam’s famed militancy pops up. Such news today however, is peacefully different from the violent news that we were used to as impressionable young adults. Take the Rebati Phukan missing case for example. An interlocutor named as part of the 10-man People’s Consultative Group constituted by the unfractured ULFA way back in 2005, Phukan had been a resident of Guwahati for a long time with nothing significant to show for his existence – read this as his failure to get his football colleague, ULFA (I) chief Paresh Baruah, to the negotiating table.

It is Phukan’s disappearance rather than his existence and efforts as a peace interlocutor that has made news, more so because of the interest that the chief minister himself has taken towards verifying his fate. What does this mean in the backdrop of the peace talks between the central government and the ULFA (Pro-talks) that have supposedly reached an “advanced stage” – a stage that the public and the media have no inkling of? More than anything else, this means that the ULFA, by itself, has lost its relevance in the greater Assamese society. If anything, the pro-talks gentry, for the sheer goodness of the forgiving Assamese society, feel that they remain relevant because of the peace talks they are engaged in with the government in a situation where Assam can be practically declared to be militancy-free, and so already peaceful, as on date. To be truthful, the ULFA (I)’s presence has been reduced to the occasional media bytes that Paresh Baruah tends to proffer and which the media carry for no big reason as such.

But to be fair to this irrelevant ULFA, their issues, other than the sovereignty factor, have always remained relevant to Assam. Given that the discussions between the Arabinda Rajkhowas/Anup Chetias and the government have reached an advanced stage, we have reason to believe that the loopholes in the Assam Accord are set to be plugged. I mean, what else could they be discussing? Not sovereignty definitely! That being the case, Assam is indeed heading towards long-lasting peace – a picture in which Paresh Baruah just does not fit. And about Rebati Phukan, let’s wait and watch.

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  • Concerned

    I am assuming the author of the article is based in a city; possibly Guwahati. It's not surprising at all. This article is a living example of how the rest of Assam, read "living in urban areas " are so unaware of the reality of how much of insurgency still prevails particularly in Upper Assam. This article mirrors the sentiment of our Ministers who say insurgency is at the lowest or even non existent. Dear author I trust you will familiarise yourself with the ground realities in a Philobari, Pengari, Bordumsa, Kakopathar areas before saying some thing as ridiculous as " Memories come rushing back when any news related to Assam’s famed militancy pops up. Such news today however, is peacefully different from the violent news that we were used to as impressionable young adults". For example try going out on a drive to these areas post sunset. It is as or more violent than before. Ironically in the old days there were just a few mediums to report to the people , and today with so much of information overload an individual just cannot see what's going on. Or just maybe one wants to see what one believes should be.