New Political Parties & the Conundrum

Saturday, 23 January 2021


New Political Parties & the Conundrum

Bishaldeep Kakati | September 19, 2020 13:17 hrs

Assam’s agitations over the years make us believe that Assam’s denizens have been repeatedly compelled not only to fight for their rights but also to shed their blood to safeguard their own identity. 

On careful scrutiny, we would observe that in each of these protests or agitations, Assamese people had to make their demands sound loud and clear. Even then, most of their demands either remained unfulfilled or partially fulfilled. 

In fact, a sense of frustration always hovers around the thoughts and dialogues of the indigenous Assamese individuals whenever they are interrogated about their rights, or the hopes they have from the politicos. This is mainly because most of the political parties or leaders have only viewed the wishes and desires of the Assamese people as some words spoken or written, that must be forgotten in due course of time. But the pivotal question is: What’s the way ahead going into the 2021 elections?

If we confabulate about the current political scenario of Assam, the first thing that comes into the ambit of our discussion has to be the formation of new political parties. And although new political parties can bring in healthy competition to mainstream politics, we also need to consider whether these political parties would really stand up to the expectations of the common people. Moreover, in the present context, Assamese people want that those would be eventually holding power would keep a sense of Assamese regionalism in their hearts so that the indigenous people can experience a sense of belonging in their own state, something that is currently lacking.

The formation of new political parties in Assam has a direct relation to the massive protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) last December. In fact, the scenes that prevailed during that time still float in front of the eyes of the people of Assam. Leaders, artistes stepped on the platforms of CAA protests and delivered speeches that prompted people to believe that nothing matters more to them than saving the Assamese identity. But as time passed, these leaders became more oriented towards forming political parties with the common notion of protecting the identity and the rights of the Assamese people. However, this trend of coming up with more and more regional parties has made people obviously doubt the intention of these same leaders who were strongly voicing against CAA. 

The concerned citizens with regional sentiments have somewhat already expressed their dissatisfaction against the process of turning the entire CAA protest into a political party formation affair.

From a different standpoint, the coming up of these leaders is no doubt important for strengthening the pillars of regionalism. But at the same time, the sense of division amongst these leaders in terms of coming up with new political parties might be equally dangerous, when we speak of regional unity. In fact, if this sense of division continues any longer, it would simply pave the path of further degradation of the very foundation of Assamese regionalism. And currently, what distresses the Assamese burgess the most is the visible separation amongst these leaders in relation to each of these leaders thinking of creating a new political party, forgetting the fact that they once stood united and talked about being together in the longer run for the purpose of protecting the motherland.

Therefore the biggest conundrum is: why can’t these leaders unite to form one political party? With the rising number of political parties, somewhere down the line, the leaders who took centre stage during the CAA protests are seemingly oriented towards designing their own political careers. And if with the formation of new political parties somehow people become baffled regarding whom to vote and not, that is when the opposition might have the last laugh and the entire hard work and sacrifice done in the time of CAA protest or in establishing a solid base of regionalism would go in vain and the Assamese people would be left screaming for their rights again. So the leaders, before coming out with their individual parties, must remember the quote, “A stitch in time saves nine.”

Moreover, the various interviews of leaders that surfaced either on electronic media or social media made people at large believe that their issues or desires are almost the same, but still they can’t unite. As a result, the bevy is bound to question: Is it the attraction towards power or their egos that prevent these leaders from uniting? 

The new regional parties that have been formed or about to be formed have been focusing on the concept of region-based politics, which is actually much required for a state like Assam. But the biggest dilemma is that for some peculiar reasons, these newly formed political parties are finding it difficult to unite to contest the elections. 

If this scenario continues, it would be very difficult for any of these parties to win. Hence, these parties need to unite as one and create that strong vibe of regionalism similar to the one created by the AGP soon after the Assam Accord was signed. 

Furthermore, these political parties should eliminate the conundrum regarding the possibility of unification in order to make an impact in the context of Assam’s political scenario in the next year’s elections.

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