A Missed Chance?


A Missed Chance?

Swapnil Bharali | February 08, 2020 13:09 hrs

A section of the media reported that for the “sake of brotherhood” the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) will not oppose Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kokrajhar on the historic occasion of the signing of the Bodo Accord. I’d say this is a great and welcome gesture by the AASU, mainly for the sake of bringing normalcy to the state and city from the hitherto upbeat mood of protests and agitations. 

However, the gesture is a distinct signal of the evident tapering down of the protests and agitations against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that had gathered so much momentum over the month of December through a fair bit of January. The city was witness to that as it lay under siege of government clamped curfew and internet shutdown for over a week in December making the elected leaders of the state and the country as despicable as enemies. The leadership of the AASU was the helm of these protests, leading from the front in processions and offering bites to the media and in the process garnering national attention for Assam and its sentiments and problems. 

The common Assamese sentiments were so badly hurt by the promulgation of the CAA that people spared no occasion to protest – be it vociferously or silently. One would recall the pitha vendors at NEDFi Haat putting up placards against the CAA during the Magh Bihu sale and a vociferous cricket crazy crowd using the occasion of the abandoned T20 international to raise anti-CAA and anti-Modi slogans. 

But the last week through January and now this month has witnessed a distinct slackening of that momentum and the AASU leadership looks to have lost the steam of tenacity that was required for the “Ami CAA namanu” feeling to have gone on and on until the CAA was truly scrapped or till it would have been decided that Assam would be kept out of its purview. Further, for all the sentimental issue that it was whereby the Prime Minister decided not to visit the Khelo India Youth Games held in the city through January, this occasion of not highlight the Assamese hurt when the PM has actually visited Assam – albeit for peace – may well be construed as nothing but a missed chance.

The PM has gone back with the feeling that all is well in Assam now. So is it?

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