Between the Devil and the Deep Sea

Tuesday, 19 January 2021



Between the Devil and the Deep Sea

Swapnil Bharali | January 04, 2020 15:51 hrs

It has been interesting to observe the comments and feedback to the news of Rahul Gandhi’s placating visit to Guwahati on our digital channels. The Congress leader came to pacify the restive Assamese society smarting from what they want to term as “betrayal of their expectations” by the government that they had elected. That the Congress leader’s speech was hardly inspiring is besides the point here and so was the modest crowd (mostly from one certain community) that turned up to listen to … well, “Mahatma Gandhi” as per a video that got circulated over WhatsApp.

Most of the comments from the huge following that G Plus has today on digital media sought to berate Rahul Gandhi holding his Congress Party squarely responsible for the demographic mess that Assam finds itself in today. And this is not without some very pertinent reasons. 

Now, at this juncture of having voted the BJP to power at the expense of rejecting the Congress during the last elections both at the state and the national levels, does the indigenous Assamese society find itself caught between the proverbial Devil and the Deep Blue Sea? 

If BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma’s rallies with the multitude participating in Nalbari and him expressing sheer confidence of winning 100 seats at the next state elections are anything to go by, the Assamese society seems to be in conformity with BJP being the best bet to govern the state. At least that is the way things look like currently. But clearly, Assamese society as represented by its students and their apex organisation – the AASU – is in no mood to accept the Citizenship Amendment Bill in its current form. This is further fuelled by the local or even the national Congress Party failing to seize the opportunity to score some brownie points with the voting public of Assam. Clearly, there doesn’t seem to be any alternative to the BJP when it comes to ruling the state.

But the CAA is a sentimental issue that is not going to go away soon however much the BJP leadership tries to wax eloquent (which it is clearly groping at) about it and offers the huge plethora of sops that it is starting to offer left, right and centre. This is truly a cloudy situation with no clear skies in sight.

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