How much Saffron is there in Assam?

Thursday, 21 March 2019

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How much Saffron is there in Assam?

Sidharth Bedi Varma | February 02, 2019 10:42 hrs


The Bajrang Dal seems to have captured a lot of people’s attention after a recent video surfaced of a Bajrang Dal member threatening KMSS Leader, Akhil Gogoi.

 
A key question that popped up was, “How strong is the Bajrang Dal really? Can it truly trouble the peace in Assam?” 


Honestly speaking? These organizations have become strong enough to cause a stir in the state. 


With “these organizations,” I am referring to the likes of Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), that have managed to creep into the greater Assamese society – that too at its grassroots level. It does look like they have managed to assimilate among the people and get authentic support from the rural Assamese society. 


These politically and religiously motivated organizations are no longer seen as “crazed religious fanatics,” but are managing to change their perceived image to social activist groups looking to rebuild the Hindu identity. 


From what I’ve heard, these groups started their legwork long ago - going into remote villages, building infrastructure, “strategically educating” people and empowering these remote villages. And then of course, this empowerment has led to these activists being protected by the same society.


5 years ago, a Bajrang Dal, or a VHP was a non entity in Assam. Today, they manage to capture the headlines. This is only because over time, they’ve built their numbers almost exponentially. 


Their doggedness and tenacity is evident today and the hostile Bajrang Dal member’s video is nothing but a case in point of the power that they feel they wield.  


While I’d be personally wary of orange colours everywhere, I am fairly certain that if it were left to the people in Assam, they’d choose the orange over green any day.

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