On the 41st so called anniversary of the Emergency, BJP leaders including several Union ministers, as expected, trained their guns at Congress, saying its design to bring “authoritarianism” was defeated by the then united opposition and asked it to “repent”.
The “Emergency” refers to a 21-month period in 1975-77 when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had declared a state of emergency across the country.Earlier in the day Prime Minister Modi too had echoed similar sentiments during his Mann Ki Baat address to the nation .
In Assam, a programme to commemorate this was held in which Union Minister For Human Resource Development, Smriti Z Irani was present along with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The question that remains to many though is whether the Government pointing fingers could do a better job in tackling relevant issues in the region as floods have created havoc in the region . Union Minister Prakash Javadekar was also quoted as saying that 41 years ago, Congress declared emergency and brought authoritarianism and tried to end democracy.
While the defenders of the programme may call this academic issues such as the national highway totally blocked due to landslides and poor infrastructure could well be given more priority.
But rather than arguing in a competitive spirit of which party spells better that authoritarianism, such events are meaningless if core issues troubling Assam are not resolved.
More than 9,000 people have been affected till July 22, 2016 owing to floods as per reports of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority. The affected districts are Lakhimpur, Dhemaji and Karbi Anglong where 29 villages have been inundated. More than 2,000 hectares of crop area have been flooded as well. Floods and proper rehabilitation following this has been a burning issue in Assam for ages and this is a far more sever ‘EMERGENCY’ that needs to be addressed!
Other emergencies which exist in reality and needs attention include Rhino poaching. The menace of poaching continues to haunt the state with little or no resolve on how to solve it.
Assam should learn a thing or two from our Nepal neighbours who have tackled the problem and have had two years of no poaching. There have been a lot of excuses made by politicians on why the menace continues, they blame it on poor weapons and lack of education, but if Nepal can do it, so can Assam.
Beyond Assam states like Manipur are burning on the issue of the 3 bills which have divided the state along ethnic lines .The Naga peace talks are also shrouded in ambiguity with Leaders from an insurgent outfit publicly stating that separate passports and flags have been conceded by the government of India .Of course Home minister tweeted saying no such issues were discussed .While many agree that his response was prompt there are others who think that the present government should have sent an official press statement clarifying the stand instead of tweeting about a serious issue.
The list goes on and topics like frequent bandh calls, witch hunting, deforestation and the likes add up to the long list of problems that people are waiting to be addressed while political parties engage in a much seen ‘blame game’!
Much like certain events have no relevance today it perhaps could be well advised to the Central government that they much like the earlier congress state governments before them it is time to get over issues which are not relevant to the region and prioritise what is the need of the hour.
(Nawaz Yasin Islam)
(The views of the author are personal and need not necessarily be that of TNT-The Northeast Today)