Guwahati, Sep 9 - Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said his government was fully…
Guwahati,AMRITA MADHUKALYA: In his last poll press interaction, at a hotel in Jorhat on Saturday, chief minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters that the tea gardens in Upper Assam have seen an increasing presence of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). “In the tea gardens of Upper Assam, and in nearby Majuli, the RSS has been trying to make a base for quite a while. And all their work is directed towards a singular agenda — the push for Hindutva. This will have a damaging effect, it is polluting the Assamese culture. The Assamese culture promotes communal and social harmony, not what the RSS promotes,” said Gogoi.
Gogoi’s tirade at the RSS on Saturday was not the first one, a day before in Majuli he spoke of how the RSS is trying to make inroads and why they should be made unsuccessful. His rally was attended by people from the Mishing community in large numbers, some of whom have embraced Christianity over the years in a place which houses the Hindu Vaishnavite monasteries.
The tea gardens, inhabited by Assam’s poor and hardworking tea tribes, may have been a fertile ground for the RSS to enter. In 2000, the yearly bonus that the tea garden labourers were entitled to get was cut down, and the then state government did not do much. This led to an agitation amongst the workers, and in 2003, three workers were shot dead by the police polarising the community in large parts.
The tea belt has also been wooing Christian missionaries, and some of the tea workers community are Christians. The RSS’s entry into the tea gardens in the last Vajpayee-led NDA government seems to be bearing fruit now.
In the last elections, two of BJP candidates have won seats in the Jorhat and Dibrugarh constituencies, Kamakhya P Tasa and Rameshwar Teli, respectively.