red sanskrit bricks.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in the north eastern states of Assam and Meghalaya, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora, and the things that affect them.

Diphu, Mar 4: Political opposition to the BJP which is in power in Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council from many civil and political organizations in Karbi Anglong isolated the Tuliram Ronghang-lead autonomous council. This is in spite of the BJP having an absolute majority and plenty of funds.

The trouble began after the Congress Member of Autonomous Council quit Congress Party and joined BJP some months back. The Chief Executive Member of the autonomous Council landed in an unexpected sex scam then the organizations and political parties raised vigorous demands for a high level probe into alleged graft committed in various departments controlled by KAAC. This was followed by agitation against a scam committed in the Food and Civil Supply department.

Before the sway of the consecutive public uprising fade out came the demand for holding timely elections for the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, the election issue was more jeopardized when the Governor allowed a six month extension to the present body on the plea of the State Election Commission (SEC). Civil and political organizations moved to the legal forum, challenging the SEC’s authority and the Constitutional provision in respect to the Sixth Schedule.

The PIL which is pending in Guwahati High Court has sought justice in respect to the merit of the voters who can vote in KAAC election and other sensitive issues. The BJP-led KAAC repulsed successive barrages against their fortress until now, but there is no let up in the opposition’s salvo and issues that can give rise to fresh confrontation. The latest problem for KAAC was the Patanjali issue, the lucrative offer from the herbal giant. which seemed irresistible to the KAAC authority. It was a combo pack of massive direct and indirect employment, organic agriculture and waste land development, all set market at hand and many more.

This inventiveness also landed in rough weather when student organizations, political parties and armed outfits immediately opposed the initiative. They alleged false guarantees by Patanjali and a problem of land alienation of the tribal people. Then, last but not least, was the issue of making the Sanskrit subject compulsory in Assam up to class VIII.

Initially the Karbi Student Association (KSA) and Students and Youth Council (SYC) raised their voices in opposition to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Assam cabinet decision. A joint press release issued by SYC convener Dr. Mongve Rongpi and KSA president Simeon Rongphar yesterday brought pressure on the KAAC for the folly of the Assam Government.

“We are not against learning of Sanskrit language but it should be made optional only. We demanded that an emergency special session of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council be immediately convened to adopt a resulted opposing Sanskrit Subject compulsory. This move of the BJP government has exposed its fascist character,” the press release said.

The organizations also strike a cardinal chord that it was the forceful obligation of Assamese language on the hills tribes in 1960 that caused all hell to break out. The organizations have appealed the government to introduce Karbi language as MIL instead of compulsory Sanskrit language.

The Hills State Demand Council (HSDC) has also doggedly opposed the decision of the BJP-led Assam Government taken on February 28. HSDC general secretary Daniel Teron issued a statement on the matter. “It was the forceful imposition of Assamese language in 1960 that led to the birth of Hills State movement spearheaded by the APHLC,” the HSDC general secretary said. The HSDC has requested all Karbi national organizations including the Karbi Lammet Amei, Karbi Cultural Society and all groups of Karbi Students’ organizations to take action against this move by the government.