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37th Bn, SSB apprehends Bhutanese national

UDALGURI: In a major drive against illegal Foreign liquor making entry into Indian markets.The troops of 37 Bn SSB stationed at Border Outpost( BOP), Tankibasti seized a consignment of 75 Cases containing 900 Bottles of Bhutan made Liquor along with Bolero Pickup and apprehended one Bhutan national namely Kinzang Wangchuk (26) near Dimakuchi of Udalguri district along the Indo-Bhutan Border on Saturday evening.According to reports the Bhutanese national is a resident of  Momring village under Jomotsangkha Post Office of Samdrup Jongnkhar province of Bhutan. The consignment was being brought from Bhutan and was to be delivered in Indian side. The seized items were later handed over to Excise Office Tangla, for further legal action.The market value of seized items is estimated to be about Rs 5,83,000.

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Shajid Khan's picture

Recipient of The Annual Colosseum Awards 2014 & 2015 (by The Assam Tribune group), Shajid Khan is a journalist based in Tangla.In his stint of journalistic experience he has contributed numerous political, socio-political stories for bountiful national,international as well as Assam based publications. He also pens down analytic commentary on print and web based publications.

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The 'ST' game

11 Dec 2007 - 6:03am | editor

"They had migrated to Asom about 150 years ago as labourers for tea gardens and are not the sons of the soil here. When the Bodos are not given tribal status in other parts of the region like the hill district of Karbi Anglong in Asom and Meghalaya, how do the Adivasis consider themselves as indigenous tribals?" -- Anjali Daimari

The above statement made by Anjali Daimari, the advisor of the Indigenous Women's Forum of North-East India, who is also the President of the Bodo Women Justice Forum, regarding the ST politics in Assam justifies her stand on the issue. If the whole thing is observed apolitically the matter finds its just solution in the second sentence itself and is enough to solve the dispute.

Matters have been worsened further by the interference of politicians of the State of Jharkhand into internal conflicts of Assam and added fuel to fire by rekindling separatist politics. The process of 'Nativization' of the Adivasis was almost complete in Assam but leaders from Jharkhand tried to give a communal colour to the entire situation by sowing seeds of unreliability and identity crisis among the Adivasis of Assam. They have driven a wedge of mistrust among the Adivasis who have been staying in this North-Eastern State for about 150 years and the other people who till now were in harmonious coexistence.

That the tea garden labourers were hired by the British tea planters in Assam is history. The Britishers brought hundreds of Adivasis from the Chhota Nagpur Plateau in Central India to work in the newly established tea gardens in the 19th century Assam. Gradually, there culture and language took a new shape unique to the region after years of assimilation.

The recent upheaval in the community and the active role of politicians in the dispute makes one ponder as to who would be the most benefited by the ST status to the Adivasis in Assam? And, who would be benefited by such categorization at the Centre?

Will it be the politicians in Assam or the ones in Jharkhand as everything ultimately boils down to the number game in the Parliament.

Where were the likes of Arjun Munda, Babulal Marandi or even the notorious self styled so called political leader of Jharkhand, Shibu Soren, since the post-independent era in India? A 'Vote Base' in Assam would definitely make a Mani Kumar Subba of Shibu Soren.

It is high time the layman realizes that, 'ST' label is not a key to an all around socio-economic development as there's nothing lucrative for the community as a whole but it is the politicians who are playing the “vote” game with them.

The contribution of the Adivasis to the economy of Assam is immense. If Assam is known for its Tea, it is because of the toil and sweat of this section of the Assamese populace.

Before being tagged as Adivasis, they are the 'Saah Janagosthi' (i.e., the 'Tea Garden Community') of Assam.

Therefore,going by the logic of aboriginality, the Adivasis cannot be granted the 'status' of 'Scheduled Tribe' in Assam. Again, as I have mentioned earlier, the interference of leaders from Jharkhand have raised questions about the 'indigenousity' or 'nativity' of the Adivasis. From the image of 'Adivasis of Assam', they have been projected as 'Adivasis from Jharkhand'.

Is there any gurantee that the so called 'ST' label will do miracles to the Adivasis at the grass root level? Poverty, Illiteracy, poor sanitary facilities, miserable health facilities, alcohol-addiction among a large number of Adivasi males, superstitious practices like witch-hunting, would they disappear under the ' magic wand' of 'ST' status?

An 'ST' status is not a solution to the woes that afflict the Adivasi society. In order to ensure an all round development of the Adivasis both the State and the Central Governments have to come up with 'Special Economic Packages' for the Tea Garden Community of our State. More than anything else, this marginalised section of Assam needs all around community development schemes in order to be at par with the rest of the population of the State.

But the question here is do the political leaders really want to solve the dispute or do they want to keep it hanging while they reap political mileage?

- Pallavi Barua, (Deptt. of Mass Communication and Journalism), Tezpur University

Manmohan will cast his vote in Dispur

19 Apr 2009 - 7:50am | editor

A Dispur voter Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh this time will exercise his franchise in Assam on April 23 for the Guwahati Lok Sabha constituency.
Addressing a press conference in Guwahati on Sunday Dr Singh who represents Assam in the Rajya Sabha said, "I will be coming here for voting on April 23. My wife will also vote with me."

Dr Singh is a Dispur voter that comes under the Guwahati Lok Sabha constituency and his residential address is of Sorumataria owned by former Chief Minister Hiteswar Saikia. The constituency goes to polls on April 23 in the second phase of elections.

He had not caste his vote here during the 2004 polls. Elected four times in a row to Rajya Sabha from Assam since 1991, the Prime Minister and his wife had left Assam just a day before Assembly polls in 2006.

Anyone can buy Elish fish in Kokrajhar

11 Oct 2017 - 10:48pm | AT Kokrajhar Bureau

The wave of lower prices of Elish fish has reached Kokrajhar bazar selling at Rs. 150-200 per kilogram. People thronged at the markets to buy the Elish fishes.