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CAB likely to strike down BJP’s prospect

  • Sanjoy Hazarika
    Sanjoy Hazarika

BJP and its ruling coalition partners would have to pay heavy price in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls if what the experts dealing with the north eastern affairs say are any indication. Veteran journalist Sanjoy Hazarika said the escalating anger might adversely impact the BJP's voter base in the region. Excerpts from the interview with Sanjoy Hazarika, journalist author, and currently Director of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.

AT: How would you justify the seismic wave of protests in the entire north east against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016?

Sanjoy Hazarika: What is there to justify: this is public anger at the Centre for not listening to the concerns of people in the Brahmaputra Valley, which have been clearly stated by many groups for nearly two years of the Bill -- and which has been a fundamental of the movement in the state for decades -- to treat all illegal migrants on an equal basis without religious considerations. Also, there is a question of equal rights for all and mandated by the constitution.

AT: Union home minister Rajnath Singh said the Bill in question is never only targetted to Assam. It would be applicable to the entire nation. Then why only North East is erupting in protest?

Sanjoy Hazarika: Because the problem has been of concern to Assam especially and the NE in particular for over 70 years. Politicians, policy makers, media in other parts of India, 'scholars' and bureaucrats need to know our history before rushing with remedies; it is not an issue of the past two years

AT: Will it help Congress in the North East in view of the party's stiff protest against the Bill?

Sanjoy Hazarika: It will not help the BJP and those who align with it. And it would, in my view, adversely impact the BJP's voter base, support and outcome in a few of the seats it is holding. Congress may benefit as would AGP and other political groups but this can become a strong reality if they come to a pre-poll alliance based on their strengths in specific constituencies, given their different support bases and given the fact that Assam has a very heterogeneous population and voting structure.


(Hazarka's recent publication is "Strangers No More: New Narratives from India's Northeast")

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VHAA welcomes move to make South Asia tobacco free by 2030

8 Feb 2016 - 7:05pm | AT News

Voluntary Health Association of Assam (VHAA) has welcomed the Dhaka Declaration on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) action in South Asia which has endorsed initiative to make South Asia tobacco free by 2030.

“We welcome India’s decision to endorse the Dhaka Declaration to make South Asia tobacco-free by 2030. It is also indeed very commendable and significant that Indian Legislators are also leading from the front in the context of tobacco control. The Hon. Speaker of Lok Sabha,Sumitra Mahajan has reiterated India’s commitment in the war against the tobacco epidemic, including India's new warning labels," said Ruchira Neog, Executive Secretary Voluntary Health Association of Assam.

The Dhaka declaration which was taken during the South Asian Speakers’ Summit on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) held at the Bangladesh capital on January 30 and 31, 2016, stated “We recognize that a tobacco-free South Asia by 2030 is important to ensuring health and wellbeing of the people of the region. As Speakers of Parliament in the region, we see the value of meeting on a regular basis to share experiences and best practices, as well as to review progress on the implementation of the SDGs.”

Speakers of Parliament from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka, gathered in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 30 and 31 January 2016 for the South Asian Speakers’ Summit on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

In South Asia, tobacco is the leading cause of non-communicable diseases, which in South Asia kills 1.5 million people annually of which 1 million in India.  South Asian Parliament speakers have agreed to prioritize tobacco control policies – in particular, those of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), in their efforts to meet the SDGs and to achieve a tobacco-free South Asia by 2030.

India will host the second meeting of South Asian Speakers’ Forum in 2017.

Hon. Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, attended the event and chaired a session on “The role of parliaments in implementing the SDGs.” 

Voluntary Health Association of Assam, a premier non-profit organization working in the field of public health.

For the last few years VHAA has been working concertedly on the issue of tobacco control both through direct intervention initiatives and activities towards making smoke free districts and tobacco free educational institutions, as well as through high level advocacy and campaigning for policy level changes towards tobacco control.


Rupkonwar recalled

18 Jan 2017 - 12:07pm | Shajid Khan

Under the iniative of Udalguri Xahitya Xabha and Bhuyankhat Xahitya Xabha the central centenary observation of Axom Xahitya Xabha (AXX) Silpi Divas concluded with two days colorful cultural programme at Bhuyankhat Bishnu Rabha memorial school playground of Udalguri on Tuesday.

On the concluding day the function was inaugurated by lighting of the traditional lamp by Girindra Sarma noted astrologer followed by hoisting of 100 flags marking the centenary celebration by noted persons of the locality.

Ganesh Sarania offered floral tribute to the portrait of Rupkonwar Jyoti Prasad Agarwala. The open session was graced as appointed speaker by noted artist and educationist Loknath Goswami .

Goswami recalled the rich musical and artistic heritage of Jyoti Prasad Agarwala. Goswami speaking further, stated that Assam would remain ever grateful to Jyoti Prasad Agarwala for his timeless contribution towards the development of Assamese language and culture for which Rupkonwar would forever remain alive in the memories of the people of the State. Earlier Kanak Baruah inagurated the open session where BTC EM Lmswrao Daimari delivered the welcome speech .

Three artists with noted contributions in different fields viz. Renu Rabha Dhepadhulia artist,Lalit Boro Kherai artist ,Jhilkaram Kalita Nagra Naam artist were also given special felicitation on the ocassion.

The function was also attended by Jagadish Sarkar EM BTC, Dr. Padmananda Rajbongshi former Chief Secretary of AXX ,Sanjay Kumar Tanti noted poet and novelist among others. Lively performance by cultural troops of differet communities like Kherai Bodo cultural troop,Rabha cultural troop, Darrangi Nageli geet play ,Vyam Sangeet,Thiya Naam, Jhumur dance,Nepali dance enthralled the audience. Various exhibitions of paintings and arts were also held.

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Artists taking out a peace rally

5 Nov 2008 - 11:16pm | Nanda Kirati Dewan

Assam singer Zubin Garg takes part in a peace rally organized by 'Bharatiya Gana Natya Sangha' at Guwahati on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 for the October 30 serial blasts in Assam that killed some 88 innocents and leaving several hundreds severely injured. Entire Assam is echoing same sentiments by showing similar spontaneous reactions towards the mournful incident.

Photo: UB Photos