GUWAHATI, Aug 10 - The RSS and Sangh Parivar are looking to create division in the Assamese society and the BJP-led State government is acting as an instrument in this regard and facilitating the process, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.Speaking to The Assam Tribune today, Gogoi said ‘Hindutva’ forces are seeking to create a space among the youths and students of Assam with a view to inculcating in them the saffron ideology from an early stage in life. Recent decisions of the Sarbananda Sonowal government, including the announcement to set up a number of colleges named after Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya, are part of a bigger game plan.
“They want to imbibe certain false ideals among the students and youths by attracting them to the Hindutva ideology from an early stage in life. Such practices will destroy the unity, amity and rich cultural and historical tradition of the Assamese society,” he said.
Gogoi said that while outfits like RSS, Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini are spreading their reach across the State, and even imparting ‘self-defence training’, the State government is also making all efforts to facilitate ‘right-wing ideology’.
“Naming colleges in Assam after Deendayal Upadhyaya is an insult to the people of Assam. There are so many scholars and prominent personalities in our own history, from Srimanta Sankardeva and Mahapurush Madhabdeva to Lakshminath Bezbaruah and BK Handique. Their contributions are being ignored, while Upadhyaya, who has even no connection with the State, is being promoted. Is Upadhyaya bigger than any of our own famous personalities and icons of yesteryear? All this is just because he was the ideologue of RSS,” Gogoi said.
He added that Upadhyaya has not been given such recognition even in his home state Uttar Pradesh, which is also ruled by BJP and where the saffron party had for long been a major player.
“The State government is dancing to the tune and dictates of the Centre. It is a deliberate attempt to create divisiveness for the sake of political power,” he said.
On being reminded that various Congress regimes, both at the Centre and in different states, have over the years named schools, colleges and other institutions and landmarks after members of the Nehru-Gandhi family, Gogoi said, “That is true. But during my 15 years as Chief Minister of Assam, most of the colleges, stadiums and other things were named after local icons. Our party has always respected local traditions and sentiments.”
Gogoi said the victory of Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha polls from Gujarat will act as a morale booster for the Congress. “Patel won despite BJP’s blatant use of government machinery, money and muscle power. They failed. It is a big morale booster for us and I am the happiest person today,” he said.