Staff Reporter GUWAHATI, March 23 - Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party for engaging in political stunts to divert attention from the main issues affecting the country, Dalit activist Jignesh Mewani on Saturday said that if uprooting terrorism was the main issue for India, generating employment for the jobless was no less important.
Jignesh Mewani speaking at the conclave. – UB Photos
Speaking at a youth conclave organised by the Asom Nagarik Samaj at the Pragjyoti Cultural Complex here, Mevani along with JNU Students’ Union president N Sai Balaji and a number of other youth leaders underscored the need to take the real issues concerning youth, women, workers and farmers among the masses ahead of the general elections, so that people can make informed decisions, segregating the propaganda element.
The topic of discussion was “State of the nation today and the way forward”.
“The BJP is trying to encash the sentiment generated after the Pulwama incident. The party and the Prime Minister must not be allowed to float on public emotions,” Mewani added.
Taking a jibe at Modi for promising two crore jobs to the youth, the Gujarat MLA put forth the dire consequences of ignoring issues like job cuts, data fudge and undermining undemocratic institutions. “Not just India’s unemployment has hit a four-decade high at 6.1 per cent, 3.2 crore agrarian labourers have also lost their jobs in recent years,” he said.
“The coming elections might be the last chance to save whatever little democracy we are left with, as Arun Shourie has put it in his articles. The fascist BJP and the RSS would go to any extent to eliminate dissenting voices,” he said, adding that issues of election must not be Hindu-Muslim or India-Pakistan, rather, they should be the roadmap to generate employment for the youth.
Balaji, meanwhile, shed light on the ongoing students’ hunger strike in JNU to save the university system. “In the past three years, 26,000 youngsters have killed themselves but the data is nowhere to be found,” he said.
“The people of Assam would better understand their (BJP) misleading ways as they tried to impose the criminal and communal Citizenship (Amendment) Bill here against the will of the people. It was only after facing a widespread protest, the bill was not tabled in the Rajya Sabha,” he said.
“We want jobs, they give us mobs,” Balaji said, referring to the mob lynching incidents in different parts of the country.
KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi highlighted the need to put up a joint effort to counter the fascist forces that are trying to create communal divide among the people.
AJYCP general secretary Palash Changmai highlighted the poll promises made by the BJP to the people of Assam, on which the party took a U-turn. Writer and columnist Parvin Sultana spoke on growing communal polarisation and the condition of the public education system under the present regime.