R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, Oct 21 – The political leaders of India should try to learn about true democracy from countries like Great Britain and Canada, said commander-in-chief of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) Paresh Baruah. He also said a concrete shape to the common platform of the “revolutionary organisations” of the region would be given shortly.Talking to The Assam Tribune over phone from an unknown destination, Baruah said that the mindset of the political leaders of India would have to change for a political solution to the issues. He pointed out that Great Britain dared to hold a plebiscite on the demand for separation of Scotland and solved the issue without any bloodshed. Canada had taken similar steps, but the political leaders of India do not have the courage to go for such a move, he added.
Replying to a question on whether the ULFA(I) would accept the result of such a plebiscite, Baruah said that if majority of the bonafide citizens of Assam vote to stay with India, the ULFA would accept it. But at the same time, the Government of India must accept the result of the plebiscite if majority vote in favour of separation from India, he said.
On whether the ULFA (I) is expecting any change of the attitude of the Government of India towards Assam as a new Government has assumed office in Delhi, Baruah said that at present, the mindset of all Indian political leaders is the same and they are not expecting any change at this moment. “We do not know whether there will be any change of mindset of the political leaders of India in future. But at present, we do not foresee any change,” he added.
The ULFA(I) leader revealed that the move to unite the revolutionary organizations of the West-East-South Asia region is still on. “We want to come into a common platform to fight the common enemy together. We are taking a bit of time as we want to make it a concrete platform of true revolutionary organizations with the motto of fight together and live together. However, we managed to complete about 90 per cent of the work of forming the common platform and we hope to make the formal announcement soon,” he said.
When asked to comment on the ongoing talks with different militant groups of the region, Baruah said that the talks were only tactical moves by the Government of India. He alleged that the Government is not sincere in solving the issues and the Government is only playing divide and rule policy. In this regard he pointed out that talks with the NSCN (I-M) have been going on for the past 17 years without any positive result, which is happening because of the lack of sincerity of the Government.
Baruah refused to give a direct reply to a question on whether the ULFA(I) is receiving help from China and only said, “we are ready to receive political, moral or logistic help from any country which comes forward to extend help without any pre-condition. We will also like to make it clear that we will not accept help from anyone by compromising the interest of Assam.”
Replying to a question on whether the ULFA(I) gained anything from the long struggle since 1979, Baruah admitted that sometimes one has to wait for years to get positive results. He pointed out that India’s freedom struggle lasted for more than a century, while, similar struggles also lasted long years. So far more than 14000 lives were lost in the ULFA’s struggle and many more may have to sacrifice their lives. The results of struggles often depend on the global political scene and the ULFA(I) may have to wait for the favourable political environment. “However, we are fighting for a historical truth as Assam was annexed to India without taking the views of the people. We may not see the result in our lifetime but the next generation will continue the struggle,” he added.