Ahom Sabha plans stir against non-scheduling of 6 tribes

As a part of the Sabha’s first phase of a long-drawn agitational plan, the organisation has called a 12-hour Upper Assam bandh from 6 am on August 6 in protest against indifference by successive regimes. The State Government too has been warned of serious consequences in the ensuing Assembly election provided it failed to convince the Centre about the urgency to make necessary statutory arrangements at the earliest possible.

Claiming to have convened the non-political Sabha’s first-ever press meet at the Jaya Bhawan here recently since its inception in 1893, the organisation’s chief secretary Chou Dhiren Chandra Phukan sought unstinted support of all communities residing in the State irrespective of status, religion or political affiliation.

While a steering committee meeting on August 7 will decide on the future course of action, several concerned tribal bodies are said to have drawn up drastic stir programmes, in case, the State Government does not adopt any suitable measure to further their collective cause.

“Incidentally, the State Assembly had in 1994 approved scheduling of the six tribes and forwarded a proposal to the Centre”, vice president Chou Dilipeswar Bora informed. “Not surprisingly, New Delhi has been sleeping over the matter ever since despite an all-party parliamentary committee subsequently endorsing the proposition”, he added.

Obviously, the State Government’s lackadaisical attitude too came in for flak. “If need be, the Sabha will organise dharna at Dispur during the ensuing monsoon session of the State Assembly”, another vice president Ranjan Bikash Borgohain remarked. “We may even undertake joint economic and road blockade programmes with our tribal comrades in an effort to daw the attention of the powers that be”, he mentioned. “Thereafter, Ahom community MPs and MLAs will be gheraoed and protest meetings arrangd in their respective constituencies in order to garner support towards our cause”, the Sabha office-bearer revealed.

Going back in time, Chou Dilipeswar Bora claimed, “the Ahom community has been a perennially deprived lot since independence”. Even during 1941, conscious members of the Sabha were determined to get the Constitution amended and fight for their rights politically, though the effort finally fizzled out.

But with the Saikhowa session of the Sadou Asom Ahom Sabha recently adopting a resolution to put up a united political struggle, and the central committee sitting at Sonari on July 23 last ratifying the decision, the community today, it seems, is all set to embark on the path of resurgence.
(The Assam Tribune,05/08/2005)