Friday, September 25, 2009

On the Deaf Ears

Majuli, the hub of Asom’s pristine Vaishnavite tradition, betrays ironically an insensitive government’s total lack of concern for such heritage site. The Tarun Gogoi government has been in power since 2001 but never has it occurred to it that there is even a place called Majuli, let alone what it means for the Asomiyas. (It is this same government whose zeal knows no bounds in providing ‘secular’ safeguards to the proliferating illegal Bangladeshi crowd and their many living spaces in the State, including the encroached national parks such as Kaziranga.) As this newspaper has reported in a series of stories on Majuli, the river island faces an imminent threat of being completely wiped out from the face of earth, thanks to the fury of the Brahmaputra. There is an entity called the Brahmaputra Board though, ostensibly to take care of the river island. However, like any other entity that the government presides over, this board too has long been dead in so far as mitigation of Majuli’s woes is concerned. Going by the official report of the Majuli subdivision, as many as 9,217 families out of a total of 31,311 families living in the river island have been rendered homeless due to erosion by the Brahmaputra. The Ahatguri mouza located in the southern part of the island has already lost 36 villages out of its 38 villages, and soon the two remaining villages too would be wiped out. Yet, the government is blissfully unconcerned as though a divine miracle would change the whole course and it should rather be concentrating on the better and electorally rewarding things of life, such as ‘secular’ plans for the uplift of the illegal Bangladeshis-turned-Indian ‘minorities’. Is it surprising then that the cry of Majuli should fall on the deaf ears of the Gogoi government? THE SENTINEL

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