The 2021 Assam Assembly election was entirely fought on religious lines. Leaders cutting across all political affiliations gave more importance to religion and intentionally chose to ignore the burning issues that are plaguing Assam.
Yes, we the people are responsible for this situation. We the people forget to seek answers from them after every five years. As per the latest survey conducted by Centre for monitoring Indian economy (CMIE) Assam’s unemployment rate hit a 19-month high of 11.1% in April 2020.
Did we hear anything about this pressing issue from the contesting parties? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is a big ‘NO’.
Let’s look at the prevailing health infrastructure of our state. The outgoing chief minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal in all his political rallies boastfully claimed that his government has gifted medical colleges to many places in Assam.
Let’s talk about the fledgling infrastructure of Silchar Medical College & Hospital (SMCH). This medical college was born in 1968. SMCH is 53 years old and till date it is waiting for a neurology and cardiology department.
Have we ever asked our leaders about this? Unfortunately— ‘NO.’ Elections come and elections go but the problems remain unsolved.
The second wave of Covid-19 has brought the real face of our health infrastructure to the fore. Entire one year has been wasted. Our governments could have ramped up the health infrastructure in their respective states. But sorry to say they were too busy in their electoral politics.
Yes, we the people are responsible for this situation. Now, the time has come for common people to take elections very seriously.
Enough tug of war has been fought over religious lines. The last five years was spent on searching for illegal intruders. The much hyped national register of citizens (NRC) has now turned out to be a trash–crores of money was spent on this futile exercise and leave aside the harassment of common people.
Dismal situation in education sector is another key area that failed to find mention in the speeches of our prospective contenders.
However, it also needs to be mentioned here that too much playing of secularism card by Congress and other like-minded parties offered the breathing space to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to become the voice of majority Hindu community who felt sidelined or rather betrayed in their own land.
This politics that India is seeing now is not going to do any good to the nation. Instead of holding debates and discussions on pressing problems we are falling into the trap of our political class to whom every election is an opportunity to occupy the hot seat.
Winning election and getting brute majority has turned out to be an order of the day. In the past five years no serious effort has been made to unlock the twin industries—Cachar Paper Mill and Nagaon Paper Mill.
BJP is blaming Congress and Congress is holding the incumbent regime for this mess. Now, the question arises what will be the solution to this problem?
No such question was raised on the campaign trail. Badruddin Ajmal, the supremo of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) remained the central figure and the entire campaign revolved around him.
Congress stitched alliance with AIUDF with an aim to tap the Muslim votes. BJP flared-up this alliance and tried to woo the Hindus towards its fold.
In the midst of these political squabbles, all real issues took a backseat. Assam became the only casualty. One more election; one more campaign trail, one more missed opportunity.