Jorhat BJP
Photo: Smita Bhattacharyya

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to distance itself from a Facebook post which slandered four senior artistes of Assam who had come out in Guwahati to oppose the Citizens Amendment Bill, 2016 on May 7 and was uploaded by BJP Jorhat (district).

The post which depicted a photograph of award winning actors Prastuti Parashar, Madhurima  Choudhary ,  Manas Robin and  Bani Das unitedly opposing the Bill and also  questioned whether their children had studied in Assamese medium schools and  whether their immoral acts as portrayed in various media did not demean Assam, raised a storm of protest In social media.

The backlash forced the post to be withdrawn but the furore against the BJP stooping so low as indulging in character assassination of senior artistes of Assam continues unabated with the screenshot of the photo being reposted in various groups and individual accounts.

From being called ‘ignorant, low, lacking in consciousness, shameless, to traitorous and cow dung eaters’, the Bharatiya Janata Party already on the back foot for forsaking their jaati,  maati,  bheti posture in favour of the Citizens Amendment Bill 2016 which proposes to give citizenship to Bangladeshi Hindu illegal migrants,  were slammed in no uncertain terms in comment after comment on Facebook.

Some of the comments questioned whether there was a threat to democracy as the BJP could stoop to any extent to muzzle anyone coming out in protest against their agenda.

Another comment asked the Assam BJP to learn what nationalism meant from their brethren in Meghalaya who had come out to oppose the Bill.

Several comments pertained to how senior BJP leaders had allowed such a post to be uploaded and whether they were unaware of the ‘gundagardi’ of the BJP netas and their bhakts which had shamed the people of Jorhat.

One query was specifically directed at the BJP asking whether anybody who had studied in English medium schools in Assam were not eligible to come out in defence of Assam’s rights.

Sattra Mukti Sangram Samiti (SMSS), Jorhat district president U Bhoirab Bora said that  it was praiseworthy that the artistes  of Assam had come out  to protest against the Bill and warned the BJP Jorhat district unit not to indulge in such personal attacks ever again.

“If the BJP repeated such a thing again it would not be tolerated by the SMSS and they would have to answer for it,” Bhoirab Bora said on behalf of Jorhat district unit of SMSS.

prastuti
Actress Prastuti Parashar, Singer Manas Robin moving towards crucial public hearing meeting on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) at Assam Administrative College in Guwahati on 07-05-18. Pix by UB Photos

In another statement leader of the opposition in the State Assembly Devabrata Saikia said, “The slanderous post made on its official Facebook page by the Jorhat unit of the BJP against certain noted artistes of Assam who publicly opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, is extremely offensive and worthy of unanimous condemnation.  However, it is not surprising that the BJP has stooped so low as to make slanderous insinuations about the moral character of singer Manas Robin, filmmaker Bani Das and actresses Prastuti Parashar and Madhurima Choudhury. This phenomenon of casting aspersions on artistes and others who oppose the BJP’s policies has become noticeable all over India, with celebrities like Prakash Raj and Farhan Akhtar being among the victims of illogical trolling. The people of Assam are beginning to realise that such fascist intolerance of opposition is at the core of the BJP’S ideology.”

Rintu Boruah, former BJP Jorhat district general secretary and present personal assistant to Jorhat MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa when contacted said that the post was condemnable and that it did express the views of the Jorhat BJP.

“The account in the name of BJP Jorhat (district) is actually being operated by an individual and has nothing to do with the Jorhat district BJP. We will hold a meeting in this regard and issue a statement condemning this,” he said.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com

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