Published: 17th December 2019
Assam students to go to villages across state to sensitise people about perils of NRC
The All Assam Students' Union (AASU) has been working to sensitise people but the students have only been able to reach urban or suburban areas. Now, it is time to take it to the grassroots
Assam's students, who have been on the streets protesting for the past week, have decided to take responsibility to spread more awareness about NRC by going to villages and telling the average Indian about its implications. Students from across institutions in Guwahati are set to meet and discuss the course of action at the Gauhati University on December 18.
Even though a major part of Assam had been affected by the NRC and the horror stories of detention camps have reminded all of us of Germany of the early 1940s, the students claim that people are still not clear what the Act means for them and what is actually going to happen. "The All Assam Students' Union (AASU) has been working to sensitise people but the students have only been able to reach urban or suburban areas. We need to reach the villages as well. Tell them what CAA holds for them in store," said Anurag Kalyan Borgohain, the Students' Union President of the Gauhati University and a member of AASU. "We want all the students to come and jointly discuss the way forward. We can work in our areas and reach more people with the right information," he added.
In the context of police excesses at Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University campuses in the past few days, Anurag said that the police has been quite supportive of their movements. "There was a bit of a stiff situation at a rally last week but they (police) did not resort to violence. We had our professors with us as well," said Anurag. But the internet being shut off has been a great inconvenience for the protest, he added. "It is very difficult to reach people. If our protest starts at 2 pm it takes almost 1.30 pm or later to reach everyone and then the protest itself gets delayed. We are not able to get information of the protests going on across India neither are those outside Assam getting to know about what we are protesting about and how," he said.
The students want their state and the rest of India to know that they are not fighting against the Act because they have reservations against a particular community. They are fighting to save their culture, said Kuntala Sarma Bordoloi, a research scholar of the Botany Department, Gauhati University. "Unlike many parts of India we, in Assam, are not fighting against the CAA because we think it is partial. We reject the CAA because we do not want any immigrants to come to India. We want to preserve our culture and our way of life and we will not compromise, no matter what happens," she said.
National Representative and Coordinator of the Research Scholars of India, Nikhil Gupta, was in Guwahati for the past week and has expressed his solidarity with the students, "We express solidarity with their (students of Assam) concerns regarding the proposed implementation of CAA and requests the concerned government authorities to reach out for amicable and peaceful resolution of their concerns in the best interest of the unity and solidarity of the nation."