Letters to The Editor

Letters to THE EDITOR

Mobile Attendance

The Chief Minister of Assam is the chief functionary of the State Panchayat & Rural Development (P&RD) department. Despite the Chief Minister being the chief functionary of the big department, the contractual employees under the P&RD department have been receiving a poor honorarium in zila parishads, blocks and gaon panchayats in the State. On the other hand, after the new attendance system through mobile phone has been imposed on the contractual employees, which was launched recently, it stands as a challenge in view of their poor remuneration.

The new attendance roll has come to them as a bolt from the blue. According to the new roll, employees must have an advanced mobile set for giving attendance at 9.30 am and their attendance out at 5.15 pm. Besides, to reach the gaon panchayats, blocks and zila parishads within the stipulated time, they need a bike which the contractual employees cannot afford with their poor honorarium. Though the P&RD department has tied the contractual employees with a rope through mobile attendance in order to make them smart and punctual towards office duty, did the department ever think about the pathetic condition of the contractual employees? How will they buy such sophisticated mobile handset or bike with such poor honorarium?
Jutismita Sarma,
Morigaon. Ward no-2.

Assam Imperilled

As per a media report, the State government enjoys sufficient power under the Immigrants (Expulsion from Assam) Act, 1950 to deport foreigners from Assam. What the successive State governments led by Late Hiteswar Saikia to the present incumbent have done is known to all. We have acrimoniously and vociferously criticized the State governments led by the Congress. It was during the reign of Hiteswar Saikia when the presence of lakhs of Bangladeshi nationals who infiltrated into Assam illegally had been detected, and then began the Assam Movement that could draw the attention of the whole of the world as we preferred BBC news to our AIR ones at that point of time. The number of martyrs officially shown to be 855 is more than the actual one. Ignoring all these protests, the then Chief Minister Hiteswar Saikia was hell-bent on holding election at any cost.

In spite of being empowered by such a strong Act, why at all did the Government of India ignore the issue? As per Sections 2 and 3, any officer of the Central or State government can exercise power on behalf of the deputy commissioner/additional deputy commissioner to take action in deporting foreigners. The Act also provides for provision to impose penalty to anyone who harbours foreigners. Now in each and every place of Assam, be it village, town or city, we find a whole lot of foreign nationals being harboured by so-called citizens. We find small thatched/CI sheet rented houses in Dibrugarh on the bank of the river either or elsewhere in the city.

Why have the officials under the successive State governments maintained a ‘Look to Other Side Policy’? Do they want that a mini-Bangladesh should be created in Assam? Already we have come across many such mini-Bangladeshes scattered in central and lower Assam as well as in the north bank of the Brahmaputra. The fear of being overtaken in terms of population has always been lurking in the mind of each and every conscious Assamese. Time is fast approaching when our population is all set to be overtaken. The successive Central governments, including the present one, appear to maintain a nonchalant attitude to this burning issue.

Just at this juncture came the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. Instantly a fear psychosis has gripped all sections of the Assamese society who, being at their wits end, fumble and grope having been entrapped between the two horns of a dilemma – whether language or religion. It seems now all the good works of Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi, the premier of Assam after Independence, would be destroyed by the horrific tentacles of politicians who have been taking all the Assamese people for a ride. Mahatma Gandhi once commented: “Let the culture of the world bloom around my small hut, I don’t want to be blown out.”
Ashok Bordoloi,
Dibrugarh.