GUWAHATI: A purported Melanophobia – the fear of the colour black – of Dispur has led to the adjournment of the Assam Assembly on Wednesday when the Congress and the AIUDF had to stage walkouts separately. And a kid took the centre stage of the entire episode.
A video clip that has gone viral shows ‘a woman striping the black sweater of her son on the pretext of the security personnel on duty were barring people wearing black dresses from entering the venue of a rally at Behali on Tuesday’. The rally was addressed by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
The incident sent ripples in the State Assembly on Wednesday when Congress MLAs Abdul Khaleque and Rupjyoti Kurmi moved an adjournment motion in the House, seeking discussion on the issue. In favour of the admissibility of the motion, Khaleque said: “The fear of black of the government hasn’t even spared kids. The government shouldn’t have any say on what colour of cloth a person, child or adult, should put on. Making a woman stripping the sweater of her kid son goes against the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.”
In his reply, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said: “There has been no directive from the government to anybody to bar people from wearing black dresses at public meetings. A section is out to malign the image of the government by creating such incidents. Anyway, we’ve asked the DGP to inquire into the Behali incident.”
It then became a show of verbal dexterity between the ruling party and the Opposition. The Congress members then raised the reported beating up some AASU leaders by BJP workers inside a police station in Nalbari district. The BJP members replied it by reminding the Congress that it had been a Congress government that killed AASU workers and leaders during the Assam Agitation. The House was at its unruly best and the situation was out of control.
Amidst the ruckus, Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said: “In the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha election the Congress promised to accord Indian citizenship to Hindu Bengalis.” Sarma also threw a tantrum at the religious minority MLAs of the Congress and the AIUDF.
Amidst the unruly scene, one from the ruling party was heard saying ‘gone are the days when 37 per cent people controlled 63 per cent population of the State’.
When the situation was going beyond his control the Speaker adjourned the House for ten minutes.
When the House resumed, the Speaker said: “The incident of Behali is not an exceptional case. There’re other devices to discuss the matter, instead of an adjournment motion. So I disallow the motion.”
The Speaker’s ruling led the Congress members, who were wearing black badges in protest against the Behalui incident, staged a stormy walkout. The AIUDF followed suit, albeit, for a different reason – the ruling party members uttering unconstitutional words against its members.