* AASU & AJYCP should play a pro-active role
GUWAHATI: A large section of indigenous people of Assam are deprived of the benefits of various schemes meant for them only because they don't have the required documents. And most of them don't get help from any quarters in getting documents – not from the AASU (All Assam Students' Union), nor from the AJYCP (Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba-Chatra Parishad) – even though these two organisations have their regional committees spread across the State. What's seen is that such student and youth organizations of the State don't go door to door when the need arises (say in the NRC update or similar other cases), and they wait for the people to approach them. With their vast network of units, they could have helped the indigenous illiterate ones of the State in getting PAN cards, Aadhaar cards and the documents of parental lands in their names.
In striking contrast, people in sars and other minority-dominated areas are equipped with all documents, and they derive all the benefits of various schemes.
The alleged inclusion of a large number of ineligible people in the NRC and the exclusion of many indigenous ones from it has much to do with this reality. The legal fraternity and various students' bodies among the minority threw their full weight behind the community members and helped them get documents and apply for inclusion of their names in the NRC. They also helped their community members in getting documents like PAN cards, Aadhaar cards, etc.
When The Sentinel asked AASU (All Assam Students' Union) president Dipanko Kumar Nath on this crucial matter, he said, "We did help people while applying for the NRC. We formed a central committee with legal experts that instructed all regional committees to help people out in applying for inclusion of their names in the NRC. Our regional committees are always there to help people out. If anybody comes to us for PAN cards, Aadhaar cards etc, we can help them out.
"A section of minorities use some fake information to get documents like PAN cards, Aadhaar cards etc. It came to light during the NRC update exercise."
When asked on the same topic, AJYCP (Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva-Chatra Parishad) general secretary Palash Changmai said, "PAN cards, Aadhaar cards etc are personal documents. If people come to us for help, we're ready to help them out. We did extend similar help during the NRC update exercise. This is a fact that the land documents of people have loopholes and lacunae. Even now the parental lands of many people in the State are in the names of their grandfathers due to a lack of timely mutation. Such a reality deprives many of the opportunities and benefits of various schemes. If the government simplifies the process, we're ready to help them out."
Sources in the State Home Department said that a section of the indigenous and tribal people of the State take it for granted that since they are sons of the soil the lack of such documents cannot deprive them of what is supposed to get. If the indigenous people don't give up this attitude, they've many things to lose in the future, the sources said.
It is glaringly visible that the percentage of voting in areas dominated by minority people is always higher than those dominated by the indigenous and tribal people, the sources said.