SUBIR BHAUMIK The burning down of 9 crude oil tankers in Upper Assam points to a change in equations between rebel groups in India’s Northeast. Indian intelligence agencies now confirm that this violent action was carried by joint squads of ULFA (Independent) and NSCN (Issak-Muivah) guerrillas. But ULFA(I) is in the rebel coalition UNLFSWEA that was…
BJP leader and Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has landed the BJP in a spot by threatening to send Chief Minister Manik Sarkar to Bangladesh after the 2018 polls.
While the Chief Minister has ignored Sarma’s tirade and attacked BJP on its contradictory pitches, the comment has drawn furious responses from many.
Even those who critique Manik Sarkar’s style of governance and turned the spotlight on his many failures have come out to attack Himanta Biswa Sarma.
This is one loose comment that could cost BJP their chances in Tripura.
In a state where the majority are Bengalis with roots in what is now Bangladesh, even opponents and critics of Manik Sarkar and CPI(M) will not take kindly to such stupid comments.
Below is an example of the Facebook exchanges:
I missed the start of this controversy – but if any political leader (HBS?) made any remarks calling Manik Sarkar a Bangladeshi or threatening to send him to Bangladesh, then that man is an idiot of the highest order. Anybody who has met him even briefly only has the highest respect for him. Very recently one of my college friends, now a very senior officer of the GOI, visited Tripura for the first time and met Manik Sarkar at his residence in course of his official duty. This officer, originally from Manipur, came away from the meeting singing the praises of Mr Manik Sarkar, not least for the simplicity of his lifestyle.
Incidentally, many Garos are referred to as ‘ Bangladeshi ‘ by other Garos and it is all taken sportingly. Same is the case with Hajongs. The late P.A. Sangma was also called ‘ Bangladeshi ‘ in Tura, his Parliamentary and Assembly constituency where he never lost an election since 1977.
I think Manik Sarkar himself would laugh at whoever referred to him as ‘ Bangladeshi ‘. ■