GUWAHATI, Aug 5 - Assam Congress Legislature Party (ACLP) leader Debabrata Saikia today described the announcement made by Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma yesterday that all model colleges being set up in the State over the next four years would be named after Deendayal Upadhyaya as a harsh declaration of the saffron party�s �brazen cultural imperialism�.
In a statement issued here, Saikia said Deendayal Upadhyaya did not take part in the freedom struggle of the country nor he believed in the pluralistic character of the Indian society.
The Education Minister is making a mockery of the Indian as well as the Assamese ethos by foisting the name of a person associated with a divisive agenda on the institutions of higher learning in the State, the statement added.
Ridiculing the often boasted commitment of the BJP and the Education Minister to protect the Assamese people, their land rights and habitats, Saikia dared the Education Minister to come up with a proposal to name the model colleges after the legendary figures of Assam, who include Swargadeo Siukapha, Srimanta Sankaradeva, Swahid Kushal Konwar, Anundoram Borooah, Lakshminath Bez-baroa, Jyotiprasad Agarwalla, Gopinath Bordoloi, Dr Banikanta Kakoty, first Assamese Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court Holiram Deka, first Assamese Ph D holder Dr Moidul Islam Bora, first Assamese lady doctor Rajani Prova Saikia, legendary musician Dr Bhupen Hazarika, among others.
If the names of these Assamese persons are not suitable for his scheme of things, there are many others like Rabindranath Tagore and Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, after whom the proposed institutions could be named, Saikia said.