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Strong political leadership lacking to solve foreigners� problem: Dr Saikia

By Correspondent

MORIGAON, July 3 - The 54th foundation day of Morigaon College was celebrated by the students, teachers and ex-students on the college premises with a two-day colourful programmes on June 30 and July 1.

The first day�s programme began with the Guru Charan Medhi memorial lecture which was attended by all the professors, senior citizens and old and new students of the college. The lecture on the topic, �Modern Assam: Aberrant traditions, events and its results� was delivered by noted historian of Assam, Dr Rajen Saikia. He said in his lecture that it was a historical aberration that Assam�s sovereignty was handed over to British by the Burmese on February 24, 1826 through a pact without any consultation with the Assamese people or the then king. Likewise, the British formed the Assam province in 1886 with the capital at Shillong in 1886 which was also a historical aberration and afterwards, the British introduced a distorted agro-based economy in the Assam province to which the Assamese people were not accustomed.

Referring to Edward Gait�s remark, Dr Saikia said that in the British era, Assam had an economy of �no plenty, no scarcity�. But in 1905, for the third phase jute cultivation in Assam, the British Government planned to bring in thousands of people from Myemensingh district and the adjacent areas of Bangladesh and for that purpose a railway track was constructed, due to which the demographic pattern of Assam changed abruptly, Dr Saikia said. It was a great tragedy for the Assamese people that this influx from East Bengal was not opposed by the then Assamese leaders of Congress. Ambikagiri Roy Choudhury was the only exception, who vehemently opposed and criticised this nefarious design of the British, added Dr Saikia.

Dr Saikia said that the aberration that took place in the pre-independence period could not be solved and it was matter of regret that in the last 100 years there was no strong political leadership in Assam to solve this foreigners� problem. Dr Saikia said that there has been no economic development in the State and no State Government after independence took any scientific step for the development of the people of Assam. Coming down heavily on the autonomous council idea to develop different tribes of Assam, Dr Saikia said that it was also an aberration and added that development does not mean parochial political gains.

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