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Lakshmi to continue working for Adivasis

04 March, 2017 02:24:40 PM, Nava Thakuria

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

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Lakshmi: She is figthing the LS election from Assam

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Now it is official, Lakshmi Orang will contest the forthcoming polls. An ordinary adivasi (meaning tea plantation labour or ex-tea garden workers) girl, Lakshmi grasped the confidence of Asom United Democratic Front, a pro-minority political party to fight for the prestigious Tezpur parliamentary constituency.

 

Whether she wins in the polls, it will not make any difference on her future activities.

 

Lakshmi has decided to continue fighting for the rights of adivasi people in general and women in particular. More precisely, Lakshmi wanted to achieve the Scheduled Tribe status for the adivasi people of Assam, such that they can avail the benefit of various government schemes reserved for the ST people.


It was in fact a sad and shocking story, as Lakshmi received media headlines two years back. Lakshmi arrived in Guwahati with hundreds other adivasi tribes people for a meeting on November 24, 2007. Organised by All Adivasi Students’ Association of Assam, the meeting was followed by a procession in the city streets, which later turned rowdy.


A section of participants, mostly the youths armed with spade, stick and bows, turned violent and started vandalizing on the roadside of Beltola-Dispur locality of the city. The protesters destroyed a number of shops and vehicles parked on the road and pelted stones to distant houses. Some of them were under toxic condition after drinking of alcohol and they even did not spare a woman with her baby on the lap, not to speak of other pavement walkers.


Soon the police on duty overpowered upon the protesters and they had no other options than fleeing back. When retreated, they faced the anger and retaliation of locals, who witnessed the vandalism of the demonstrators. The adivasis were mercilessly beaten up by a section of youths. Nearly 200 participants sustained injuries.

 

Amidst the chaotic situation, three-four boys physically assaulted and stripped Lakshmi, following which she ran naked in full public view for help. Finally a young Assamese businessman named Bhogiram Barman dared to come forward and extended his helping hands to Lakshmi.

 

The mainstream Assamese society, while expressed shock at the rude behaviour of those youths towards the adivasi people, deeply sympathized with Lakshmi. Three influential students’ organizations namely All Assam Students’ Union, All Assam Adivasi Students’ Union and Assam Tea Tribes Students’ Union made an official statement that Lakshmi knew how to dance Bihu as well as Jhumur, and hence she was more an Assamese girl than anyone from the mainstream Assamese community.

 

In the polls, Lakshmi as a candidate will face MK Subba, a sitting MP of Indian National Congress and Joseph Toppo, the Asom Gana Parishad nominee for the constituency. Toppo, a prominent tea tribe leader, is supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party too, as the regional party of Assam had gone for a seat sharing deal with saffron brigade.


Assam goes to polls on April 16 & 23, as the country embraces five-phased Lok Sabha election (between April 16 and May 13). The revised electoral rolls by the Election Commission of India identify 17,468,958 voters eligible (in Assam) for exercising their franchises to form the 15th Lok Sabha.


Meanwhile, the AUDF has tried to project Lakshmi, a last year high school leaving certificate examination appeared, as almost a messiah for the oppressed and exploited section in the society. The party general secretary HR Choudhury asserted that Lakshmi became a symbol of adivasi and minority exploitation in Assam.

 

(Courtesy Newstrackindia.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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