FIR against 'The Hindu' for hailing annihilation of Assamese language, culture

FIR against ‘The Hindu’ for hailing annihilation of Assamese language, culture

On Wednesday (October 6), a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against a research scholar named Suraj Gogoi and ‘The Hindu‘ Editor Suresh Nambath for an objectionable article against the Assamese community. The FIR was lodged against the duo after a complaint was filed by the Pravajan Virodhi Manch (PVM) at the Latasil police station in Guwahati.

PVM, which is headed by lawyer Upamanyu Hazarika, has accused that Suraj Gogoi of promoting disharmony, hatred, feelings of enmity, and ill-will towards the Assamese community. In an article dated September 29 and published in The Hindu newspaper, Gogoi had called for the annihilation of Assamese language and culture over the conflict that broke out in the Darrang district. A research scholar in Sociology at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Gogoi had chosen ‘The scorching rays of Assamese nationalism’ as the headline for his article.

In his contentious piece, he alleged, “The reactions to the Darrang brutality expressed by journalists, politicians, and the foot soldiers of Assamese nationalism reveal how hatred has crystallised into the caste Assamese social structure, and how benumbed they are. Their narcissism will not stop even when political sadism is in such naked display…And like a psychotic, there is no reality but of what they see in and about themselves.”

Screengrab of the contentious article in The Hindu newspaper

Besides implicating that the entire Assamese community is to be held guilty for the death of Moynul Haque in Gorukhuti, Gogoi had also called for the extermination of the Assamese language and culture. “This is a possible way to come out of the psychosis and narcissism that plagues Assamese nationalists. As for Assamese political sadism, the only exit of it is to annihilate language and culture in its current form and interest,” he emphasised in his concluding paragraph.

The Hindu modifies article without explanation or apology

After the FIR was lodged against Suraj Gogoi and the Editor of The Hindu, Suresh Nambath, the newspaper shrewdly modified the article without citing any clarification or apology. “The only exit is to annihilate the language and culture of political sadism in its current form and interest,” read the newly modified concluding statement. Gogoi had tweaked his genocidal statement to suggest that the language and culture of political sadism must be annihilated and not the Assamese language and culture.

Screengrab of the updated article in The Hindu newspaper

Complaint filed by Pravajan Virodhi Manch

In his complaint, Pravajan Virodhi Manch (PVM) chief Upamanyu Hazarika remarked, “In this article, there are many instances of offensive speech being made against Assam and the larger Assamese community…In this article, accused no. 1 (Suraj Gogoi) has deliberately promoted disharmony, feelings of enmity, hatred end ill-will towards the Assamese community amongst the other groups and communities of the country. He has visibly represented by his words that Assamese people do not bear true faith end allegiance to the Constitution of indie, as by law established.”

A copy of the official complaint was posted on Twitter by journalist Kangkan Acharyya.

He further added, “The accused no.1 here says that the unfortunate killing of the protesters at Gorukhuti is an example of political sadism. Most importantly, due to the Gorukhuti incident, accused no. 1 calls of the annihilation of the Assamese language and culture. These are serious insults to the entire Assamese community.” (PVM) chief Upamanyu Hazarika demanded that Suraj Gogoi and ‘The Hindu‘ Editor Suresh Nambath are booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 34, 153, 153A,153B, and 505.

Violence in Darrang district in Assam, encroachers resist eviction drive

On September 23, an eviction drive conducted by the administration in Darrang district in Assam had turned violent after encroachers of the land attacked security forces. While 9 policemen were injured in the attack by the mob of illegal encroachers, 2 attackers were killed in retaliatory police firing.

The incident took place at the Dholpur in the Garukhuti area near the Sipajhar town in Darrang district in Assam, where the Himanta Biswa Sarma government is conducting an eviction drive of illegal settlers on land belonging to the government or other organisations like temples. When the eviction party reached the place inhabited by Bengali-speaking Muslims on Thursday, hundreds of people clashed with the police, attacking them with stones, machetes, pointed bamboo sticks, etc.

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