[Assam] Fwd: To ---- "Letters to the editor" ---- 'TRIBALS SIDELINED'

b.baruah at virgin.net b.baruah at virgin.net
Sat May 5 15:24:40 PDT 2007

Tribals Sidelined’ appears to be a rather generalised observation. It is not a fact that Tarun Gogoi-led government is handled by Brahmins and Muslims as there is a sizeable number of tribals in  the Cabinet. If some of the Ministers as mentioned are more outstanding than their colleagues, thanks for their superior leadership and resourcefulness. It is a fact of life that no two persons have the same versatility. Then again the  Cabinet system of government is a shared responsibility.
Many years ago once I made a casual remark in front of an MP in Delhi that Government had not done much for the tribal people of Assam. I did not know that that particular MP happened to be the Chairman of a committee scheduled with the responsibility of looking after the interest of the tribal people. I humbled down before the stalwart in no time as facts and figures rolled off from his mouth dwelling on  the tremendous achievements in that particular sphere. I promised then and there never to put questions to such public men without some preparations. Then again one has to be specific.
The particular family is obviously  in the business of film-making. I don’t think the mention of their caste is relevant in this context. Governments do give grants to deserving applicants who make films, documentary or whatever. Producers of  films are like authors of books who seek fame. They provide a service of information, education and  entertainment. The media cannot shut out themselves from reasonable and informed criticism. Self-publicity ought not to be so obvious.
True, talented tribal women without contacts and money are at a disadvantage. It is also a fact that it is an advantage to be married into a politically ambitious family. But the latter is a social  issue.
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