Cambridge scholar and Sahitya Akademi award-winning author Hiren Gohain has criticised the BJP government over several issues. He has recently been charged with sedition for his comments. The 80-year-old former Gauhati University professor shares his thoughts with Abdul Gani. Excerpts:
How do you describe the situation in Assam and the Northeast?
The scenario in the Northeast varies across states. But one common anxiety seems to be bringing all on the same platform: the fear of sudden relaxation of citizenship norms to make room for lakhs of Bangladeshi Hindus and Buddhists. The label of religious victimhood does not fit most cases. The region is woefully underdeveloped for which the Centre is mainly to blame, along with local elites who pick up leftovers from brazen plunder of the region’s resources. Jobs are scarce and the youth are frustrated. Farming has crumbled and money from any source is shrinking for the common man.
Instead of addressing these grim problems, the government is...