In a democratic set up like ours, the issues facing a certain area or constituency get the attention required when they are taken up by the public representatives at the state assembly or the parliament.
Cutting across party affiliations, it is the foremost duty of a public representative to take up the problems that his people are facing at the floor of the house either at the state or national level. After all, above everyone else at the party hierarchy, he is answerable to the people who have voted for him.
Unfortunately for Barak Valley, the leaders representing us at the assembly or parliament consistently toe the party’s line and keep quiet about the burning issues here. For example, the MLAs from the ruling party from the valley are hardly seen asking probing questions about the poor communication system or the power situation here.
Media reports suggest that they do meet the concerned ministers from time to time to discuss about these issues, but what stops them from utilising the time at the assembly to take up these problems? Quite interestingly, the Congress MLAs from the other parts of the state consistently speak about the problems their people are facing and even get into arguments on the floor of the house with the ministers concerned.
In other parts of the country too, such examples can be found. For example, in Andhra Pradesh, the Congress legislators from Telangana have continuously raised their voice for a separate state both at the assembly and the parliament, despite the fact that their party is in power at both the levels.
At the national level also, Barak Valley’s problems hardly find an echo as our representatives struggle to get time to speak about them, given the fact that most of the time of house is lost in protests and agitations.
The absence of a dedicated political party from the valley further compounds the problems. The Bodos are represented by a couple of regional outfits whose agenda is the goodwill of the Bodo people. The Karbis also have parties representing them. However, the 30 lakh strong population of Barak Valley does not have even one political force representing them.
Bengalis are known to be politically more conscious than the other communities. However, why not a single political party representing Barak Valley could gain shape in sixty years of independent India despite the constant step motherly treatment by the state and central governments is completely inexplicable.
Unless our leaders gather the courage to speak about our problems on platforms allotted to them, the whole electoral process will have no value for the people here. They all may not want to upset their own ambitions within the party and the government by annoying the bigger leaders, but they must keep in mind that the voters are their biggest bosses and upsetting them would surely mean upsetting their own careers.