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AASU General Secretary Sankar Jyoti Baruah interview: “Will intensify protests against CAA very soon”

GUWAHATI: On the last day of the 17th General Convention of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Sankar Jyoti Baruah was appointed as the new General Secretary of the student body amid much pomp and show. Replacing Lurin Jyoti Gogoi who is apparently preparing for a career in politics will be no easy task, but the 28-year-old has already planned ahead and shared some of his future plans with Inside Northeast in an exclusive interview. Here are some excerpts:

What do you intend to do in your new role as the General Secretary of the apex student body of Assam? What will be your agenda going forward?

The main motive of the AASU — as a student body — will be to ensure a safe environment for the students so that they receive cutting edge education at par with the other regions. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has exposed some of the shortcomings of the education system in the state. Our syllabi are outdated and there is a great need to uplift and upgrade the education curriculum so that the students are able to learn in a competitive environment.

ALSO READ: Sankar Jyoti Baruah to take over as new General Secretary of AASU, Dipanka Nath stays on as President

The Citizenship Amendment Act has been one of the raging issues in Assam lately and the AASU has opposed it tooth-and-nail. What are your plans going forward?

At the General Convention, it was decided that we will continue to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Act as it threatens the very identity of Assam. Although the agitation has taken a setback after the spread of COVID-19, we have resolved that we will continue to oppose it and the protests against the same will be intensified to express the resentment to both the Central and State Governments.

Several modifications have been made to the AASU’s Constitution during this Convention in Duliajan. How will that affect the future of the AASU?

Every time, certain modifications are made to the Constitution to adapt to the changing times. This year too, many historic decisions have been made — such as setting the upper age limit for AASU members at 40 years. These changes have been made after many deliberations and discussions by the core leadership and will stand us in good stead in the times to come.

It is being speculated that many of the AASU leaders are gearing up for an innings in politics. Especially after the formation of the Asom Jatiya Parishad (AJP), there have been rumours that some former AASU leaders will be contesting the Assembly polls.

The AASU facilitated the formation of the AGP by forming a committee that gave its recommendations, thereby maintaining its apolitical nature. The AJP was formed after various sections of society demanded an alternative solution to the current political options during the anti-CAA agitation. There is a great need to defeat the likes of the Congress and the BJP, which have both betrayed the Assamese people time and time again. Therefore, if regional leaders take their place, it will be good for the people of Assam.

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