Advertisement
Thursday, Dec 02, 2021
Outlook.com
Pollscape/Assam

Foot Soldiers In Action

Newcomers bring fresh ammo, new strategy to the poll battlefield in the BJP-ruled Northeast state

Foot Soldiers In Action
New Leaders In The Fray | Photograph by Surajit Sharma
Foot Soldiers In Action
outlookindia.com
2021-03-26T14:08:53+05:30

Light green, purple and yellow spring foliage provided a surreal backdrop as a rhino grazed in the swamp, her infant pottering about close behind, turning back now and then to charge at a trailing pond heron. Childish impishness a rhino calf can afford. Two elephants, a small rangale of hog deer and a couple of wild buffaloes laze under the March sun. The picture of arcadia is a wide-angle shot—a panoptic view of Assam’s Kaziranga National Park. The tranquility is but just a facade, hiding existential realities in a land where man and animal struggle to co-exist, and often face-off, sometimes with tragic consequences.

Pranab Doley grew up amidst this daily battle of his people—the Mishing tribe, an ethnic group living by the Brahma­putra and its tributaries since time began in this part of the world. Battered every year by floods and erosion, in conflict with wild animals wandering out of the park in search of food and shelter, and a system which, he says, advocates a “capitalist model of development” with no concern for the very people who have nurtured nature for millennia. Doley, 35, has now picked the biggest battle of his life. He will contest as an independent candidate for Bokakhat in the assembly polls. The constituency straddles the park, a Unesco World Heritage site. Voting is on March 27 and his main rival, MLA Atul Bora of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), is an ally of the BJP.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

UN Seeks Release Of Kashmiri Activist Khurram Parvez, Amendment In UAPA

UN Seeks Release Of Kashmiri Activist Khurram Parvez, Amendment In UAPA

The UN has sought probe into civilian killings in Jammu and Kashmir’s Hyderpora and called on the security forces and armed groups to exercise restraint.

Omicron Cases Spike: 21 Countries That Recorded New Covid-19 Variant

Omicron Cases Spike: 21 Countries That Recorded New Covid-19 Variant

South Africa, the first nation where the virus variant was detected, has reported 77 cases of Omicron so far, prompting travel bans across the world.

Man United, IPL Big Boys, Sydney Sixers Enter UAE T20 League

Man United, IPL Big Boys, Sydney Sixers Enter UAE T20 League

Lancer Capital has made its first-ever historic foray into cricket by acquiring a franchise in the UAE T20 league. The ECB has already roped in IPL teams like MI, DC and KRR.

Five Powerful Indian-Americans Rocking Silicon Valley, Parag Agrawal Latest Addition

Five Powerful Indian-Americans Rocking Silicon Valley, Parag Agrawal Latest Addition

As Parag Agrawal becomes the CEO of Twitter, the Indian diaspora's representation in the tech giants of America, especially the companies in Silicon Valley gets a new badge.

Advertisement