Condemning continued acts of vandalism at Satras and temples across Assam by rabidly communal malcontents, the Patriotic People’s Front Assam (PPFA) has urged the State government in Dispur to take serious note of the situation as anti-national forces are waging a diabolical war against the unique cultural identity of India.

The forum of nationalist citizens took a strong issue against the latest shocking incident at Ganakkuchi Satra in the Barpeta district of western Assam, in which a miscreant named Rafiqul Ali ransacked the
centuries-old Vaishnavite monastery. Last September 3, Ali sneaked into the sanctum sanctorum of the Satra and set fire to the holy book hrimadbhagawatgeeta and its sacred seat Guru Aasan, sending
shockwaves among thousands of devotees.

Soon, a large number of local residents gathered at the spot to catch the miscreant red-handed and turned him over to the police. Several devotees asserted that the act of vandalism had been planned with
sinister intent by a shadowy circle which has been radicalizing and inciting youths like Rafiqul Ali, a resident of Shantipur village in Bhella. He had previously ransacked a temple dedicated to the Goddess
Lakshmi at Keotkuchi village in Barpeta district. Ali was then termed ‘mentally disturbed’ by a section of minority appeasers.

“The 16th-century Vaishnavite monastery at Ganakkuchi was established by Shrimanta Shankardev’s great disciple Mohapurush Madhabdev, where he stayed for 18 years preaching the message of neo-Vaishnavism among the people. Lately, a mischievous circle has been plotting to malign the two Vaishnavite saints who shaped the society and culture of Assam five centuries back,” said a PPFA statement.

The forum further questioned the suspicious silence of mainstream media outlets in Guwahati, which have glossed over the incident, citing the ‘mental imbalance’ of Rafiqul Ali. Notably, large numbers
of social media users have slammed this conspiracy of silence, considering that the so-called ‘half-mad’ individual has selectively and stealthily desecrated a temple and a Satra.

Riju Pathak, an ardent follower of the two Vaishnavite saints, has strongly criticized the tendency of anti-social lumpens in primarily targeting Hindu places of worship. In an uploaded video message, Pathak commented that a motive behind the vandalism could be understood which would emerge as a threat to the oldest civilization in the world. He also criticized hundreds of Assam based ‘people’s organizations’ for maintaining silence over the matter.

Endorsing Pathak, the PPFA appealed to the State chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal (also in charge of the Home portfolio) to take a personal interest in ensuring protection to all socio-cultural institutions. It further called upon the people of northeast India to stay vigilant against anti-national forces who, with covert agendas, are relentlessly working on behalf of foreign elements to jeopardize the unity, sovereignty and harmony of India as a nation.

Footnote: Satras are Ekasarana monasteries established by Sankardev (1449-1568 AD), Madhabdev, Damodardev, and their disciples and followers in Assam and adjoining areas. Satras are treasure troves of cultural artifacts. (source: Wikipedia)