Stop divisive politics

As the country gears up to choose another Prime Minister, we ask people from a cross-section of society on their aspirations from Elections 2014

Tourism entrepreneur JAHNABI PHOOKAN wants sane governance

I am fraught with the apprehension that we Assamese will only live on, in a gene bank. With no opposition worth the name and a regional party of no weight, the old Assam is being sacrificed on the altar of opportunism and vote bank politics. This is one of the blackest periods of Assam’s history. Assam will be lost to the dynamics of the changing demographics unless a miracle of sane governance finally descends upon this country this year.    

In Upper Assam, one finds most of the old Assamese families giving up their hearth and home to be either in our glorious capital or outside the state. The trading community has smoothly moved from being the settlers to the settled while we Assamese are becoming the settlers in other lands, beyond our state. In Lower Assam, the old Assamese families are huddling into ghetto like conditions against the steady and no longer silent invasion of last many decades.The invaders are closing in to claim their prize.

Our country faces challenges of rampant corruption, divisive politics of religion, caste and creed, feudalistic mindsets and worsening law and order  situation. But none of these challenges are close to what should be the one and only concern of every Assamese — not of being Hindu or Muslim, not of being a Muttock, Tiwa, Rajbonshi or Bodo . The greater Assamese society has been torn at the seams with the petty politics of regionalism . Only an united Assam can stand tall against the insidious enemy and by falling prey to the ‘Divide and Rule’ realpolitik , we Assamese are only assisting our enemies to dig our own graves.


Jahnabi Phookan

Jahnabi Phookan

Jahnabi Phookan is  the Director of  Jungle Travels India and Assam Bengal Navigation Company with offices in Guwahati, Kolkata, Delhi and Cochin. Jungle Travels India is the pioneering travel company as the first IATA agent of the Northeast. This company will turn 25 years in end 2014. Assam Bengal Navigation is the pioneer which put India to the international river cruising map with the first long distance river cruising in the country. Both are National Tourism Awards winners, the only companies based in the NE to have achieved this recognition to date. Jahnabi has been an entrepreneur in the travel and tourism, river cruising and hospitality business for over two decades. She is passionate about Eco Tourism as the only sustainable model for the Northeast. A Northeast brand Konyak was created by them in 2008, which is an platform for grassroots artisans of the region. Konyak billed as ‘The Treasury of Native Handicrafts’ operates in Guwahati and Dibrugarh. This has created a sustainable livelihood for artisans and weavers, with the necessary design intervention and product upgradation. Jahnabi is Member on the National Board of Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE) under the Ministry of Small Medium Micro Enterprises (MSME) since 2012. She was one of the ten representatives from India in the South East Asian Entrepreneurship Symposium in Dhaka in Feb 2013 and is an Alumni of the US Govt Exchange Program .There were ten women from ten countries invited for this symposium. She is presently the founder Chairperson of India Women Network started by CII in 2013. She is also Member, Executive Committee,CII (Confederation of Indian Industries) of Assam chapter. Jahnabi is an alumni of Indiana University, USA , Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) and Calcutta University.