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A tall leader: Himanta Biswa Sarma

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Himanta Biswa Sarma is one of the most charismatic and dynamic leaders of Assam. He is a great visionary and is at times referred to as the Chanakya of Assam and Northeast politics. He is seen as the BJP party’s mascot in Assam. In the 2016 Assam Assembly elections, the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and once again in the 2021 Assam Assembly elections, he managed to create an electrifying atmosphere during the poll campaign. His dance moves have become very popular. He is a huge crowd puller.

Every move of Sarma was amplified through a dedicated social media team and friendly local journalists. Like in the run-up to the 2016 polls, the incumbent chief minister Tarun Gogoi was ridiculed through an organised social and traditional media campaign for often rejecting developments that he didn’t consider significant with the phrase “baad diya hey” (leave it!), a calibrated attack on the incumbent chief minister Sonowal too was soon launched for often stating the line “Pahar bhoyam”, a term he often repeated in his speeches.

When a leader is shown following spiritual duties, is seen as compassionate, showering respect on all strata of people. It makes himself/herself assessable. It has a joyous social connection with the common man, and concerns for the poorest of the poor, Its ripple effects have an unimaginable multiplier, benefiting millions. Similarly, if a leader is shown partying in 5-7 star posh hotels, boozing, or vacationing, it no doubt sends a warm signal to the elites, but unfortunately alienates the poor citizens, who may look with awe at such leaders but fail to connect or consider them as own, as they are fearful to approach such leaders to address their grievances.

This is the culture India had seen for the past 70+ years, where the simple innocent and poor common man were considered lowly class, looked down upon as subjects to be taken care of but not considered as equals. This is the culture that India has been experiencing for the previous 70+ years, when the average man was perceived as an inferior class, looked down upon as objects to be cared for but not as an equal.

He has been successful in turning the tables and controlling the populace because they view him standing on their side of the table against the supposed oppressors and elites.

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