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|Akhil Gogoi (অখিল গগৈ)|
1 March 1976
Lukhurakhon, Selenghat, Jorhat, Assam
|Known for||Indian anti-corruption movement - 2012,
Indian anti-corruption movement - 2011,
Right to Information
|Political movement||Indian anti-corruption movement|
Akhil Gogoi (Assamese: অখিল গগৈ) is a peasant leader and RTI activist from Assam. Over the years he has been leading many anti-graft movements in the state. Akhil came to national attention after he was awarded the Shanmugam Manjunath Integrity Award in 2008 for his relentless fight against corruption and attempts to bring transparency in government functionings. In 2010, he was awarded the national Right to Information (RTI) Award by Public Cause Research Foundation (PCRF) for his role in exposing the 1.25 crore scam in Sampoorna Gram Rozgar Yojna (SGRY) and Rs 60 lakh scam in the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) in Golaghat district of Assam by using the RTI Act. He donated the entire sum of Rs. 2lakhs of the Award to his organisation Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti.
Early life and Initial Activities
Akhil Gogoi was born on 1 March 1976 in Lukhurakhon village of Selenghat, Jorhat, Assam. He attended the Cotton College, Guwahati during 1993-1996, where he studied English literature. He was the general secretary of the college students union for two consecutive years. Soon he joined the United Revolutionary Movement Council of Assam(URMCA), a mass organisation of CPI-ML-PCC under the leadership of naxalite leader Santosh Rana. However, by the end of 1990s he broke with Rana and devoted himself as an editor of Notun Padatik, an independent Marxist journal published in Assamese, along with Dr Hiren Gohain. Gogoi lives in Guwahati of Assam along with his wife and son.
Anti Big Dam Movement
Since mid-2009, Gogoi has been leading a state-wide movement against construction of big dams in the ecologically sensitive regions of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. In particular, his organisation KMSS demands immediate halt to the ongoing construction of the dam of Lower Subansiri, a mega hydroelectric power project under NHPC with an estimated capacity of 2000 MW.
A Crusader Against Corruption
For some time, he was also associated with Anna Hazare led anti-graft campaign India against Corruption. However, he broke with IAC after some of the IAC members decided to form a political party. Explaining his reasons to resign from IAC,Gogoi said that the support IAC had received was only for building up a strong and sustained mass movement against rampant corruption, and not floating an election centred political party.
In April 2010, a secret report of the Assam government alleged that Akhil Gogoi had close connections with CPI-Maoist. Gogoi challenged the report and dared the Assam government to prove the allegation. Intellectuals across the country including Magsaysay Award Winner Sandeep Pandey and Medha Patkar condemned the government for trying to implicate the activist. In an interview with NDTV, Akhil Gogoi said, "I am a Marxist and I do believe in social transformation. But I am not a Maoist. They don't believe in mass activities. We at KMSS are trying to organise the masses for radical change.But the attempt of the government to implicate me as a Maoists shows their frustration because they have been unable to contain the growing popularity of KMSS". It created an embarrassment for the Assam government and the matter was dropped thereafter.
Recently Akhil and his comrades in KMSS have opened a number of provisional retail outlets in different parts of Guwahati city to facilitate direct access of rural peasantry with urban markets. Claiming it as an alternative to FDI in Retail as well as mafia-run-syndicates, Akhil and his organisation have expressed their plans to open more outlets in the city on a permanent basis. These outlets will be run by the peasants themselves and will sell agrarian products on a drastically lower price, removing the middleman in between. On the very first day of the opening of the outlets, more than hundred quintals of vegetables have been reported to be sold within a few hours.
AKHIL GOGOI has started crusade against the land Mafia like Prithnia who have bought thousand of bighas of agricultural land in rural Kamrup.Govt is presently doing investigation into the matter based on the allegation of Akhil Gogoi run KMSS.
For an academic treatment of some of the movements led by Akhil Gogoi and his KMSS, see "Forest Land and Peasant Struggles in Assam 2002-2007" by Arupjyoti Saikia
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