Pabitra Gogoi (second from right) with Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma (centre_ and AGP President Atul Bora (second from left)

We are all familiar with stories of small-town lads making it big and being catapulted to positions of power and prestige, especially in India today, where the Prime Minister and most of the leaders in the states and centre have risen from extremely humble backgrounds.

In Assam today, one name that has gathered huge attention is that of Pabitra Margherita. Hailing from the small town of Margherita in the Tinsukia district of Assam, Pabitra Gogoi Margherita started his career in media, television and cinema at the age of twenty-four, when he worked as an editor of the monthly magazines Maya and SareGama, which became very popular among the youth during the late 90s. He thereafter produced several audio and video albums that showcased the folk culture of Assam mainly through Bihu songs, starting from the album, Jonbai.

He worked wonders in the cultural scenario of Assam and became a household name through his roles as an anchor, programme designer, creative head, judge in many talent-hunt shows, and has also acted as an actor in one of the lead roles in the movie Monjai which was both critically acclaimed and was a commercial success.

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In the movie, Pabitra plays the character of Nayan, a simple, dedicated young boy hailing from a lower-middle-class family, struggling to get a job despite his merit. While the movie is an interesting depiction of the lives of four young people struggling for survival, his dialogue in the movie, “Moi Bhagi pora nai. Moi janu, mur u edin ahibo,” has been proven true. He strived on, with patience, perseverance and a million-dollar smile.

Margherita joined the BJP in 2014 and since then, has served the party in various capacities. He has served as the Chairman of Jyoti Chitraban, as the Spokesperson of the BJP and also recently assumed responsibility as the Member Secretary of the State Level Advisory Committee for Student and Youth Welfare. He has been extremely static and unwavering concerning issues of national concern and stood by his position during the CAA Movement, despite him and his actor wife, Gayatri Mahanta, being brutally criticised and even banned by many organisations all over Upper Assam.

These organisations threatened Margherita’s family, including his parents. But he braved through it all, stood by his word and commitment to his party and even launched an intellectual fight against the movement along with Shri Jayanta Mallah Barua. This is a reason that he was praised by all across party boundaries and beyond.

He was given the responsibility of the entire publicity, creativity and content generation for the BJP in the General Elections of 2019 and Assembly elections of 2016 and 2021 in Assam was managed by Margherita and one more colleague. The famous Election song for the BJP in Assam, Ako Ebar Modi Sarkar for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections was produced by Margherita, along with the 2016 Assembly election campaign song, Sokolute Ananda Sarbananda. 

In 2021, while Congress hired a group from Chandigarh named ‘DesignBoxed’, the BJP stuck with Margherita and his mastery in publicity and management. During the campaign, he was made the co-convener of the party, with Dilip Saikia, MP from Mangaldoi, the convener. 

One peculiarity of Margherita is that he is one person who is loved by all, across party hierarchies, right from the youth leaders and Karyakartas belonging to all rungs of the party as well as veteran leaders of both the Sangh and the BJP, one reason probably being the fact that he never really demanded anything from the party, and dedicatedly worked his way to the position where he is in today.

As he gears to be elected to the Rajya Sabha today, he inspires many, especially youth belonging to different socio-ethnic backgrounds with limited resources to dream big, stick to one’s vision and work with wholehearted dedication. With his characteristic patience, he also qualifies for the idea of the ‘Politics of Patience’, practised by the Sangh Parivar and the BJP.

Swaswati Borkataki is a freelance writer and PhD Scholar in JNU, New Delhi.

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