Assam’s largest family draws attention ahead of Lok Sabha polls

A family in Assam’s Sonitpur district, with 2500 members and 1200 eligible voters, attracts political parties' attention as Lok Sabha elections approach. The Mojo India's Anup Sharma writes about the dynamics of this vast family and its influence on the upcoming polls.

Assam’s largest family draws attention ahead of Lok Sabha polls
Assam’s largest family draws attention ahead of Lok Sabha polls

Guwahati, April 10: As the Lok Sabha elections are nearing in, a family in Assam’s Sonitpur district has grabbed attention of the political parties and candidates contesting the elections.

The extended family of Late Ron Bahadur Thapa of Nepali Pam village in the district located near the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border has 2500 members and out of them, there are 1200 eligible voters.

The Sonitpur Lok Sabha constituency is going to the polls in the first phase of polling on April 19 along with four other Lok Sabha constituencies—Kaziranga, Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh and Jorhat.

The members of Thapa family which was divided into 300 families reside near to each other in Nepali Pam village in the district and it is believed the members follow the family elders’ advice. The political parties and candidates are not only maintaining close coordination with the Thapa elders but also doing every bit to ensure that the votes are cast on their favour.

“We are a large family. The family grew as my father five times and he has 22 children. Earlier we all used to live under one roof when my father was alive. But when we –all the sons and daughters got married and started growing families, it became difficult for us to live together,” said Til Bahadur Thapa, son of Late Ron Bahadur Thapa and the head of the village now.

“However, my father always wanted the family to live close by. When the daughters of the family are married off, my father ensured that they have lands nearly to live. Thus the family lineage grew to 300 families who lives in the Nepali Pam village,” Til Bahadue said adding that out of the 22 children of Ron Bahadue, 12 are boys and ten are girls.

“There are 65 grandsons and 70 granddaughters in the extended family now and we have total 2500 members in the family,” he said adding that although they are more into agriculture there are a few of them who had opted for jobs and business now.

Asked about the forthcoming elections, Til Bahadur, however, said that the political parties and candidates come to them like they go anywhere. “The candidates and party members contact me as the village head. However, voting is an individual decision and I do not tell anyone to vote for any particular candidate,” said Til Bahadur.

“The children of today’s generation are very smart. They are educated also so they cast their votes as per their choice,” said a happy Til Bahadur thapa.