India

Assam, Violence and Media

Mohammed Rahmath for BeyondHeadlines

As atrocities on non Bodos still continuing in Assam, many weird things are happening. The violence on minorities in the state has claimed over 200 lives so far and 4 lack people were forced to live in relief camps. In the meantime, communal forces such as RSS, VHP and their-alike are busy in communalizing the issue to gain a foothold in North-Eastern states.

In a recently organized seminar, BJP President Nitin Gadkary said, “the Bodo Hindus are being attacked by the Bangladeshi Muslims”. While the tone in which he addressed the audience was good, he failed to put the ‘facts’ in front of the people.

The opposition intends to exploit the issue as much as possible; and with this violence the chances of BJP getting more number of seats in future elections grow. During his speech, Gadkary said it is not Hindu Vs Muslim issue, rather it is “Bodo Hindus Vs Bangladeshi Muslims”.

He said that Muslim in Assam came from Bangladesh and occupied the resources and got the electoral identity cards, resulting into growing Muslim population in some of the districts such as Kokrajhar and Dhubri.

Gadkari demanded to consider these Indian citizens as ‘infiltrators’; a ridiculous demand by the leader of the opposition. For instance, if we believe that Gadkary is true in his statement that 4 lack Muslims are illegal immigrants, then the issue must be moved to Judiciary. Who these perpetrator of violence are to take the law into own hands. Branding Indian citizens as infiltrators and posing them as security threat is obnoxious.

The Congress-ruled state government failed to control the violence, which resulted in a humanitarian crisis. Among many things, a small school which has capacity to accomodate only 400 people has become a shelter for over 6000 violence-hit people. Prime Minister Manmonhan Singh said that the Assam incidents are bolt on the nation. But mere words won’t heal the wounds, what is needed is rehabilitation of the displaced.

People all over India have started helping the afflicted ones on humanitarian grounds. Meanwhile, suddenly the ‘Exodus’ issue came up. Why the North-Eastern people started leaving places like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai? For instance, many of them in Hyderabad work in security forces and live in Madhapur area, a comparably safer place. Therefore, the question is – Why they started moving back to their places? Where it started? Who are forcing them to do so? These things must be taken up by intelligence agencies and police.

A closer look at the matter shows that not a single incident of attack on Assamese or threat to them to evacuate was report. But media has made it frontline news. Is it not a sheer conspiracy to distract whole India from the persecution happening on minorities in Assam? Earlier we have noticed repreated violence by Maharashtra Nav Nirman Sena(MNS) in Mumbai on non-maratha (Hindi speaking) people and the ruckus they had created , but media did not reported the issue fairly. In Mangalore, a group of radical Siv Ram Sena members dragged men and women from a bar and manhandled them. No cases of threatening were booked.

Despite attempts of distraction, the ground reality is that lacks of people became homeless, thousands of children are suffering from various diseases, and hundreds of pregnant women are living in poor health conditions in Assam.

Bodos warned Muslims not to return to their homes and post violence thier houses were gutted by Bodo militants. In the meantime, why Bodos are setting up fake relief camps? Why so much cry for ‘exodus issue’. Why special trains are organised by railways? What happend to police? Why Sangh Parivar people patroling at railway stations? Why the ‘exodus’ issue did spread more than the Bodos attack on Muslims? All these questions remain unanswered?

The government should take immediate actions to rehabilitate the displaced people of Assam and set up an high level committee to probe the recent ‘exodus’ issue and bring the perpetrators to the justice.

(Author is associated with Professionals Solidarity Forum. He can be reached at rahmath.shadan@gmail.com. The views expressed here are personal.) 

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