Assam Riots:Political Insensitivity?
Fire, doom and despair.. this is the situation which has been persisting in the lower region of Assam for the past one week. Almost 4 lakh people are now homeless and are availing the facilities of 250 plus relief camps. The death toll in the region has risen to 48 people in the past seven days. Central forces are now present in Assam and the Indian army has now stepped in to restore peace and have taken charge of the security. BSF, CRPF and the state police are patrolling the riot hit areas.
This situation in the lower region of Assam has left everyone jolted and only one question looms in our mind: What is the Assam Government doing? Is human life of no value for the Congress party and Tarun Gogoi, the Chief Minister of Assam? The central government once again has failed the common man, and this time it has left aam janta bleeding and helpless.
Assam has always been a troubled area; earlier the most horrific incident in Assam was the Nellie massacre of 1983, which took the lives of almost 2,500 individuals and saw many displaced people. The root cause of the problem dates back to the ethnic clashes which started in 1960’s and 1970’s when illegal immigration started. Bangladesh being a poor country at that time, many people faced poverty and were unemployed. Bengali speaking Muslims started migrating illegally to Assam region for shelter and job. Initially, at that time, the congress government supported this immigration in order to garner vote bank. With the passage of time, these immigrants started to take control of lands and resources and thus, the clash between the tribals, the Bodos and the Muslims began.
If this problem of communal tension has been an ongoing affair for the past 5 decades, the question which comes to mind is what this inaction? Why didn’t the government initiate talks between the communities earlier? Tarun Gogoi has been the Chief Minister of Assam for the third term now; and still he fails to take up responsibility of his state. Why is it that our government always wakes up after a gory traumatic incident as this? Questions are many.. answers are few.
There is still no clear evidence as to what triggered the current violence situation. Speculations have been made regarding land encroachment problems which might have lead to present crises. The first incident which came into limelight was the death of four people in the Joypur village followed by counterattacks and attacks. The situation turned worse when four former cadres of the disbanded rebellious group Bodoland Liberation Tigers were hacked to death by the mob.
Today, a loom hovers over Assam regions: Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Chirang and Bongaigaon. Tarun Gogoi claims that Assam is not burning and that the situation is over hyped by the media. The opposition has politicized this incident and is drawing parallels between Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat who is criticized for his involvement in the Godra Riots and Tarun Gogi, who is criticized for not taking adequate actions to curb the violence in the state. In all this drama, Assam continues to burn and tears shed by the commoner (be it a Bodo, Hindu or Muslim) goes unnoticed and unanswered.