Sunday, July 29, 2012
Ethnic violence in India: assam, Bodos, Bangladesh Muslims and thge Indian State
A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books Ethnic violence on a large scale has broken out in the North Eastern state of Assam, India. This state has witnessed frequent outbreaks of violence between indigenous tribal groups, the Bodos on the one hand and migrants from Bangla desh, Bengali Muslims on the other. The stast government which is controlled by the Congress Party which also is the dominant faction in the UPA, the coalition in power, has abetted in the illegal settlement of Bangla Deshis in the bordering districts, particularly Khokrajar District, as the Muslims tend to vote for the Congress Party. By playing on the fears of the illegal migrants and by pandering to identity politics of the worst kind the Congress has been able to remain in power. Tarun Gogoi, the presnt Chief Minister, was recently reelected to power. The indigenous tribal population is under increasing pressure and tribal lands are falling into the hands of the migrant population and Bodos feel threatened and vulnerable. The State Government is usually intervenes on the side of the migrant population. The border between India and Bangla Desh is extremely porous and large scale illegal immigration is taking place. The Central Government which signed an Accord with the All Assam Students Union which led an agitation against the illegal immigrants, some 20 years back, committed itself to the detection, deletion, and detention of illegal; immigrants from Bangla Desh. However, given the fact that India is a soft state, the Accord was not ever implemented and the situation has further escalated. The more militant among the Muslim migrants from Bangla Desh who receive arms and training from Pakistan have begun a campaign of terror against the Bodos. This is not to say that the Bodos are a peaceable lot. However, the Bodos are being symptomatically attacked and driven from their land and consequently more than 250,000 Bodos have been displaced from their villages and are living in refugee camps. Over the past 3 to 4 weeks a silent tragedy has been unfo9lding in Assam. Bodos are being evicted from their settlements and the Central Government is both unable and unwilling to do anything about it. The State Government as I said earlier is alo9s under the Congress and the Party relies on the votes of the illegal migrants and hence the state government is also quiet. Ethnic cleansing over large swathes of Bodo land has been taking place over the past 40 to 50 years and now the Bodos living in the very heartland of Bodoland, Khokrajar District, are being terrorized. Post Colonial states as V S Naipaul keeps reminding us ever so often are half made societies and are tethering on the brink of chaos. I think the people of Assam are paying dearly for their foolishness in voting the Congress Party to power ans Assam now is awash in blood and only the Congress is responsible for the violence and bloodshed.