By Rajkumar Bobichand
Violent conflict between Bodos and Bangladeshi Muslims (Bengali speaking immigrant Muslims) in Assam is neither a fake nor a fiction. The violent ethnic conflict between the indigenous Bodos of Assam and Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants is now happening and real.
Consequently, the violent conflict in Assam reverberates across India. And natives of India’s Northeast, which may also be known as Nowersesia (North-Western Region of Southeast Asia) are attacked in the big cities of India mainly, Pune and Bangalore. This is not the first time attack against the natives of the region in mainland India. Only the nature of attack is different. This time feeling of insecure for the natives of India’s Northeast (Nowersesia) cannot be tolerated and exodus continues.
Authorities of Government of India and state governments concerned claim that it is a rumour and no natives of the Northeast is attacked in mainland India. Further, Government of India claims that the spread of rumour for the “Hate Campaign” against the natives of India’s Northeast (Nowersesia) across mainland India originated from Pakistan. On the other hand, Pakistan rejected the charges that morphed pictures of violence in Assam (Bodos and Bangladeshi immigrants) and Myanmar (Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims) which sparked an exodus of the natives of India’s Northeast (Nowersesia) who are studying or working. Pakistan further said these were “cooked up” charges.
Attack on the natives of the region in Pune and Bangalore were reported in India’s many reliable and respected newspapers and other electronic media. Whether these attacks are rumour or not, rumour is a mixture of truth and untruth. One thing we must not forget that all rumour is not all untruths. So we must not take it easily because, whether the reported attacks against the natives of India’s Northeast (Nowersesia) is a rumour or not, exodus of the natives of the region who are studying or working in the big cities of mainland India is now neither a fake nor a fiction. It is now a real and fact that even special train services are arranged to facilitate the smooth departure of the natives of the region from the big cities of mainland India.
Now, the Government of India to control the exodus of the natives of the Northeast (Nowersesia) from the big cities of India restricts sending of bulk SMS/MMS and bans some internet websites, which are considered encouraging the attacks and inflammatory. Even the internet services in Manipur were made unavailable for few hours on Monday (20 August 2012) evening. However, the question remains – Will these steps resolve the conflict and address the roots of the conflict? Will this stop exodus of the natives of India’s Northeast (Nowersesia) from the big cities of India? Will this help the natives of the region feel secure and safe in mainland India?
Because security is one of the Basic Human Needs, which cannot be compromised. Safety is utmost need for survival of a human being. Security is indivisible. We know that security is the need to feel safe, to feel assured that they know what is going to happen, to know ahead of time what the plans are. Security is the safety of a human being. What constitutes Security can be different for different people depending upon the context. Safety/Security is the need for structure, predictability, stability, and freedom from fear and anxiety. Cultural security is related to identity, the need for recognition of one’s language, traditions, religion, cultural values, ideas, and concepts.
It is now pertinent to ask a number of questions. Is security just having lots of money in the bank? Is security just having a planned savings/retirement programme? Is security just having a secure job? Is security just having a house, home and family? Is security just having a dependable and luxurious car? Is security just paying off the mortgage or having no debts? Is security just having excellent personal and family health, or health insurance that covers any possibility? Is security just having life insurance to protect their family? Is security just having deep personal faith or personal conviction that they will be okay regardless of what happens in the world? Is security just carrying a gun or having a way to protect oneselves? Does security just know their personal family history, or ethnic background? Is security just living in a gated/guarded community? Is security just living near friends and family? Is security just living in a multi-storied RCC building surrounded by high brick walls with guarded gate?
Natives of India’s Northeast (Nowersesia) migrate to the big cities of India for many reasons. Some are really to pursue better education, higher studies and many professional and technical courses. Some genuinely need to work and earn there to survive and support their families back home in India’s Northeast (Nowersesia). Some are sent by their families because they feel that their children will not get proper education if they study in the conflict situation of the region. Nouveau-riche families of India’s Northeast (Nowersesia) particularly, Manipur send their children in big cities of India to keep them away from their society and enjoy a smooth life there. Some are sent by the overnight and nouveau-riche families just to enjoy the status quo of the society. Nouveau-riche families of India’s Northeast (Nowersesia) particularly Manipur migrate to big cities of India and settle there as they feel insecure with their properties and want to live a materialistic and lavish life in the big cities.
However, the reality is now different from what the natives of the Northeast (Nowersesia) think that Bangalore was one of the safest and pleasant cities in India where natives of the region can study and work without fear.
Now, the natives of India’s Northeast (Nowersesia) really feel insecure and fear in many places of mainland India as their lives and security is threatened. The phenomenon is one of the manifestations of structural violence against the cultural security of the natives of India’s Northeast (Nowersesia) whom mainland Indians call “Chinkee” who are racially, culturally and linguistically different from mainland India.
This is now the time for people of the India’s Northeast (Nowersesia) to unite as one and move forward to struggle non-violently with high resilience to meet their security (one of the basic human needs) and build a new and better relation with India.