By Rajkumar Bobichand
Now, a number of mainstream media seem try to display deliberately the peoples from India’s Northeast (Nowersesia) as panic-prone and vulnerable to rumours. Moreover, a number of mainstream media and mainland academics seem always look from mainland India’s Hindu-Muslim paradigm and narrow prism of looking as communal riot between two religions.
All these reports, writings and discussions follow after the Government of India blamed on SMA/MMS rumours allegedly originated from Pakistan for the violent actions against the peoples of the region who are studying or working in big cities of mainland India particularly, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai etc and consequently the mass exodus of the natives of the region.
They, except few, don’t try to understand the context, the region and its peoples well. Instead their seemingly concerted efforts try to display the Assam Violent conflict on Hindu-Muslim riot as happened in mainland India. By saying this doesn’t mean that the violent conflict between the Bodos and Bangladeshi (Bengali speaking Muslims) immigrants should be left uncondemned and allowed to continue. Unless inhuman, there will be no one who can enjoy at the occurrence of violent conflict in the region.
The exodus of the natives of India’s Northeast from big cities of mainland India is also not the reversal of globalisation. Instead, the influencing mainstream media and mainland academics should try to deeply analyse and disseminate what are the structures and systems that make the present exodus. It is not that much easy as saying it is due to rumours. It is pertinent to ask why Bangalore is prominent.
They also fail to understand all Bodos are not Hindu – some Bodos are Vaishnavite Hindus, some are Christians and some are animists. Mainstream media and mainland academics seem don’t bother to analyse why the relation between the natives of Assam and Bangladeshi (Bengali speaking Muslims) reach this violent stage. They fail to know that Manipur and Tripura were never a part of Assam. Are they deliberately insisting that the Manipur and Tripura along with other states are carved out of the erstwhile Assam after the North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act of 1971? They can see only the tip of the iceberg. They can’t see or even try to see where the tip of the iceberg rest or what lies under the surface of water.
But most of them agree that India’s nation-building project in the Northeast suffered a big blow the moment the first special train carrying the fleeing passengers crossed over the Siliguri corridor.
Mainland India still can’t understand how resilient the peoples of India’s Northeast are. How dynamic these peoples are. They fail to know how adaptive and accommodative the peoples of the region are. They still don’t know the peoples of the region are calm unless their limit of tolerance is perturbed. They also don’t know how quiet and soft-spoken as compared to the mainland Indians. Those people who visited India’s Northeast will know how friendly and hospitable the peoples of the region are. Very few mainland Indians acknowledge that peoples from this region move in the big cities of mainland India for jobs and professions for which they have distinctive skill advantage, the added strength of work ethic, dignity of labour and casteless, classless social equality and egalitarian societies. And very few acknowledge how indispensable they are to the booming services sector in the big cities. However, because of distinct and different physical features, cultures and race, it is now a reality that the proud
Indian society cannot accept the people of Northeast in their social fabrics.
Now, deputy chief minister of Karnataka has visited India’s Northeast (Nowersesia) particularly Assam and Manipur to woo back the lost trust and confidence of the peoples of the region in the big cities of mainland India particularly his capital city Bangalore.
However, the fear and insecurity of the natives of India’s Northeast (Nowersesia) still remains in mainland India. It is not baseless. It is also not between Hindu and Muslims as happened in mainland India. The one who was thrown out of the Guwahati bound train and killed is a Meitei Pangal (Manipuri Muslim) from Manipur. Meitei Pangal’s physical features are not much different from the other natives of the region. If it is a fear of attack by Muslims against the natives of Northeast, would Mausem Ahmed from Assam who attended the Bangalore meeting after the outbreak of exodus have the same feeling as his compatriots of the region? If feeling of fear and insecure of the natives of the region in mainland is not a reality and fact should Mausem Ahmed from got up during question hour in the meeting and asked the audience. “What shall I do? When I was coming to your meeting, my parents called to say, `Beta don’t go, stay indoors. And come back home soon to Guwahati.’ I feel alone although I have many friends. What do you suggest for students like me?’
“There has been no major incident of violence in Karnataka. There has (have) only been a few minor incidents of verbal threats.” Karnataka deputy chief minister, R Ashoka said on 25 August 2012 on a three day to the Northeast. Should verbal threats be taken lightly in the context of violent attacks and continuing racial profiling of the region’s peoples in mainland India? This reaffirms that there is something deeper to be analysed and addressed. Will the Karnataka government’s reach out to India’s Northeast by Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka help build confidence and trust of the region’s native peoples? It is uncertain.
Therefore, the agenda before peoples of India’s Northeast not to face the situation again is still to unite as one and move forward for a lasting solution to struggle non-violently and build a new and better relation with India.