Friday, July 27, 2012

Assam riots 2012: How can Congress government escape blame or claim moral high ground in dealing with communal violence over BJP anymore?

Map shows Kokrajhar's location in Muslim
[*First an appeal that all of us must stand united against those who are fanning hatred and trying to create scare among the mind of students from North East through Twitter or Facebook. Don't believe in rumours.]

The clashes between Bodos and Muslims in Assam, have so far claimed the lives of 45* persons and have rendered thousands homeless apart from large scale destruction of property.

Its not a day or two but almost an entire week has passed and scattered violence is still being reported.

This is a huge failure on part of the administration. Congress leaders may claim that the situation can't be compared with the Gujarat 2002.

But the Chief Minister of Assam, Tarun Gogoi, his government, and his police, failed to control the situation in his state.

One of the worst riots since 2002

Even as violence spread from Kokrajhar to neighbouring districts, the lack of will on part of the state government in checking violence, was evident. It is a fact that since 2002, Gujarat has not seen a major riot and even if there was a riot, it would have led to an uproar in media.

But during the initial days of Assam riots, national TV channels ignored it [Just like in the past when ULFA was involved, and news gained prominence when HuJI was named]. The fact is that after Gujarat 2002,  Assam 2012 are one of the worst ethnic-religious communal riots in India, save for the period when anti-Christian violence occurred in Karnataka and Kerala.

Does Congress have moral high ground left over BJP!

Still, Congress leaders give an impression so as to appear morally superior to BJP. They have no right to do so. Tarun Gogoi didn't seem in control. And, now he passes the buck on Centre, as to why Army was not sent initially?  So why did he not ask for it earlier?



Or the rules are different for riots in a Congress-ruled state? Congress-led UPA is at the helm at the centre and it is expected to rein in rioters of both sides as early as possible. After all, Prime Minister of India, is a member of parliament [in Rajya Sabha] representing Assam.

In the North East, there has been a history of such violence as the region is home to several tribes. One instantly remembers the horrific Naga-Kuki clashes in Manipur. The difference is that when one of the side involved in violence is Muslim, the debate totally shifts to 'infiltration' and 'illegal immigration'.

Humanitarian crisis: Don't see it from communal prism

On social networking websites, often the extent of violence aside, debate shifts as to which community suffered more and hence becomes a Hindu Vs Muslim issue rather than the killing of Indian citizens including women and children.

The worst example is how people searching for number of dead belonging to their own communities. Anyone who has a blog or site, would tell how statistics shows visitors searching for figure of dead Hindus and Muslims. Isn't it a shame!

No denying infiltration but the fact that media persons termed entire Muslim populace as 'migrant settlers' is also highly objectionable. There are reports that the militant NDFB [National Democratic Front for Bodoland] was responsible for the ethnic riots.

Role of NDFB, Bodo groups: But what about govt accountability?

CNN-IBN website carries this report. The NDFB is well-known for its involvement in subversive activities and it also has Bangladeshi connection. 

But just that it is not a Muslim group, it can't be absolved. Rather than sweeping statements about religious factors, there is need to look at the crisis from a humanitarian angle.

Similarly, blaming a group is easy. These are political tactics to shift the onus, and save self from accountability. 

But it can't Congress' record in dealing with communal riots is well-known. Just that focus is always less on North East, didn't work this time. A death in Gurgaon or two killed in Meerut always make more news because of proximity to New Delhi.

But no longer. Media had to finally realise the gravity of the situation. Time for Congress to take a decision on Tarun Gogoi. [*This is the official figure. Though victims claim that the real figure of those who died and people affected is much higher.]


A strange trend of terming almost all Assamese Muslims as Bangladeshis was noted in this context recently. This is wrong. Illegal immigration is wrong. We oppose it. But terming indigenous Muslims as Bangladeshis will lead to unnecessary tensions.


1. Why Advani is wrong on Assam: The bogey of illegal migration
2. Reading the Assam violence
3. MUST-READ: The MYTH of the BANGLADESHI: Nilim Dutta's article with facts a figures on the reality behind this violence

Blame NDFB for violence: It was plan for ethnic cleansing. CNN-IBN report

Past post on this blog on the issue of Bangladeshi immigration:
1. Branding the Bangladeshi Migrant....
2. Infiltration: Nepali migrants Vs Bangladeshi

Earlier post on this blog on ignoring North East in national media
1. 21 Indians killed but no eyebrows raised over...
2. 9 Hindi speakers killed, 16 cops shot but...
3. Nine terror attacks in ten days but none leads to outrage as NDFB, Naxals, ULFA involved

FINALLY, once again the appeal. Don't believe in rumours. The violence was controlled long back. Even Prime Minister visited Assam. One hopes that the victims, both Bodos and Muslims, would return to their homes soon. Discourage rumour-mongers.

Good to see Muslim groups clearing air and issuing statements that if Assam students feel unsafe, they are welcome at mosques and in Muslim homes in Bangalore & Hyderabad. Muslims should also stop coming to streets and holding protests. Mobs often go violent as in the case of Mumbai recently.

[*Later update.]