Being an Assam instinctive, I am very distressed and disturbed reading about a new-age atrocities happening in Assam. I wonder what has been named erroneous by the people now? Why are there so many barbarities and communal riots happening in Assam? November 1, 2018, five young Bengali-speaking daily workers were killed in a Bengali-dominated area of Sadiya Saikhowaghat, Bisonimukh village of Tinsukia district, Assam. People and the police suspect the ULFA—United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent). Yet, a spectator said that there were five to six gunslingers who came and snatched those five people. The dupes have been recognised as Shyamal Biswas (60), Ananta Biswas (18), Abhinash Biswas (23), Subal Das (60) and Dhananjay Namasudra (23).
In Assam, this type of incident is not a new one. Earlier also we faced such incidents but the government has done nothing about it. This makes me wonder: are our lives here so low-cost? Is there any security and safety for us? Does the government have sufficient time to look after these issues rather than just unveiling stone structures? I guess no.
In July 2012, communal riots between ethnic Bodos and Bengali-speaking Muslims (mostly settlers of Bangladeshi origin) occurred. As per the reports and data as of 8 August 2012, 77 people had died and over 400,000 people were taken into 270 relief camps, after being banished from nearly 400 villages. What did the government do to stop it? NOTHING. Just blaming each other, and searching for who is a Muslim and who is a Hindu!
In India, we have so many disputes other than just Hindu-Muslim uprisings. Just to grab a seat of political power, the political agenda has been Hindu-Muslim riots, since the beginning. On November 29, 2016, 27-year-old Morjina Bibi faced harassment because of this. She was woken up by frequent knocks on her door, she opened the door and saw two female police officers standing. Then some other policemen forcibly moved into her house and asked her to go with them. The reason was that she was seen as a “Suspicious” or “D” voter–a theory introduced by India’s Election Commission in 1997. And, on July 17, 2017 she was free after it turned out she was a case of false identity. She was unable to eat or sleep. What could she do? NOTHING. Based on just assumptions you cannot just attack somebody’s house at midnight and take them to jail.
And what happened with the incident of Nilotpal Das and Abhijeet Nath? I haven’t seen any kind of strong and bold step from our government, despite all of these happenings. However, Assam’s Barak Valley has larger concerns than the problem of being Assamese or Bengali or from other aboriginal tribes. The main matter is the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016. The Citizenship Act 1955 allowed illegitimate settlers of six communities (Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians) from three countries (Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan) to apply for Indian citizenship. However, Muslims do not find a single mention in the Bill. For this, each and everyday people are facing atrocities.
What I want to say is the government is oblivious or rather it doesn’t care about the North-Eastern area. Where are the laws? Where is the government? Maybe busy chewing some betel nuts with chaai, isn’t it? Or planning to erect another statue? Or maybe planning to make India more digital in an inconsistent way? Are all these things more important than the lives of citizens? Maybe.
There are so many concerns we face today and the needless fights are making me sick.
Last month, in Silchar, Assam, a young girl was brutally harassed and attacked by a mob suspecting her of having an affair with a Muslim guy. Later, when she went to the police, they didn’t register her complaint. That guy was her brother, by the way.
So, this is the way are growing!
Just take a minute from your busy schedule and think: is this the country which we dreamt of? You will get an answer.