Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Assam Violence – A Direct Fallout Of Votebank Politics
Tarun Gagoi has missed the plot by a galaxy distance. Or maybe more. Repeated instances of violence erupting in the state, resulting in loss of life and valuable, only shows the incompetency of the chief minister. It even becomes more critical as he also unfortunately happens to be the home minister of the state as well. The latest ethnic violence that is rapidly engulfing the north-west part of the state is yet another example of the failure of the state machinery in controlling the mob since everyone was quite aware of the brewing unrest for a long time and still no action was taken to nip it in the bud. More than a lakh and half of people are already displaced and taking shelter in makeshift refugee camps, already 38 people (till last reports received) have lost their lives and around 25000 passengers strangled at various places of the state are few parameters to judge the scale of the calamity which is rapidly turning into the largest humanitarian crisis in our country since independence.
If sources are to be believed then everyone including the police chiefs were aware of the deteriorating situation from July 5th. The worsening situation by the hours was aware to Tarun Gagoi as being the home minister. Yet no steps were taken to pacify the situation and the people in power conveniently slept over it as if it is a non-issue. Now from Kokrajhar to Sirang, half of Assam is up in flames with every possibility of it spreading to the remaining half sooner than later. While it was well within limits to control it by using the state machinery alone, the politicians and law-and-order protectors looked the other way and let the situation gravitate to a level that 20000 odd army personnel needed to be called in to control the situation. And what we got to hear from the chief minister on this? ‘The government of the state shouldn’t be blamed’. This statement not only shows the CM is still as much concerned as he was to begin with but also the insensitive and idiotic attitude towards all those innocents who quite unnecessarily have to lose their lives. But the real scary part of the statement is the lack of conviction in controlling the situation and an outright clueless approach on the issue at hand, which doesn’t give much confidence that such unfortunate incidents are not going to repeat in future, and a very near one at that. In nutshell when his own state is up in flames, this idiot is running all around the place convincing people, his high command and media of his innocence than taking steps to stop it.
That said can we really blame Tarun Gagoi entirely for this mess? I mean, could he really have avoided such situation to arise all of his own? Even though a big association of him in letting this chaos to galvanize can’t be ruled out, yet still he can’t be blamed for everything.
Here is the thing. The first reportage of the clash came in the form of a very surprising official statement. It read – ‘There is an ethnic clash between the indigenous tribal and settled Muslims’. The crux of the nuisance seems to lie in the very official statement that is released to the media. The first question that arises from it is, what is this settled Muslims nonsense is all about and how you can define one to be that? If you say the phrase is self-explanatory in nature as it means the Muslims not native to that place but migrated there to settle then isn’t every Muslim in India falls to that category? Aren’t the Muslims of Gujarat also are settled Muslims then? We in India never had Muslims as its original constituent. All of them have migrated and settled here. Didn’t they? Why so specific about the Muslims of Assam then? Or is there more to it than just a statement? Though the gray heads issuing such statements are not quite aware of the veracity of the statement they are delivering, it still remains something which should deeply be analyzed. Though it can be termed as an innocent mistake and rectified later, as they did with this statement as well, yet the underneath truth shouldn’t be brushed under the carpet.
The truth is, when it comes to Assam, we have a healthy 30% of the population as Muslim. And most of them are migrants and that too illegal. Here the word migrant has some literal meaning because they are the refugees from Bangladesh who keep on crowding the state every day. The porous and unprotected border line with Bangladesh is not helping the cause either. Even the attempt of Vajpayee government to seal the border by fencing didn’t materialize fully because of a hostile terrain that contains rivers and rare forest land. Though it still could have been done in some manner, the succeeding government of UPA just didn’t heed into this matter of national security and concern. For reasons best known to the big mouths of Congress the activities of fencing were abruptly stopped once they took over in 2004. This lead to a mammoth 600 odd kilometer of border line that still is not fenced nor monitored the way it should be. Random cattle traders, timber traders and other petty criminals keep on switching sides as per their convenience. The movement on this unmanned international border is so rampant that it has become a route to heaven for many narcotics traders. Since we have become too vigilant at our borders with Pakistan, we even can’t rule out this passage being turned into a safe gateway for Jehadis to infiltrate into our country. Lakhs of Bangladeshi migrate to our country every year without any objection and settle on the tribal Bodo lands disguised as natives.
Now the question is – What the government is doing to stop this? And the answer is nothing. The government is doing nothing, not because there is a lack of avenues, fund or manpower but because they don’t want to. Free entry to outsiders in Assam hence is more out of design than compulsion. The Congress party which seems head-over-heels in patronizing these immigrants to the hilt doesn’t stop at that. Rather coming on them with heavy hands these guys embrace them with motherly affection. They are issued with ration card, voter ID and even BPL card in due course of time. In a matter of couple of years, the Congress in connivance with few sycophants turned NGOs work overtime in transforming these bloody refugees as our own citizens. And this systematic approach at sabotaging our national integrity is going on for decades together. There are even instances of refugees standing for election on the basis of the official documents supplied to them. These migrants who have swelled exponentially in last decade or so, even now are in majority in many tribal parts of Assam. And these are the same rascals who time and again show their original color by pouncing on the innocent native citizens in the name of their bloody religion. Even though it is not that big a worry, worrisome is the behavior of our government every time such untoward incident happen, which at best in a civilized way can be termed as ‘Ostrich like attitude’.
Now one wonders; why all this? How come a responsible government can allow this to happen? The long answer to the question is Vote bank and the short answer is Vote bank as well. There seems a close association of dirty vote bank politics in the region for things to go out of hands. The migrants are in full knowledge of the central government and the powers that be. Rather throwing them out for illegal entry, they are rather nurtured and gracefully welcomed with goodies so that they turn into potential vote banks in the future; or even present. Lakhs of voter cards are issued to random duffers without realizing the consequences in the long run. And the consequences of such overzealous act are there for all to see. Even the migrants are at times encouraged to take the law in their own hands. A classic example of indifference on the part of our government is when the issue of Chakma refugees hit the headlines. A bunch of migrated scumbags created mayhem among the locals only to instigate an ethnic conflict. The then Assam as well as the central government allowed it to carry on for ages till at least a good six dozen died. And what was the response to such criminal act – Rather throwing the rascals out of this country they rather were allowed to settle down with all state honor while our own men were told to lick their own wounds. All because of the vote bank that a golden opportunity to set things on track was squandered. Had we been harsh in dealing with the Chakma refugees back then, I am sure the fifty that died during 2008 or the 38 that are dead now wouldn’t have lost their lives.I am not sure what could be the solution to this. Whatever the solution could be but for sure it can’t be one directional or for that matter even two directional. There has to be a three way cooperation between New Delhi – Guwahati – Dhaka for things to improve. But before that there need to have a strong intent for fixing things once-and-for-all. Does any stake holder have that intent? Not sure about Dhaka but for sure I don’t see any intent either with New Delhi or Guwahati as long as Congress is ruling at both the places. As it is, when asked for a permanent solution for this problem, one senior Bangladesh army officer on condition of anonymity answered – “First ask your own government. Do they really want this infiltration to end?” Golden lines I must say and perhaps the gist of the entire blog.