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Violence in Assam
by Vasant G. Gandhi Bookmark and Share
 



On July 19 a fight between illegal aliens from Bangladesh and Indian citizens belonging to the Bodo community in the Assam state led to a killing of over 40 people.  Many were injured, scores of homes were burned or razed, and thousands are now in shelters.  The area has been a hot bed for violence for years. 

Hot bed

Before India’s independence in 1947, the entire northeast region of 257,168 square kilometers was known as the Assam Province.  Today, it is divided into seven states, fondly referred to as the seven sisters: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura.
 
The states are surrounded by four countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, and Myanmar (formerly Burma).   With the exception of Bhutan, the three remaining countries are hostile toward India.  China is interested in grabbing all seven states, starting with Arunachal Pradesh.  Muslims living in Myanmar’s northwest area are infiltrating into Mizoram, Manipur, and Nagaland to escape military rule.  Bangladesh’s 4,053 kilometer border with India is easily penetrable and lightly policed, allowing Bangladeshis to enter into India illegally.
 
Foreign neighbors are partly to blame for the hot bed.  No other state in India is facing multiple and hostile nations on its borders like the seven sisters, except Jammu and Kashmir. 
 
Siliguri Corridor
 
While she is failing to prevent or control the destruction, how is India going to defend her seven daughters in the event of a large scale military war with China or Bangladesh or both? 
 
Before the partitioning of India in 1947, the province was accessible via roads that are now part of Bangladesh.  Assam is now reached first by traveling almost all the way to the north in the West Bengal state and then turning east toward the narrow Siliguri passageway into the state.  This tiny corridor links Assam (which in turn connects to the remaining six sisters) to mainland India.  This connection is like a string to a kite.
 
One end of the string is tied to a kite flying in the air, while the other end is tightly held between the index finger and thumb of a kite-flyer standing on the ground and steering the kite.  If the string gets cut, the kite is gone forever.  Similarly, if the enemies cut off this corridor, our seven sisters are gone forever!
 
If India loses the Siliguri area, it will lose the seven states.  You don’t have to be a military expert to figure this out; just look at India’s map.
 
Solution
 
Our land of seven-sisters and the Brahmaputra River and tea farms is full of various cultures and languages, tropical forests and lush green landscapes, and wonderful, colorful, and fascinating people.
 
Let us protect our land and lives by militarily sealing and securing the porous borders, and in so doing, stop arms, money, illegal aliens, and drugs from coming into the country.  Let us uplift the people economically by creating job opportunities through a free enterprise system, thereby reducing poverty and ending the bloodshed. 
 
Finally, let us explore the idea of expanding into Bangladesh because of its geographical location, and because every year its net migration rate of -1.04 per 1000 results in more than 160,000 Bangladeshis leaving the country.  Where are they going besides the Gulf nations?
   
Images (c) Gettyimages.com 
 

2-Aug-2012
More by :  Vasant G. Gandhi
 
Views: 1013
 
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