Nothing seems to abate in Assam. First it was the floods, then a gory rape incident, and then the unprecedented violence in the Bodo and neighbouring areas. Nature, human nature and the third, human aggression. Hardly had the trouble in the Bodo areas abated for some time, to give us a whiff of respite, analysts were not sure of the cause for such carnage, ethnic, racial or ' religious '. Even now no one is sure.
We have to get at the real root of this disturbance, otherwise we will only see the symptoms and not the cause of the malaise. And, if someone has the courage to say that the real reasons were economic, and that of sustenance, people will glibly talk of in racial terms.
The point is that there has been a history of land grabbing in those parts of Assam, and elsewhere. So those who possess land come into conflict with those do not, and these happen to be two distinct entities or communities. Once this happens it is given an ethnic colour to show that bitter animosities existed between these two groups. I do not buy it, because I feel that if there were another entity, the same fracas and mayhem would have resulted. I need not go to the past to track this. Journalists and academics know this only too well.
The disturbing factor is that neither the Prime Minister or the President is giving any assurance. In such a situation fears need to be assuaged, and we have to be told as to what the 'real' problem is or was, and what measures are going to be taken to alleviate fears in distressing situations like this. Fears can have their chimeras, and when real fears get combined with imaginary ones, then the herd instinct takes over, and controls thinking, which becomes devoid of reason and sanity.
Will anyone explain how for years these two identities co existed, with a fair amount of amicability? And why has this explosion generated now? We may attribute it to Pakistan, ISI and rumours, but why does not the situation show the insignia of revival and improvement? The lamentable truth is perhaps, we do not want things to improve, so that the festering sore remains.
The Government must now seriously think of concepts such as limited work permits, and must also tell businessmen and politicians that the people from the neighbouring country should not be 'imported' for their mercenary gains. And mechanisms for this must be effected to check this problem. Since the local inhabitants feel threatened and insecure, we must get to the bottom of the reason to check immigration. I know this sounds not very humane but I also think that local sentiments must be taken care of, that was one of the reasons to establish autonomous district councils. But the prevailing sense of tact, wisdom and intelligence that have been displayed in these riots by individuals, must also be highlighted by the government, media and responsible organizations. There is I am sure, hope. And then there has been this unfortunate fall out in different parts of the country. But again a cataclysm, thankfully was averted, which is another reason for the proverbial, light at the end of the dark tunnel.