Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Assam violence, Maharashtra riots: Centre ignores carnages in Congress ruled states

When more than a hundred thousand people get displaced as in the case in Assam that is hit by sectarian violence, it should be a major cause of concern for the nation, its leaders, citizens and media.

But it's clear that 21st century India is equally immune to communal, casteist violence and genocides though they may be directed against any community. Why else violent activities on mass scale keep happening regularly in India?

In far-flung Assam, nearly 1.5 lakh (150,000)people have left their homes. Sixty bodies have been recovered and this is more than twice the total number of deaths in the recent violence in Orissa that was directed against Christians.

Now, it is the Bodo-Muslim conflict that triggered this riot. We keep hearing charges and counter-charges but the truth is that innumerable poor people and ordinary citizens have been affected, but we don't know why such riots take place in India.

Thousands of houses have been torched and places of worship set afire. But Assam is not 'that' important. It is not Karnataka that has Bangalore, a high-tech-cyber city as its capital or even Orissa. Assam is not part of the heartland either.

The National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) that has been demanding separate Bodoland state, is involved in the clashes with immigrant Muslims and also locals. Meanwhile, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, the riot in Dhule continues.

The violence has spread and incidents of arson, killings continue. Surprisingly, the Centre is not keen to stop the riot that has claimed well-over half-a-dozen lives as the same Congress rules Maharashtra.

Media also ignored the news despite the fact that hundreds had to leave their houses and had to take shelter in forests. The Hindu-Muslim clashes are nothing new but the promptness of the Manmohan Singh government in admonishing Karnataka and Orissa governments, is not visible here.

If Orissa deserved a censure under Article 355, then the same is due for Assam as well. And if Karnataka figured in cabinet for the violence, then Dhule riot needs to be condemned in the same breath and paramilitary forces ought to be sent.

But we know that nobody is interested in stopping riots in India.

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