EVEN though tensions were apparently simmering for many months prior to the outbreak of the violence in the month of July 2012 in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) area, but the immediate trigger was the killing of two Muslim youths, who were shot dead by unidentified gunmen on 6 July. The needle of suspicion pointed to the former cadres of the disbanded Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT). In retaliation, four former cadres of Bodo Liberation Tigers were hacked to death by a mob in the Muslim dominated village of Joypur near Kokrajhar town. What unfolded after that was the worst humanitarian crisis to have hit Assam in decades. Continue reading The Bodoland (Assam) Violence and the Politics of Explanation by Bonojit Hussain
This press release was put out by MY-FACTS, Guwahati, on 3 September 2012
As a response and being aggrieved over the communalisation of the recent violence and mass displacement in BTAD (Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts) area and in order to analyse the situation, on 2 September, 2012 about 60 highly educated, secular and liberal Muslim youths from all over Assam assembled at the Bhagabhati Prashad Baruah Bhaban, Guwahati, Assam, to brainstorm about a peaceful solution for the present scenario of hatred and violence prevailing in Assam that is spreading all over the country. The meeting was convened under the aegis of a newly formed platform named MY-FACTS (Muslim Youths: Forum Against Communalism, Terrorism and Sedition). Continue reading Muslim youths launch peace forum in Assam
… the fact that violence was not merely transitional, a birthmark or a departure, but a much more general and continuous aspect of modern life – Gyanendra Pandey
The misreading or out of place reading of any local and contextual issue and putting it in a wrong frame can be very catastrophic. The recent episode of violence in Assam and the fury it triggered across the country is a classic example of such misreading. But apart from the misreading this complete episode is certainly indicator of certain other phenomenon underlying our fragile society.
Moreover it looks that this is not only adding to verbal construction of abuse but also a very controlled confusion working at someone’s behest. The rally and violence in Mumbai, Ranchi, and Jamshedpur whose motivating factor was this violence happening in northeast and cross border against “Muslims”. The other episode, which adds to cynicism, is through popular newspapers in South India and in Assam publishing that Assamese will be subject to target and then under the cloud of rumor and suspicion these residents of the state is forced to run.
Guest post by NILIM DUTTA
The recent spate of violence that began in the Kokrajhar district of Assam in the month of July 2012 and then spread to the adjoining districts of the Bodoland Territorial Council, primarily between the Bodos and the Muslim community of immigrant origin settled in these districts, has once again unleashed a vicious debate on the perils posed by alleged unrestricted illegal immigration from Bangladesh, this time even on the floor of the Lok Sabha.
The situation has been further complicated by a ‘protest’ in Mumbai against ‘violence on Muslims in Assam’ turning into a riot or by sundry attacks as ‘retaliation’ against people from North East elsewhere in India. Thanks to either shockingly uninformed or brazenly motivated opinions being aired around incessantly, much of it in the national electronic and print media, the dominant discourse that has evolved around the issue has created three distinct perceptions:
First, that illegal immigration of Bengali Muslim peasants from neighbouring Bangladesh into Assam has been continuing unabated, leading to skewed demographic profiles of Assam’s districts bordering Bangladesh and thereafter, turning several adjoining districts of Assam to Muslim majority. Continue reading The Myth of the Bangladeshi and Violence in Assam: Nilim Dutta
The following is the text of a Statement issued in Delhi on 27 July 2012, endorsed by a number of concerned organizations and individuals
We the people from various parts of northeast residing in Delhi, along with concerned individuals, university members, various students’, teachers’, trade union, women’s, civil and human rights organisations from Delhi, strongly condemn the ongoing ethnic conflict with serious communal undertone that has erupted in four districts (Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Chirang and Bongaigaon) of Lower Assam. This has been the most widespread and alarming conflict in the recent history of Assam.
In the last one week we have witnessed the tragedy of nearly 200,000 people belonging to the Bodo and the Muslim communities, being forced to flee from their homes and villages. Currently they stand internally displaced, and are scarred and traumatized. Official figures state that around 41 people have lost their lives so far, while unofficial estimates from the grounds are much higher. More than 400 villages have been torched down until now. Continue reading On the ongoing ethnic violence in Assam: A Statement
This press release was issued on 26 December by the NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS
New Delhi, December 26 : Tonight at 2:15 am Assam Police in collusion with other security forces swooped down on the protesters at Ranganadi who have been blockading the Highway since December 16 and thwarting state’s attempt to carry turbines and dam materials to project site of Lower Subansiri Dam. Nearly 200 people have been arrested and earlier also security forces have been harassing the ptotestors. In past too, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti fighting against the big dams on Brhamaputra have faced government’s ire and often been attacked and jailed. NAPM stands in solidarity with KMSS and other students groups of the region who have been consistently opposed to the Big dams in highly sensitive seismic zone. We condemn the sustained action and harassment of KMSS and their activists and targeting of Akhil Gogoi for constantly opposing the destructive development policies and corruption of the government machinery. Continue reading ‘NAPM condemns arrest and harassment of anti-dam protesters in Assam’
Guest post by BIKRAM BORA
The unprecedented number of mourners crowding the otherwise sleepy streets of Guwahati at night following the demise of the maestro, proves testimony to his genius. In his life, there was no dearth of followers, some logical, some blind; while in his death, grief engulfs both the sections. What could be the reasons for Hazarika’s powerful grip over people’s emotions? It can’t be just his musical dexterity; it’s more the aura surrounding him, emanating from his multi-dimensional persona and life-span.