There was no positive story in the recent past that was reported on the Assam imbroglio, except one. But before telling that lets count the negatives that has shaken us from within.
First was the mass exodus of the Bengali speaking Muslims population from their shanty homes residing in the lower Assam valley? It followed the armed raid by the murderous Bodo tribe. There was much of blood letting and mayhem in this tragedy that triggered one of the largest displacements of population in the independent Indian history.
Unfortunately, Assam is too far from New Delhi, the seat of power and also far from the so called national media that’s more comfortable in reporting Anna Hazare and Ramdev. Even though five lakh people left there home and over 100 perished, the tragedy did not move the national media to report it like a national crisis.
The second important development was the angry protest by Muslim youth in Mumbai and the subsequent violence. It sparked off the question, why Muslims in Mumbai should protest for the happenings in Assam; after all they are too far away and have no connection except common religion.
The argument may sound fair enough, but living in Chennai, and witnessing protests in support of Tamils in Sri Lanka, who are citizens of another country, the Mumbai protest definitely make sense to me.
The protest was to tell the government and the media to do something to address the issue and not let it to recur again. This has to be seen into the context of 1983 Nellie riots in Assam, when more than 3000 people died and not an FIR was lodged against such pogrom.
However, the act of Mumbai protestors to become violent is something really condemnable. It would be prudent that those indulging in acts of vandalism must be given exemplary punishment. However, Mumbai protest also exposes the laxity of the police force that could not anticipate the situation and had not made enough preparations to handle the possible fall out if the peaceful crowd becomes unruly.
Continuing with the negative news, the story of rumor mongering mills then came in. The so called national media that could not cover the Assam story properly started giving live commentary of the fleeing northeast people from various metropolitan cities. The citizenship issue of Assam became secondary, primary was to unearth the rumor mongering factories in the country.