North-East: a volcano waiting to erupt
Around a week ago, I was chatting with a friend wherein I remember mentioning that there was more to the Mumbai rioting of August 11 than met the eye.
My speculation was based on a simple fact: the ethnic clashes in Assam and its retaliatory violence in Mumbai had coincided with the mass exodus of Hindus from Pakistan, who have some horrid stories to share about the way Hindus are still treated in Pakistan. I could sense that there was a larger design to the way the situation seemed to be unfolding. On one hand, Muslims were being provoked with suspect videos while on the other, Hindus were being pushed against the wall in Pakistan, evoking anger among Hindus here. The result was obvious: communal sentiments began to flare up once again, the social media becoming one of the key devices to aggravate the animosity this time around.
My speculation was also based upon the fact that conventional terror attacks have been on the decline. And terror groups, aided by Pakistan, can't be sitting idle for too long. I felt vindicated thus when the Union home ministry confirmed that these incendiary videos that were used to incite Muslims had indeed come from Pakistan.
Does the North East then mark a new chapter in the proxy war against India?
Quite certainly it does. And while this proxy war will definitely find Pakistan's support, it's not something which has been orchestrated entirely by Pakistan. The biggest culprit in the Assam fiasco is the Congress party, which has tacitly encouraged illegal migration from Bangladesh for decades now, despite the UPA government having been reprimanded on the issue by the Supreme Court. Today, the demography of Assam stands altered to such significant levels that animosity towards these illegal migrants is only obvious. However, far from addressing the issue, fake voter IDs and ration cards are readily issued to these migrants, thus legitimising their stay. The end objective of this is the Congress party's appeasement of minorities and its addiction to the politics of vote bank. What is particularly embarrassing is that our PM, who is a Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, had never spoken on the issue until the recent spate of violence rocked the state.
Now, while the government has finally woken up to acknowledge the problem, it is still far, far away from initiating corrective steps to address the issue conclusively. Thus, it is only natural for Pakistan, China or Bangladesh who have never been our best friends, to exploit this situation to its advantage.
In my book, "Of Love And Politics", when the Congress MP, Aditya Singh, travels to Assam on a fact finding mission, he is shocked by the sheer magnitude of the infiltration problem. He concludes that "The North East is a volcano which is waiting to erupt... if 60 years down the line, the North East ceases to be on the map of our country, I shall hold my party, the Indian National Congress, responsible for it."
If we go by recent anarchy, the volcano seems to have erupted sooner than expected.
The need of the hour is an assertive two-pronged approach. One, the government needs to evolve a consensus on dealing with the infiltration problem ASAP. Sadly, as in the case of black money, the government refuses to fix a number, in which case we continue to grope in the dark on the actual size of India's illegal population. Two, the government needs to come down heavily on the rogue Bodo groups, responsible for the biggest internal exodus in India's history. If the Bodos are allowed to get away with this misadventure, their next target could well be Assam's entire non-tribal population.
Sadly, by repeatedly beating around the bush for narrow political interests, the UPA government has once again put national security at stake.
More about Tuhin A Sinha
Tuhin A. Sinha is an author, scriptwriter and columnist based in Mumbai, India.
Tuhin was born in Jamshedpur. He has studied at Loyola School, Jamshedpur, Hindu college, Delhi and the National Institute of Advertising, New Delhi.
Tuhin is best known for his novels, Of Love And Politics, That Thing Called Love and 22 Yards. That Thing Called Love is now out in several regional languages as well. Tuhin has scripted several TV shows, apart from having worked as story/script/creative consultant with leading Film and TV production houses.
Tuhin is also a guest columnist with TOI, DNA and some lifestyle magazines. A keen observer of national politics, the subject finds its way in many of Tuhin’s writings.
Tuhin is presently working on his fourth book, the Autobiography.
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