Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I’m not one to panic and create unnecessary pandemonium, but after silently observing the current ethnic, communal violence in India between what started out as the Bodos and Muslims now unnecessarily escalated to North Eastern’s vs. the Muslim community, I can honestly say I’m scared as hell. The safety of my family, constantly troubles me and the worst part is that feeling of helplessness. 

Every day I get bombarded with news (or rumors they say) about new attacks on people from the North East, and even though I try to shoo most of them away as rumors but they still have a way of adding to the fear. I live in an area where a majority of the residents are Muslims and until now I’ve always looked at them as misunderstood and actually really nice people (and I still do) but the fear that has flooded my judgment will not allow me to look at them the same was as before (which I hope will change). I understand that this is not a fair judgment, but I hope you also understand that I’m scared, and my unfair judgment is an outcome of fear psychosis.

On the other hand what really touched me was the gesture of the Muslim community for apologizing for the incidents and demanding for a proper probe on the origin the matter and also inviting people from the North East to live with them till the matter is resolved. But the question still remains, will it ever get resolved?

The newspaper headlines for the past week haven’t really helped in calming me down either. They write about the involvement of Pakistan and its terror units. Now if these are true then it has escalated the fear tenfold. When terrorists can hold a country like the Unites States at a standstill, imagine what they could do to a small minority like that of us North Easterns.

This is an extract from an article I read today from rediff.com “The panic campaign that Pakistan launched had an Indian hand as well, as some of their well-wishers in India helped spread the message. The cyber terrorists at Pakistan used the same model that the Lashkar used to spread terror in India. The Lashkar which carried out almost all attacks on Indian soil relied on Indian modules such as SIMI and the Indian Mujahideen to spread terror”. The headline read - NE exodus: Pakistanused LeT tactic to target India
Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this look like it’s bigger than the NE vs. Muslims? And we North Easterns look like involuntary pawns in a very complicated, dangerous game between Pakistan and India.

What also concerns me is the attitude of the Government in this situation. In an interview with DNA Alka Sarma, former MLA and senior Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) leader sounded the warning bell saying, “In case this conflict is not resolved peacefully, there are dangers that this would turn into a major communal flare across the country.”  She also admitted that she was not very optimistic of the exodus stopping any time soon.
Over 5 Lakh refugees in various refugee camps in Assam (the most displaced in Indian History) scared to return to their villages. Thousands of people from the North East returning home from Major cities, leaving their jobs, studies, businesses all because the government cannot guarantee their safety.

Every day I ask myself why am I running scared in my own country, from my own people? Why can’t my government protect me? Why do I feel like an alien, insecure and afraid in my own country?  Do I belong here?  
Don't get me wrong, I love my India, and especially Delhi because I've lived here for over 18 years. I consider myself typical Delhiite, I honk my horn in traffic for no apparent reason (being near a school or hospital doesn't really make a difference), I park my car where ever I want, I bribe cops, used a high ranking IAS/IRS relatives name to get out of tight situations and all that Jazz, but these are indeed very confusing times... 

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