A few days ago I wrote a small blog post about the max 5 SMS’es pr day issue, which I at that time thought was just a joke.
Now it turns out that it is far away from any joke. The background for the issue is riots in the northern state of Assam. There have been issues in Assam for a number of years. But this particularly incident started around July 20th. Four people were axed to death in a small place called Duramari, which is the home to some 15.000 Muslim settlers. Two days later a much larger mob, this time assisted by armed militants of the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NBDF), launched a full-scale assault, forcing an exodus. The official numbers of dead people is not more than 70 and more than 400.000 people are displaced.
It seems like this riots have now spread to other parts of India also. I can read in the newspaper today that there is planned yesterday. There have also been stories about Assamese leaving Bangalore because they fear from their life.
What’s going on? How can this happen? Most of this blog post is taken from a story in India Today at the 13th of August. As so often before, it seems like the root cause of the problem is religion. Assam shares the border with Bangladesh, which is a country with a huge Muslim population and much poorer than India. Over the years there have been a number of refugees that have escaped Bangladesh for the North-East states of India, like Assam. Now the Muslim population in these states grows with a much higher rate than the Hindu population. In a number of areas the Muslims are now about to overtake the Hindus when it comes to number of people. As we have seen so many other places in the world, this lead to ethnic confrontations.
This have also given the effect that people from North-East of India are being discriminated in other parts of India. They have a clearly distinct look, compared to people from south, so it is easy to recognize them from being from this area. I remember to have seen friends from that region posting on Facebook (sorry, but I can’t find the actual article so not possible to link to it) that they ask people to distinguish between regional issues and religion issues. Off course it is impossible to see just by looking at a person if he/she is a Muslim or a Hindu.
Now it seems like the Indian government also try to stop people from using social media to discuss this topic. Well, I surely don’t want my blog to be shut down due to some “governmental issue”, so I guess I better stop this story here.
I really hope that these things do not escalate. One of the great things with India is that people from a number of different religions have managed to live together almost peacefully for so many years. Must that continue!
Talk to you soon!