Saturday, July 28, 2012

Persecution of minorities in Assam, India

There is unrest in Assam, neighboring Indian state to Bangladesh. It is burning. Once again the extremist Assamese are killing Bengali speaking people that have lived there for centuries. Entire villages have been burnt down while the state administration remains curiously clueless and indifferent. Delhi insists Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi is “monitoring the situation” and doing everything possible to restore peace. This is little comfort to the community, though, which increasingly lives in fear, worrying the worst may be yet to come. Gogoi is yet to visit the affected areas. Not even a flying, whirlwind tour for the cloistered satrap.

Assam has a long history of recurring violence targeting Bengali-speaking minorities. In 1983 Nellie massacre when Indira Gandhi ruled from Delhi with her famous iron fist, the pogrom, carried out with crude weapons in a matter of a few hours, left 1,819 people dead. Independent sources suggest the toll was as high as 5,000. The killers didn’t even spare young babies.

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