|A child of a violence victim cries at a relief camp. Source : The Hindu
That on July 4th two Muslims leaders of All Bodoland Minority Students’ Union and the All Assam Minority Students’ Union were killed and in retaliation, 4 former members of Bodoland Liberation Tigers (BLT) were murdered leading to one of the saddest incidents Indians had to suffer and witness this year is no news. Latest numbers put the death tolls at 88 as far as conservative estimates go and up to 100 in some. “There were 4, 85,921 inmates in 340 relief camps during the height of the violence in the last week of July and first week of August” said a DNA Report.That is, nearly 5 Lakh people were in these camps where people sought refuge from the mindless violence. There is a place, called Dadaab , in Kenya which is called world’s largest refugee camp, with a little more than 5 Lakh people taking refuge from the mindless violence misgovernance and natural calamities. Sounds familiar? As of now, even after 2 months since the violence, there are still nearly 2 Lakh people spread across some 200 odd refugee camps in lower Assam districts. 
After a flurry of visits from top national leaders who had nothing insightful to offer other than their god-forsaken condemnation and absurd (illiterate?) gaffes by Hon. Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi, who had earlier been quick enough to pass the buck to Central Government by pointing out the delay in Army Troop Deployment; we finally saw the first set of arrests by CBI. “The CBI on Wednesday made the first arrests in lower Assam violence cases by taking into custody Mohammed Hashem Ali, Mohammed Adom Ali Sheikh, Mohammed Hashim Ali Rehman, Mohammed Qurban Ali Sheikh, and Mohammed Imran Hussain after they allegedly admitted their involvement in the crime in connection with alleged lynching to death of four Bodos in Kokrajhar in July.”
And now “the Guwahati High Court has directed the Assam and central governments to probe the alleged role of the [millionaire] perfume baron and Lok Sabha MP Badruddin Ajmal in the recent ethnic violence in the state.” This Badruddin Ajmal, the president of Assam’s main opposition party All India United Democratic Front, is the same person who likened the situation in Assam to Israel-Palestine conflicts. He has allegedly told in a press meet that Muslims are being bulldozed by Bodos, which many consider as an incitement to the repercussions we are witnessing now. This Badruddin Ajmal is the same person who is considered close to Ahmed Patel, Sonia Gandhi’s Political Secretary and Digvijay Singh, considered to be Rahul Gandhi’s political advisor. The Hon. Dhubri MP is the same person whom incumbent Assam Chief Minister alleged of having been trying to topple his government for 8 years and in turn install a “friendly” minister.One can assume that this friendly minister may be the emerging YSR of Assam, the best Health Minister in the country according to Ghulam Nabi Azad, the person who had resigned and later allegedly camped in Delhi during the heights of Assam violence for a replacement in Assam Chief Minister-ship, Mr. Himanta Biswa Sarma.Or not.
Let us leave the question as to whether passions were stirred up for narrow political gains to another day’s discussion.
Following the violence and subsequent swelling up of Refugee camps, National Commission for Minorities headed by Mr. Wajahat Habibullah, a civil servant from Jammu and Kashmir, infamous for his controversial paper “Political Economy of Kashmir Conflict: Opportunities for Economic Peace-Building and the US Policy”, which suggested a US interference in the Kashmir issue and how ‘helping Pakistan modernise its armed forces — for instance, by filling gaps in the country’s defence arsenal with modern equipment provided on easy terms — could be a legitimate quid pro quo for action by Pakistan not only to withdraw support for cross-border terrorism but also to actively discourage it‘; visited the strife torn place. Interestingly the three member Minority Commission teamwhich visited Kokrajhar – Dr Syeda Hameed, a member of Planning Commission (not Minority Commission) ,who sees “a greater agenda to destroy the secular fabric” of India at the drop of a hat, Dr GB Panda, and Keki N Daruwalla – did not include H T Sangliana, Vice Chair-person of the Minority Commission of India , the only member from the North East, specifically Mizoram, in the commission. Finally they released a report, full of inaccuracies and biases, that Asian Centre of Human Rights was compelled to release a report of its own saying how the NCM had goofed up the entire exercise . The report also gave a rather startling pattern in which, throughout the month of August violence against North East Indians or anyone with Mongoloid features, started increasing culminating in what media dubbed as “The Exodus”. The report “National Commission for Minorities: Communalising Assam Riots?” says
“ Though the rest of the people in Assam, other States of North East India and Darjeeling region of West Bengal had nothing to do with riots in the BTAD, Assam, the attacks on the people from the North East India has been building up.The people who were attacked had to be “Tibeto-Mongoloid” origin for the attacks. It did not matter even if the person is Tibetan. The attacks on the North Eastern people or with TibetoMongoloid features to be precise have been building up since 8 August 2012. The news reports covering the attacks are given below:On 8 August 2012, a student of Poona College belonging to the northeast was beaten up by a group of eight people in the vicinity of the Poona College. This was the first incident of assault against Northeast people in Pune, Maharashtra.On the evening of 8 August 2012, Infosys employee Kahomdai Panmei of Manipur, who lives in Kondhwa, Pune, was attacked by a group with iron rods and bamboo sticks without any reason. He had gone out to drop his sister to her residence in Shivneri Nagar.On 9 August 2012, four students were allegedly beaten by a mob near Poona College in the Pune Camp area The victims filed an FIR at the Cantonment police station on 10 August.In a separate incident on the same day (9 August 2012), Thuike Ywang of Manipur and a student of Poona College, was beaten up by two persons in Kondhwa when he went to buy rice at a shop around 7 pm.On 13 August 2012, two persons identified as Sarva Bahadur Devang and Mathiyani were allegedly beaten up by unidentified persons in two separate incidents in Kondhwa, Pune. Sarva Bahadur Devang is from Darjeeling, West Bengal and was beaten up suspecting him to be from the north east while he was on his way to home when five men traveling in a car accosted him without any provocation and attacked him on the NIBM road; while Mathiyani was beaten up by two unidentified persons at Shivnerinagar. The police registered two separate non-cognisable cases in connection with these attacks.On 13 August 2012, a person from Assam, working as a security guard, was allegedly intercepted and beaten up by three unidentified persons in Raidurg, Hyderabad. The attackers also snatched away his mobile phone.On 14 August 2012, a Tibetan student Tenzin Dhardiyal was stabbed on Dhanwantri Road in Mysore, Karnataka allegedly due to his Mongoloid features.The attacks on the North Easterners have obviously been building up.”
It is sad that the very Mr. Sangliana, whose lack of inclusion in the team drew criticism from rights activists, finds Karnataka dangerous due to Hindutva fringe elements rather than such incidents of Islamist communalism .
Anyone who thought that the worse was over was in for a horror. India witnessed passionate outburst, which many would dub as spewing venom, by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen. Full text of his speech can be read here . Some quotable quotes are as follows.
“About five Lakh non-Bodos — a majority of them were Muslims — are living in 200 and odd relief camps where there is no clean drinking water…”“Let the state Chief Minister and the health minister sit together in one room and see the internal differences.”“BTC should be dissolved immediately….Scrap Bodoland Agreement. If you cannot scrap the Bodoland Agreement, please take away those areas where 50 percent of population is not Bodos.”“Lastly, I warn the central government; I warn the hon. members over here. … (Interruptions) If proper rehabilitation does not take place, you be ready for a third wave of radicalization among Muslim youth. … (Interruptions) You are not bringing it to the notice. … (Interruptions) I am bringing it to your notice. … (Interruptions)”
As has been pointed out earlier in this article, the official reports say that at the peak of the violence the refugee camps housed nearly 4.8 Lakh people. So, if we take Owaisi’s data to be true then all those people in the camps are non-Bodos among whom Majority are non-Muslim. On August 15thit was reported by The Hindu – “As many as 10,000 inmates of relief camps have returned to their homes since Monday, reducing the total number of camp inmates in the four violence-hit districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Dhubri and Bongaingaon to 2,92,852 on Tuesday. Of them, 2,31,308 inmates are in 175 camps for the Muslims, 61,439 in 51 camps for the Bodos, and 105 inmates in one camp for the remaining communities.” But Hon. Member of Parliament from Hyderabad said there were 5 Lakh non-Bodos a majority of whom were Muslims. If then, how come even when the numbers came down to nearly 3 Lakh there are still about 62 Thousand Bodo refugees? Is it not a deliberate distortion of fact to enhance the image of a Muslim victimhood?
A Rediff interview noted how Kamal Farooqi responded.  “Faruqui shows a series of horrific pictures on his iPad sent from Myanmar purportedly depicting Rohingya Muslims killed in the sectarian violence. Since June, incidents of violence between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims have shaken the Islamic world. The situation in Assam is worse than Gujarat of 2002 because the Bodos have driven out Bengali-speaking Muslims from their homes. Last month, they lit fire to their farmland and kept one exit available. The Muslims ran for their lives when a fire broke out in the middle of the night. In Gujarat, if not all, most Muslims could go back to their villages from relief camps but here it is a conspiracy.” This is the same Farooqi who had said, “‘I’m worried for the institution (Darul Uloom, Deoband). It’s unfortunate and shameful that a person occupying such a high office has said this when civil society groups are tirelessly working to bring the guilty to book.” He was talking about Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Vastanavi, then a newly appointed director of Darool Uloom Deobandh who had commented that all communities were prospering in Gujarat. Newspaper reports note how Farooqi had “demanded Vastanvi’s immediate resignation, failing which moves would be initiated for his removal.”
The pictures he had seen are most probably the fake images spread in the internet by those Islamists who wanted to spread communal tensions. The poor chap fell for it and that is not a crime. But using that as a tool to whip up extreme sentiments without checking the facts or the authenticity of the images, he had given irresponsible statements. Any “Muslim youth” who did not even know such a thing existed would get aakkrosh(to use his own words) when leaders who supposedly represent them make such lackadaisical comments. Look at the sickening way in which Kamal Farooqi finds it easy to use Gujarat as a comparison for a negative incident but never for something good. Is that not a deliberate attempt to cover up any sense of development among Muslims and to portray them as a group of people who are leading a dismal life eternally waiting to get butchered at any sudden moment? Is it not stereotyping the Indian Muslims victimhood? And all hell will break loose accusing the New Yorker of stereotyping Muslims, if it publishes a front page article with “Muslim Rage” as the headline, even though this rage had killed the US ambassador to Libya.
Did the Assam story end there? A little known Raza Academy had called for a “peaceful” protest near Azad Maidan to register their displeasure about the attacks against Muslims in Assam and Myanmar. Despite intelligence report that “Muslim community was angry at the recent developments in Assam and Myanmar and that there would be a charged atmosphere at the ground”, and “that Muslims were told about the protest during Friday prayers and would turn up in large number” the string of violence which started in Assam did not end. 2 people were killed, media and police men were attacked and Amar Jyoti Jawan was desecrated. The police, who were able to catch a few of those violent radicalised Muslims, were asked by Arup Patnaik the former – Mumbai Police Commissioner, to act with “restraint” since they were dealing a particular community. As Madhu Trehan notes in her response to an article by Teesta Setelvad “..there is a shocking footage of Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik ordering Deputy Commissioner of Police Ravindra Shisve to release a rioter who is being arrested.”
Suddenly we began seeing protests all over the country. Protests were held in Uttar Pradesh in Lucknow, Kanpur, and Allahabad resulting in destruction of media vans, and some Buddha statue reminiscent of the tribal nomadic radical Islamic fundamentalists of Mali who started desecrating the Timbuktu shrines and that of the destruction of Bamiyan Buddha statues by Taliban. Vicious SMS which deliberately incited mobs, and clarion calls from mosques and madrasas asking Muslims to show that they cannot be victims “again” resulted in fleeing of North Easterners from the southern Metros of Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. And wonder where the SMSes were traced from? From Kerala based Muslim fundamentalist groups such as Popular Front of India which is of the opinion that Kerala, of all the states in India, “is not as progressive and secular as it is made out to be” and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJi) “who [had] helped Pakistan-based agencies circulate the messages [so that] it looked as though they were genuine in nature and originating from within India” according to the Intelligence Bureau officials . It is interesting to note that these organisations used the help of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) to spread these hate messages, the very same SIMI whose ban our secular leader Mulayam Singh was dead against. Latest information reveal that including Anees Pasha, T. Nawaz and Shahid Salman Khan and 13 others have been arrested by Bangalore police on charges of spreading enmity among various communities. But, hey, leave all this, let us ban some twitter accounts!
One cursory look at the incident will reveal the number of people who are from the Muslim community and organisations, which claim to represent the Muslims of India; accused, and arrested in relation to a heinous crime against our motherland. These are not without substantial evidences and proofs, these accusations are not a figment of any Hindutva-vadis imagination. This is the reality. But oddly the Media and politicians have been trying to white wash the entire issue by once again reinforcing Muslim martyrdom. Hence we have the types of Owaisi, Farooqi and others who keep on lamenting on the losses of Muslims alone without considering that there are others too, who are dead, who are affected by this. They outright deny the fact that there has been migration from Bangladesh. We have leaders who say “I don’t want them [Muslims] to become militants but what can I do if they are forced to take to arms? I have seen their anger and frustration.” But he is part of a secular government. We have parties which send medical and financial aids only to Muslim refugees of the Assam region although they acknowledge the presence of non-Muslim, non-Bodo refugees in the camps. While Badruddin Ajmal is weeping his hearts out to Sonia Gandhi about Muslim victims of the Assam violence , she herself is busy crying about Batla House encounter and our Prime Minister is busy losing his sleep over saving a terror suspect and chanting out blunders like Muslims have the first right to the nation’s resources. But they are all part of a secular government. And then we have ‘The’ Gujarat Chief Minister, who is selectively quoted on his action reaction theory, and he is a communal bigot. Surely, India needs a new dictionary where the definition and meaning of words like secular, communal, right wing, left wing, minority etc. need a substantial rework.
I am not going to comment on how the Indian media pimped out our nation on this issue. Let us see how Al-Jazeera, an international progressive media depicted this incident. “Ethnic riots in country’s northeast follow the same pattern as violence against Muslim Rohingya in neighbouring Myanmar.” – Screamed the headline . Let us see some interesting insights the article provided.
“The violence against the Muslims in Assam has provoked reactions elsewhere in India, especially in states and cities with big Muslim populations.”“The Muslim women at Borkanda complained to [Sonia] Gandhi that a lawmaker of the local tribal council had himself led mobs of Bodo people to attack the Muslim villages in the Moamari area of western Assam, where they hail from. In anger, Gandhi turned to her local party leaders and administrator, trying to find out whether the police have booked the lawmaker. She only got nods, but no clear answer.”“It is a situation quite similar to Myanmar’s Rakhine province, where Rohingya Muslims, locally called “Bengalis” in that country, have suffered heavily in recent riots with Buddhist Rakhines”“Natives of northeastern states, easily identifiable elsewhere in India because of their East Asian looks, have been attacked or threatened by Muslims.”“some Muslim hardliners, including one AUDF leader, [are demanding] a special administrative area in western Assam’s six Muslim-dominated districts.”“..but for the “whole situation to cool down”, violence against Muslims in Assam, which is provoking Muslims elsewhere in India to target people from India’s north eastern states, must stop.”
Thus the report actually admits to the separatist tendency among the Muslim leaders of Assam. It also talks about the ensuing violence that the Muslim leadership in the country instigated. 5 Muslim extremist have been arrested by CBI. Muslim organisations have been accused of spreading false rumours. Muslim leaders are instigating mobs whose sole purpose in life, it seems, is to get instigated. But still the situation is similar to Rohingya Muslims. But still, the Bodos are the ones who need to be checked. It is the same old hogwash of Muslim martyrdom here again. Is there no one to call the bluff without being made to feel guilty?