(Monalisha Gogoi is with Christ University)
It is a heart-breaking news that two of our Assamese brothers were beaten brutally to death by some people in Karbi Anglong district. In spite of giving their identity and begging for their lives, they could not survive the brutality. This was because a fake rumour spread about child abductors on social media. The mob was blinded by superstition and got easily manipulated due to which they suspected Abhijeet Nath and Neelutpal Das to be child lifters.
This writer understands the rage and anger of the people of Assam but this is not the way to get justice. The victims have to get justice but it will not be by torturing the whole population of Karbi Anglong. This way we all shall be on the same page. If we have to punish someone, then punish the culprits, catch every single one of them and teach them a lesson, so that no one repeats such an incident in the future. But creating fear in the minds of other innocent Karbis and letting their lives be in danger is not the answer.
What would the demand for an economic blockade do? Make the condition of Karbi Anglong from bad to worse? Bring Assam’s economy down? In the end, we suffer. When a member of a family does something wrong, the family does not disown the person, instead they try to find solutions. Similarly, we are a big family of over 3 crore. So what will this big family do?
We have always known that taking decisions in rage and anger creates problems. So why now?
Some people say the citizens of Guwahati will stop providing rent to Karbi students and other Karbi people. But what is the point of that? Have they killed Abhijeet Nath and Neelutpal Das? Are they responsible for their death?
This writer is neither pro-Karbi nor anti-Assamese, but wants to convey that this rage might lead to a catastrophe. Moreover, this writer requests the media to stop focusing and interviewing the families of the deceased. They have lost their dear ones which itself is a shock for them. Asking questions and flashing lights on them might cause them further trauma. In this situation, they deserve their privacy. The media has a very big role to play in such situations. The information they give has the capacity to change people’s minds. But instead, to find bettercontent, they prefer to go to the families of the victims and interview them. Is that humane?
Remember the huge protest in Dispur led by Akhil Gogoi in 2011? The media had the power to reduce the consequences of it, but instead it gave us conflicting reports. This resulted in the loss of many innocent lives, including children.
At present, the situation of the people of Assam is so sensitive that it can be moulded in any form. So they have to think wisely. Even after huge rallies occurring in Assam, there are hate messages being circulated in social media, which will only make the situation worse. Such messages might be posted by people who want to create conflict in the State, conflict between families, conflict between the children of Assam. So before taking any action, we must think twice.
The main reason for such an incident is the lack of awareness and education. Therefore, to prevent such incidents from happening in the future, we need to spread awareness and make people understand the reality and so that they do not blindly believe in superstitions. But in the end, no matter what, justice must be served!