EDITORIAL

What difference does it make?

Bharatiya Janata Party
Bharatiya Janata Party

Assam’s woes arising out of Partition of India over seventy years ago has only worsened in the past few days under the Bharatiya Janata Party regime. While Jawaharlal Nehru had almost agreed to Assam and the Northeast becoming part of East Pakistan under the Cabinet Mission Plan of diving India into three groups during the run-up to Independence, the BJP has put the final stamp on the conspiracy to reduce the Assamese and other indigenous communities of the state to a minority and subsequently putting them to extinction. That the leaders at the Centre – irrespective of whether they belong to the Congress or the BJP, or for that matter any other party – consider the indigenous people of Assam expendable has only been re-established by the BJP regime. What difference did it make to the rest of India – including common people, intellectuals and politicians – when Nehru had bid farewell to the people of Assam and the Northeast when the Chinese had advanced nearly up to Tezpur in the winter of 1962? What difference did it make to the rest of India when millions of East Pakistanis – both Muslims and Hindus – had flocked to Assam in the wake of the Bangladesh liberation war? What difference did it make to the rest of India when majority of those East Pakistanis – both Hindus and Muslims – did not return to their country ? What difference did it make to the rest of the country – and those leaders and parties which were in the Opposition – when the likes of Indira Gandhi and Sarat Chandra Sinha decided to keep those millions of East Pakistanis, whether Hindus or Muslims, in Assam in order to use them as vote-bank ? What difference did it make to the people of the rest of the country when the indigenous people of Assam launched a peaceful and democratic agitation demanding detection and deportation of those millions of East Pakistanis/Bangladeshis in 1979 ? What difference did it make to the people of the rest of the country when the peaceful agitationists were dealt with a heavy hand by invoking several draconian laws, and an election was forced upon Assam in order to save democracy at the expense of the Assamese people in 1983 ? What difference did it make when Parliament enacted a notorious piece of legislation called IMDT Act, which only helped protect the East Pakistani/Bangladeshi infiltrators instead of detecting and deporting them ? What difference did it make to the rest of India when hundreds of innocent young people were killed by the armed forces in the name of tackling insurgency in Assam ? What difference does it make to the rest of India when China diverts the waters of the Brahmaputra ? What difference does it make to the rest of India if Assam and the Northeast remains cut off from the rest of the country due to floods ? What difference does it make to the people of rest of India when the indigenous Indian people of Assam are reduced to a minority – both linguistically and religiously – by hordes of land-hungry immigrants/infiltrators from East Pakistan/Bangladesh ?