Disturbed, confused!

Monday, 28 September 2020



Disturbed, confused!

Swapnil Bharali | December 01, 2018 16:38 hrs

There was a disturbing video on a certain profile on Facebook yesterday. We at office managed to catch it and download it before it was swiftly removed. The video was a poor quality footage of a youngster of upper Assam dressed in battle fatigues brandishing a sophisticated firearm and he was speaking directly into the camera that was being held by someone. The backdrop was clearly the jungles of our region. The youngster claimed himself to be a highly educated person with a degree in software engineering as also in business management. He has travelled to many countries as part of his corporate career and so has seen the world. And thereafter, having given up his corporate career, besides offering his justifications for joining the banned militant outfit United Liberation Front of Asom – Independent (ULFA-I), he is seen exhorting the youths of Assam to follow suit.

Yes, this is disturbing! From almost two decades of irrelevance the state of Assam has suddenly been woken up and thrust into the national political scenario thanks largely to the ongoing to the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise. And also suddenly, thanks to amazing social media, the various sections of self-righteous stakeholders stand distinct: indigenous Assamese, indigenous non-Assamese, illegal immigrants, 70 odd ethnic groups, a resurgent ULFA-I and, among others, a state government desperate to implement the ideologies of its Hindu nationalist party thereby totally stalling its election promises. Add to this huge mess is the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and we have a state that is totally confused and divided with suspicions running high plus an Assamese society who is clearly unsure who to drive out: the “Miya” or the “Bongal!”

In the fracas between the ruling coalition partners, AGP and BJP, on their differences over the aforementioned Bill, it is clearly the abominable nearly-dead militancy that is getting a new lease of life. The youngster’s video is only a case in point that has come out to the media and it not only reflects one variety of love for the motherland but clearly a sense of distrust towards the current system of governance in place and on all that is being dished out in the name of growth and development. While we wonder what Assam aspires for itself at this stage, we are all clearly disturbed and confused.

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