Monday, 1 October 2012

Struggles in Assam


Adivasis in Assam are struggling for schedued caste status for decades. But those of them who live in Barak valley only demand increase of their megre wages and giving them their other legal entitlements as tea plantation labourers so as they can save themselves from starvation and malnutrition deaths. Bengalis in Assam occasionally demand that those of them who are genuine Indian citizens should not be harassed and their right to use their language and to preserve culture should not be taken away. Bengali speaking Muslims sometimes feebly join their Hindu counterparts in their first demand, though their socio-economic condition is by no means better than the Adivasis (excepting that all non-Bodos living in Bodoland are demanding for scrapping or amending the Bodoland accord). A section of Assamese people is still fighting for a separate sovereign state of Assam independent of India. A section of Bodo community is also busy in armed struggle for their independent homeland while another group wants a Bodoland state independent of Assam but within India. All other small and big ethnic communties want separate states or autonomous homelands within Assam. The boundaries of demnaded homelands overlap to a great extent and the fight turns among themselves.

Except Bengali Hindus and Muslims and perhaps Adavasis, all communities are right now up against illegal Bangladeshis while the former groups in principle do not oppose this demand of expulsion of illegal foreigners but fear witch-hunt and therefore want their protection.

But all people of Assam in unision want the state of exception under the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, 1958 has to be ended, projects of big river dams that jeopardise the livelihood and ecosystem must be crapped and, yes, all want the regime of corruption and impunity must be ended. 

The energies of the people get nearly exshausted in sectarian struggles. People continue to fight among themselves and kill each others. State repression, elite and mafia (overground and underground) opression and corruption and loot by politicians and bureaucrats continue unabated while peace and progress keep elluding the state and people.

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