Information technology seems to be the latest weapon of waging proxy wars. The fact that there is evidence of some Pakistani organisations uploading objectionable and inflammatory material on the Internet, leading to the exodus of people of the northeast from Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and other cities, shows that some elements from across the border want to destabilise our country.
To thwart their designs we, the people, should resist such provocations. In the wake of the recent Assam riots, the rest of the country should have stood together to condemn all forms of violence. But we did not do so. It was our intolerance and lack of unity that contributed to the success of the mischief-mongers.
Even the Palakkad railway station is crowded with people returning to the northeast. Palakkad is a peaceful city and no untoward incident has been reported from there. Even then, people are panic stricken. I think they are overreacting. There is no point in blaming the government. At least the educated should take pains to verify the truth.
The media should stop saying that the reason for the exodus is rumour-mongering. It adds insult to injury. The northeast residents are beaten up and threatened in many cities and the police refuse to file complaints. Pointing a finger at Pakistan will not solve the problem.
The crisis has brought the social media to the forefront, relegating the print and electronic media to the background. Perhaps it is one more revolution in the history of mankind. It is clear that people today believe in non-stop, one-to-one communication/conversation, rather than the mass media.
The Centre’s superficial treatment of the problems of the northeast has brought them to a point of no return. It is time the government gave up applying balm without washing and cleaning the wounds. As one who has lived in the northeast for nearly three decades, I have no hesitation in saying that Bodos are peace-loving with a unique culture. Their identity has been threatened by many factors, including migration from Bangladesh. Adding fuel to the fire is nasty vote bank politics. The government should take bold diplomatic initiatives to send Bangladeshi migrants back to their country.
Keywords: The northeast issue