The mass exodus of people belonging to the northeast from Bangalore and Chennai to their States due to rumours of impending attacks against them reflects their lack of confidence — rather zero confidence — in the police and the government itself. This is evident as the exodus increases despite the government’s assurances. The north-easterners know that words are not going to help when there is no proper implementation of law and order.
The ban on bulk SMSs and restriction of data transfers are limited actions. Going on the defensive is not the solution; concrete and deterrent steps are mandatory and the need of the hour. India has a strong cyber force which can be used to fight back.
The real cause for the exodus is still unknown. All we know is some rumours were spread and bulk SMSs were sent to some north-easterners saying there was a threat of large-scale violence against their community. Blaming the social media for the unrest is no solution. The government should engage all available means to dispel the rumours and fear psychosis.
V.K. Sathyavan Nair,
Blaming social websites, bulk SMSs and Youtube will not solve the problem. The government has done virtually nothing to stop the massive exodus of northeast residents from Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. It should make serious efforts to repair its image and restore the confidence of the minorities.
A friend of mine who belongs to the northeast and is working in Bangalore told me two days ago that the situation in the city was grim and that he was wondering whether or not to go home. He was disappointed that he was unable to study peacefully. What has the government done to tackle rumour-mongering by some elements? It has just blocked bulk SMSs. How long will such measures work?
Anti-national forces create havoc in some way almost everyday. This is reflective of not their strength but our weakness.
Unable to find jobs in the northeast, young men and women from there travel long distances to earn their livelihood. That they were forced to leave Chennai, Bangalore and some other cities is shameful. The Railways would do well to help these young man and women to return to the cities they fled by offering free travel.
State governments should appeal to all employers to reinstate them and to colleges to help the students get back to their academic programmes. This will provide the much needed assurance to them that they are welcome and safe everywhere in the country.
D.P. Sen Gupta,
I don’t think banning social networking sites is right. The real issue is people’s lack of faith in the authorities. If, despite repeated assurances from the government, the exodus continues, it is obviously because people do not have faith in the system. The government should adopt all possible measures to bring back those who have fled to the northeast from the southern cities.
Neither the State governments nor those sitting in Delhi have a contingency plan to restore the livelihood of the people of the northeast who have fled some cities, fearing threat to their security. The insecurity of the north-easterners can be tackled if local NGOs, civil society, village panchayats, women’s organisations, etc., assure them of protection. Supporters of Team Anna and Ramdev can help.
Vasant G. Machwe,
I am a person with hearing impairment and I am disappointed with the government’s decision to restrict individual SMSs to five a day. I am aware there are national security issues involved in the decision to limit the SMSs but people like me suffer because of such decisions. Limiting our communication by SMS is like limiting the number of words a person can speak everyday. Texting is our only source of communication. In case of emergencies, such communication can be life-saving.