I was shocked to read and hear news that several thousands of workers, professionals and students left major cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai. The reason: rumours of the possible attach on the people of North East living in these cities after 20th of August. Recently it was also found out by intelligence that doctored videos of torture of Muslim in Assom was going through MMS. South Indian cities and especially Chennai being boasted to be the safest in India could not stop this exodus.
I tried calling my friends in social works and other youngsters through social networks to allay the fear of these people and to say "We stand by you". My plan of going to Railway Station with placards saying "We at Chennai stand by you" failed. My last minute attempt failed. Only my tears could stand by them without even their knowledge.
This is possibly one of the largest Exodus after partition. There is no official number of people who left the major cities, though from Scene at Bangalore: Courtesy The New Indian Express
Bangalore alone till now about 30,000 persons have left. Police in Hyderabad denies any major exodus though truth will be known only to them. In my opinion in each city around at least 2000 per day would have made it to about 10,000 in the last few days in each city, probably putting it about 1,00,000 from all Southern cities including Pune.
What went Wrong?
What went wrong cannot be found out only from the recent news on SMS rumours and MMS. This exodus is definitely and aftermath of recent Assom Violence. The problem was between the local Bodos and the Muslims, who mostly migrated from Bangladesh illegally. This led to the displacement of about 4,00,000 from their homes. Killing of some Muslims in this violence was used by miscreants - there is a theory of Pakistan's involvement in this- to spread panic in other cities. The affected are probably the ones who had no hand in any violence nor really all belonging to Bodo community. As many in the North used to think all who live in South India are Madrasis, one community is mistaken for whole North Easters people. Many from Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Nagaland were also affected by this mindless rumors. Mumbai protest turned Violence on 11th August, 2012 also added fuel to this situation.
One thing that is clear is that this problem in the North East is now new and all successive governments had done nothing to bring permanent peace in this region. I had written many posts elsewhere for the ending of 11 years of fast by the Iron lady of Manipur, Irom Sharmila. O, that wonderful pristine mounts and nature at best at North East should witness the tears and unrest all these years is very sad. As an Indian I cannot but cry for my brothers and sisters.
Need of the Hour:
What is the need of the hour? The recent news of rumors spreading to New Delhi is not good at all. I do not know whether the Government in the Centre and State governments concerned are taking these issues seriously enough. Someone wrote that these people who go back in pain might turn angry. I do not know what the person meant. it could mean anger against Muslims in their region. We cannot even think of a civil war like situations in India. All right thinking Indians should assure each other of our love, concern and commitment for harmony. All local welfare associations and NGOs should gather the people of North East through their local associations and provide moral support. They should be aided by the police department.
Religious leaders especially Muslim religious leaders can issue statements stating categorically that India is for all and Muslim brothers should get involved in spreading peace as Islam is a peaceful religion. I personally request my Muslim brothers to join this peace mission. I really loved to see one lone Muslim boy standing at the Railways Station with the placard "We are Indian First and India is for all Indians" in one of the Newspapers.
We need more and more not just right thinking but right acting people in this country to bring harmony, trust and peace. If your dream is a developed India, you cannot neglect what wrong goes on around you.
I can tell with certainty that India is for all Indians. If someone think that these migrant workers have eaten our resource, let me tell you that the local did not want to work hard or work for less what you paid.
Therefore while they benefited from unemployment in their State, others gained by their labor. Colleges and Universities in the Southern States which boasted of providing better education attracted the students from these region and gained economically. Of course these students too had better opportunity by coming down to Southern States. Did we not then see a "Win-win"? There is always a give and take everywhere and everyone of us need to realize this. Otherwise the Independence Day we celebrated a few days ago is just a tokenism without any meaning.
You can write your opinions here and send ideas what we can all do.