Be Honest On Assam & The North East

What do you call a government that tells lies to its own people? Honourable?  Or you sensitize them, pray to them to tell the truth and demand answers if they go into cowardly silence? Assam is burning and the Government of India has betrayed a resolute negation of the ground realities in the parliament this week. They displayed what they are good at: Shouting ! They shouted. The whole shouting brigade shouted at full throttle, incited by their leader Sonia Gandhi. But they escaped a serious discussion on the subject. The Prime Minister , Dr Man Mohan Singh has given a written undertaking to the Election Commission of India that he is a resident of Assam. As a resident of Assam he would know every aspect of the problem. But he pleads ignorance every time it is raised. Can the PM tell the nation as to What Is The Problem?

Unless the nation is taken into confidence, Assam problem can not be solved. The government has ignored even the directions of the Supreme Court of India. It means the Government is not being run in accordance with the constitution of India. Were it the State Government of Assam alone, Article 356 could have been invoked, the state government dismissed and the state assembly dissolved. But Art 356 is not applicable to the centre. Unless the real problem is made public, no solution could ever be found. It is a fact that due to the failure of the Government of India, the petty problem has become a giant problem. The Govt of India fears that the reality if shared with the nation, will affect their vote bank politics. Though everyone claims to be secular, yet they practice the most vulgar kind of communalism. They  care two hoots for India. Their only goal is to win elections and cobble up a majority(even if half of India is grabbed by hostile neighbours). Our ministers are good at claiming publicly that the area lost is “disputed” or “barren” or any such hollow argument.

India cannot check illegal immigration to Assam and other North East States. Corruption is one of the reasons that will not make it possible. Rather it facilitates illegal immigration. For the corrupt, internal security is of little significance. They are motivated by their self interest: trade in human trafficking, cheap bonded labour, assured electoral gains. But the most alluring temptation, (hold your breath), is fish. The availability and marketing of fish stands out as the single most significant element in illegal migration into Assam. Those(including me), who don’t eat fish can never understand the “market forces” or the social bonding that fish can bring about ! The Hilsa, a variety of fish very popular, is selling for Rs 1000-1500 per kg, according to news reports. People are eagerly awaiting end of Ramjan, when supplies are expected to resume and prices to come down ! Can the Government of India supply Hilsa fish? Do they expect the people to stop eating Hilsa? This problem is as real as the illegal immigrants ! Let us not forget that till about 65  years ago we were one; we were we, not we & they. Borders have been drawn up, but nothing else has changed. Human trafficking and animal thefts are old practices of India. At times I laugh at the hard labour to which the poor English legislative draftsmen were put to by Indian practices for codification as offences under the Indian Penal Code ! India and Bangladesh and Pakistan are one so far as the nature of crimes under the IPC are concerned !

However, that is no excuse to carry on with old practices in the changed circumstances. The inputs from people like the Election Commissioner Brahma must be given due regard. It should be possible for the State government of Assam to register each & every marriage being solemnized in Assam by the illegal migrants., the children born to them, their occupation & financial transactions, frequency of visits to Bangladesh and establishing a mechanism in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh to keep a strict vigil on all such people, with a view to ensuring that they do not fool both the countries and facilitate subversive activities in either country or terrorist activities on behalf of their own or the ISI or the hostile nations in the vicinity. These are issues that the Government of India will have to come clean on and share with the people at large. It is no victory to shout down one or more  members in the parliament, for that only exposes the soft belly of the government. It is indeed absolutely necessary to satisfy the people as forcefully as shouting at the MPs in parliament. Any government that adopts an ostrich like position on matters of internal security or external aggression is a liar and hence a living disgrace to itself and the nation that suffers such a government.

There are no two opinions that the situation in Assam and other N.E. states is indeed awful, calling for immediate remedial action. It is also true that the dangers posed by the illegal immigrants poses similar threats in other states in the country. Delhi is the most vulnerable. The short term gains in electoral battles with the help and support of these illegal migrants and the sleeper cells sponsoring them and providing them protection and safe movement and living within India, is bound to convert India soon into a terrorist country, like Pakistan today.  The Home Minister, P. Chidambaram was moved to Finance in a sudden shake up. At whose instance? News reports had carried the demands of his removal due to the suffering of the minority community. Was it vote bank politics again?  In view of the 2 G  case, he was not expected to be moved to the Finance Ministry. The Prime Minister himself would have liked to keep finance portfolio with him to leave his stamp  in the remaining time of another few months before he demits office.  Who made him shed finance? The Government can’t blame anybody else for Assam than itself. Hence it is the wake up call to it. Act now or perish. Time to act. Time to impart some grace to the office of the Prime Minister of India.

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