“Far from protecting human beings and their rights, the central authority today is creating an atmosphere of terror and insecurity among the various peoples of the Northeast on narrow, sectarian and communal basis,” said Comrade Prakash Rao, Spokesperson of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, on 27th August in Delhi. He was speaking at a Public Forum organised by Lok Raj Sangathan on the question: Who is responsible for the insecurity of the peoples of the Northeast?
Comrade Prakash emphasized that the plight of Bengali Muslims, Bodo and other peoples of Assam, of Manipur, Nagaland and other North-East peoples have the same source, which is the imperial rule and colonial policy of New Delhi. Faced with rising opposition among working people everywhere to the anti-social imperialist course being followed, the ruling big bourgeoisie is resorting to the unleashing of communal and sectarian violence. The aim is to divert and divide the people, and expand vote banks of rival capitalist parties ahead of the coming state assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
Welcoming all participants on behalf of Lok Raj Sangathan, Shri Birju Nayak referred to the question in everybody’s minds as to why the peoples of North-East are being attacked and who stands to gain. He invited Smt. Sucharita to initiate the discussion on behalf of the Delhi Regional Council of LRS. The Hindi Bhawan meeting room was full, despite the short notice at which the meeting was organised and the intermittent downpours. The participants included leading representatives of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Manipur Students Association of Delhi and People’s Front.
Smt. Sucharita questioned why the Central Government did not identify for so many days the source of the racist threatening messages against North-East peoples spread through SMS, only to finally declare that it is from Pakistan! The authorities did nothing to dispel the fear and anxiety among people, but in fact added fuel to the fire by organising special trains for them to rush home to safety. Our rulers talk ad nauseum about “national security” while they deny even the minimum security of life to millions of our own people. The same leaders of the various parliamentary political parties who are shedding crocodile tears in parliament today, about “our brothers and sisters of the northeast” are united in calling for the continuation of the AFSPA in those states, under which indescribable atrocities are daily committed against the people there, even as all the peoples of the northeast have been unitedly demanding that this draconian act should be scrapped and the army withdrawn from there. She called upon all humane and justice loving people to speak out in defence of the rights for all members of society, irrespective of religion, caste, race, national origin or any other consideration.
Shri Intezar Naim of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind highlighted the inhuman conditions in which lakhs of people have been compelled to live in Assam today, herded into refugee camps with negligible government support. He condemned the false propaganda accusing Muslim groups and Pakistan for the terror being spread among the North-East peoples. He declared that it is the duty of the State to protect the people who live and work in our country, and to protect their right to live and work in any part of India.
Johnson of Manipur Students Association of Delhi expressed his gratitude to Lok Raj Sangathan for organising this timely meeting in the present tense situation. He thanked all the participants who have assembled to express their support to the peoples of the North-East. He condemned the central authorities for portraying Manipuris and other North-East peoples as aliens who threaten the unity and integrity of India. He said the conflict is not among the various sister peoples of the North-East but between the State on one side and all the peoples on the other side.
Comrade Narinder of People’s Front said that in this age, capitalism and imperialism are breaking down all national borders. They want to be able to exploit the land and labour of all peoples and regions. Anyone who resists this plunder is being attacked under one pretext or the other.
Shri S. Raghavan, President of Lok Raj Sangathan, pointed out that correspondents who visited adjoining Muslim and Bodo villages in the Bodo Administered Territory found that both groups of villagers were categorical in stating that the armed gangs that attacked them came from outside. They were not from any of the neighbouring villages. He referred to previous experiences of communal violence where voter lists had been used to target people of a particular religion or community, as in 1984 and in 2002. This time SMS messages have been used to target North-East peoples, showing that the organisers had access to such information. Refuting the claim of BJP leader Arun Jaitley that 60% of people in Assam are foreigners, he said that Bengali Muslims cannot be assumed to be from Bangladesh. Rajiv Gandhi had signed the Assam Accord in the eighties, according to which anyone who had immigrated before 1971 was to be given Indian citizenship. The fact that this was not implemented shows that the intention is not to solve the problem but to repeatedly use it for narrow political ends and to divide and rule. He said that as long as people don’t take power in their own hands, the danger of communal violence will remain.
Other speakers referred to the long history of national oppression and violation of basic human rights in the North-East and reiterated the demand for immediate repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
The meeting concluded with the unanimous adoption of the following Resolution:
This meeting of LRS held in New Delhi on August 27, 2012 roundly condemns the Indian state and its agencies as responsible for spreading terror and insecurity among the people of the northeast in various parts of the country. The source of terror and insecurity of the people of the northeast lies in the colonial policy of the Indian state, according to which the people of this region are considered a “threat to the unity and integrity of the country” and are brutally denied their national, democratic and human rights.
This meeting of LRS held in New Delhi on August 27, 2012 calls upon all freedom and justice loving people of our country to unite in defence of all the peoples who are victims of the state terror and violence, under the banner of “an attack on one is an attack on all” and take forward the struggle for political power in the hands of the people, so that we may be empowered to take decisions in the interest of the vast majority of the people and create mechanism that will guarantee the national, democratic and human rights of all our citizens.