The incident which changed “Awesome Assam” to “Awful Assam”

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The incident which changed “Awesome Assam” to “Awful Assam”

Guwahati:

The incident which changed “Awesome Assam” to “Awful Assam”

The recent mob lynching incident at Karbi Anglong’s Dokmoka village, has instigated a massive revenge violence in the entire state of Assam which was once dubbed as “the peace loving state” by Finance and Tourism Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma while responding to the UK and Australia’s negative travel advisory to its citizens on Assam, way back in 2016.

After two years since Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma made those claims about Assam, the recent brutal mob lynching incident of two young men in Karbi Anglong’s Dokmoka region has entirely negated Assam being AWESOME to more AWFUL state.

“Assam is a fine abode of natural beauty while its peace-loving people give immense love and affection to all those who come here. Any misrepresentation of the actual situation creates unnecessary fears besides impacting the tourism potential of the stat,” Himanta Biswa Sarma had said in an earlier statement.

The incident which changed “Awesome Assam” to “Awful Assam”

In what can only be described as a barbaric act, two young Assamese men were allegedly lynched on the mere suspicion of being child abductors in the state’s Karbi Anglong district. The incident has horrified the largely peace-loving state not just because of the brutality, but also because it marks a defined departure from the kind of violence Assam has witnessed in the past.

Assam being a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society. Assam had its share of violent incidents. Ethnic and communal riots have often marred the state. the decades long violence against “outsiders”-those of Bangladeshi origin, and the Hindi-speaking population-by the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and the violent insurgency by armed Bodo outfits, demanding a separate state, had made Assam infamous.

But what has truly surprised everyone or is entirely alien to the state is the chilling thirst for others’ blood, as witnessed in last week’s incident. The fact that the state has not been inherently pro-violence was reflected in the gradual dipping support for ULFA.

Assam has always been and continues to strongly protect its own identity and its own people. The protests against Citizenship Amendment Bill, for instance, opposed the bill on grounds that it would pose a threat to the identity of the Assamese people and harm interests of the indigenous people.

The brutal attack on its own therefore, is even more frightening. In the available videos, the victims are seen pleading, declaring they were Assamese and giving out names of their parents as proof. The mob, however, seems to care little, driven by some inexplicable frenzy to kill.

Now the question arises, who are actually to be blamed for all these blood thirst frenzy? In the age of social media influence, circulation of fake messages and violence instigating videos have pervaded to more such brutal cases across the country where people living in far away from City dwellings are more prone to easy victim s of fake social media new and posts. Youngsters get easily inspired by such brutal violence and hence participate in such heinous killings, like it happened in this mob lynching case.

Assam needs to resist the temptation to slip into this abyss, and would do well to remember the lyrics of this immortal song by the inimitable Bhupen Hazarika-

Manuhe manuhor babe,

Jodihe okonu nabhabe,

okoni xohanubhutire,

bhabibo kunenu kowa?

 

 

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