I just finished reading the book "Train to Pakistan" by Khuswant Singh and I should say, it best pictures the exodus of North East youths from major cities of the South to their homelands with special trains being operated to aid the North East people in the last couple of days. Its an irony that just as the entire nation exhaulted the victory of Mary Kom in the Olympics and acknowledged the North East States, the celebrations were eclipsed by communal riots and ethnic clashes in this geographically isolated part of the country and its ugly repercussions in the rest of the coutry. News of violence, fear and panic adorning the major newspapers, the entire nation shaken and yet safety and security is a cry far far away.
So what's next? 7,000 people who came in search of greener pastures fleeing back home where unemployment is at its peak. Thousands of people risking their jobs, many more sacrificing their studies and career leaving in the middle of semesters, thousands deported even if prices of airfare which is normally a few thousands reaching 30 thousands in minutes and yet we pay. We paid, we ran, we fled, we panicked....call us cowards but who cares, we want to live.
Whom do we believe? The news and rumours of violence or the many Muslims who came out with playcards to lend their support requesting their North East friends not to leave, the Government who requested us not to panic yet provided special trains to help us flee, the same Government who didnt raise a finger when airlines authorities took the maximum advanatage of the whole situation!! I guess in times of crisis, its every man for himself!!
Its awkward that we always cry for discrimination by mainland Indians and yet even among North Eastern people where is the unity? Nagaland always on the lookout for economic blocades in the lifelines of Manipur not to mention clashes among its different tribes, the conflicts and enimosity among the Garos and Khasis of Meghalaya, the abuses and mockery showered on hilly people by valley inhabitants at Manipur not to mention the saga of "Lawai" (countryside) and "Imphal" mentality, Assamese ethic clashes.....where is the unity? And when we feel threatened in the Indian mainland, we all pack our backs and run away back at home!!
Back at home the struggles continues, situation grim as ever. We still have 3 hours of power supply everyday, unemployement is at its peak, we have our regular share of bomb blasts and bandhs, we still have conflicts between insurgents and securities, we still have a list of missing persons, we still have AFSPA, we still have Irom Sharmila fasting for more than a decade, we still have economic blocades at every occassion...so are we really safe back at home? Where do we go now?
So much, yet we pride on being the world's largest democracy and a secular nation, a nation where the Great Mahatma was born.
Peace be with you!!
*The views are strictly personal!!