...As the Darkness Spreads.
(Part of The Darkness Visible series)
Many Americans have never heard of India's state Assam. More Americans have no idea about why this state in India is important today. And yet the spread of darkness across the globe doesn't care what we know or what we think we know.
Ethnic violence has been growing in Assam for some time now. For about five days now the rioting in Assam has flared out of control. Bodo villagers in Assam have been reported to have sparked the riots when they killed four Bengali Muslims. The fighting really sparked when a fifth Bengali was found dead in a rice field just days later. The fact that Assam police refused to arrest anyone in connection to the killings didn't help at all.
Now the Bodo villagers are resorting to handmade weapons and are attacking Indian security forces. The local's aggression has put the death toll at 40 so far. To add to the problem, thousands of people have been either internally displaced as a result of the fighting forced back over into Bangladesh.
All of this can only be highlighted by the suffering of the most vulnerable portion of the population that is suffering once again. Children of Bengali immigrants (leaving suffering and persecution in Bangladesh) are now being forced to relive the nightmares that had brought them to Assam in the first place. As seen in the face of the child in the picture above, the suffering of these innocent victims can not be ignored.
As far as the actual fighting itself the world must take note that the fighting occurring in Assam mirrors that of what happened in Rwanda. Those who have died are already known to have been killed in hand to hand combat in which the attacker used a machete to disband the unarmed victim. This is a personal style fight. There is no way for an attacker to slaughter a victim in this manner without an incredible level of hatred being involved. This isn't as simple as shooting their victims. To use a machete you have to watch as your victim dies. All the while you are covered in their blood.
We must also understand that the region has long been home to the Bodo Liberation Tigers and their separatist goals. It is an area of India in which the ethnic tensions that sparked this outbreak have run beneath the surface for some time now. And it is a region of India in which this sort of conflict may become a regular occurrence. That is why India's Western allies should be acting now to help in any way they can to help end the fighting.
It is important for every country in the developed world not to just stop ethnic violence where and when it occurs but to also prevent it. We promised ourselves after the Holocaust that this sort of fighting would "Never Again" happen on our watch. Now we are watching as one of the world's fastest growing economies wrestles with its demons. And now we must ask ourselves... can we... will we uphold our promise of "Never Again"?
Sources Used (note not all sources are listed)
The Globe And Mail