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Army deployed in Assam after 31 Muslims killed

A view of the houses that were burnt during the attacks is pictured at Baksa district

The idea that Muslims in Assam are “Bangladeshi immigrants” is false. As we mentioned in a previous article the last time anti-Muslim violence reared its ugly head in Assam:

Muslims started to settle in Assam as early as the 13th century, and Indian census data actually indicates that there is less net immigration to the state, with more people leaving than coming! Right-wing Indian politicians are calling for solutions similar to those on display in Myanmar, and Muslim bashing is at a dangerously high level.”

Army deployed in Assam after 31 Muslims killed

(Reuters) – India deployed troops in Assam on Saturday after 31 Muslims were gunned down in three days of what police said were attacks by tribal militants who resent the presence of immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.

The unrest in the tea-growing state comes towards the end of a marathon election across India that has heightened ethnic and religious divisions and which the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) looks set to win.

Security forces found the bodies of nine people with bullet wounds on Saturday, six of them women and children, the third day of violence that police have blamed on Bodo tribesmen attacking Muslim settlers as punishment for opposing their candidate in the election to the Indian parliament.

Bodo people are followers of the local Bathouist religion.

“We are scared to live in our village, unless security is provided by the government,” said Anwar Islam, a Muslim who had come to buy food in Barama, a town about 30 km (20 miles) from the villages in the Baksa district where the violence erupted on Thursday and Friday.

He said men armed with rifles had come to his village, Masalpur, on bicycles and had then fired indiscriminately and set huts on fire.

Bodo representatives say many of the Muslims in Assam are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh who encroach on ancestral Bodo lands. In 2012, clashes erupted in which dozens of people were killed and 400,000 fled their homes.

In addition to that violence, Assam has a history of sectarian strife and armed groups fighting for greater autonomy or secession from India.


Election candidates, including the BJP’s Narendra Modi, the front-runner for prime minister, have been calling for tighter border controls.

On Saturday, the ruling Congress party blamed Modi of using divisive rhetoric. “Modi is a model of dividing India,” said Law Minister Kapil Sibal.

Modi said last week that illegal immigrants from Bangladesh in the nearby state of West Bengal should have their “bags packed” in case he came to power, accusing the state government of being too soft.

“Modi should have been more responsible in his utterances,” said Sabyasachi Basu Roy Chowdhury, a political science professor at Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal.

“His words can be very damaging since, even if we consider that Bangladeshis are living here illegally, there is a question of human rights too.”

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  • Friend of Bosnia

    You came to the right conclusion.

  • Tanveer Khan

    All I did was simply repeat what I read in the newspaper and on the internet. The only original thing I did was call him an idiot and a liar. XD

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Brilliant Tanveer!

  • Friend of Bosnia

    I 100% agree with you. Couldn’t agree more.
    I too want democracy, liberty and tolerance for the Muslim societies. But what we have more often than not is totalitarianism and tyranny, be it of the secular variant (as in Algeria and Egypt) or the religious (Saudi Arabia and Iran, for example)
    Because there is no middle class. A few people have all the wealth, and most people don’t have any, and there’s nothing in between the have-alls and the have-nots. That’s even true in Saudi Arabia.
    A society without a middle class can’t be anything but a tyranny. Look at Russia. Before 1914 it started developing a middle class, but WWI and the October Revolution, and Stalin destroyed that middle class. Today in Russia there are oligarchs, and almost all others are as dirt poor as ever, or more so. And what do we have in Russia? “Guided democracy”, an euphemism for dictatorship.
    Likewise, Tito destroyed what was left of the middle class in Yugoslavia. What was the result? We all know it. Genocide.
    What did they have in Spain before 1931? They too had a very divided society in which a few had all the wealth and most were dirt poor. What happened? Revolution! Then, in 1936, as a Spanish version of the October Revolution loomed ahead, counter revolution. Unlike Kornilov in late 1917, Franco did succeed, but only after three years of fratricidal war. Which has left much bitterness and bad blood until this very day.
    I will not glorify General Franco in any way. Like Stalin, he wanted to have, as he himself said “everything tied down”. Unlike Stalin he did not commit genocide against his own people (the proportion of political prisoners under his regime was much lower than in the Soviet Union. There is no disputing that. Of course, for the individuals who suffered prison and torture for their opinions that was in no way better.) At the very least Franco had the decency unlike Stalin or Kim Il Sung not to try to perpetuate his regime. He said to an American diplomat (whose name I have forgotten) in 1973: “After the end of my regime there will come democracy. There will come all kind of stupid things. But Spain will not break apart because it now has something it didn’t have before: a middle class.”

    And you know, it’s true. But what do we see now? Economic crisis, and what has it brought? A rise of ultranationalism in the Basque Country and in Catalonia, with the same trappings of exclusion and intolerance as, say, in “Republika Srpska” or “Transnistria”. Not that I dispute the right of Basques or Catalans to be different, (or for that matter, of the Bosnian Serbs and Croats. But by committing genocide?!? By discriminating against others? No, no way! If they do that they have forfeited all their rights. Then the Bosniaks can live with them only if the Bosnian Serbs and Croats ask for forgiveness.) but not to create ethnically pure societies or to discriminate against those who aren’t like them – as they ‘re doing now.
    Of course that means equality before the State and the Law. There ARE no minorities. In the Balkans, in the Arab world, in Africa, Asia, in some European countries too, it seems they think the majority can oppress the minority. “If you have over 51% you can do as you please” they think.
    Which leads us back to what I think those societies should do. They should establish in their constitutions that 1.) Human dignity is inviolable. All men are created equal and are endowed with certain unalienable rights, among them Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. You know the rest (it seems the Americans are losing it a bit right now; and that is only partly due to Sept. 11th; it is more due to rising inequality and division of society. It’s the same in Europe now, witness the rising of rightist populist fascist parties. Because the rich keep getting richer, and the poor get poorer. State, society and economy encourage that. That is the bane of neoliberalism, of economic, as opposed to humanist, liberalism. God, what a world are we leaving to our children? I now almost regret having a young daughter, what a society will she live in…? But I disgress.)
    2.) Any totalitarian tendencies are unconstitutional. The Executive must listen to the Legislative and the Judiciary. There must be checks and balances so that national, ethnic, religious minorities are not discriminated against, that people are not discriminated against for their ethnic, religious, sexual or any other background or orientation. Power must not be absolute power nor be concentrated in too few hands.
    3.) The state must guarantee a maximum degree of personal freedom, the absolutely needed minimum of taxation, acceptable minimum living standards for everybody (nobody should be left to die of hunger in the street, to be cold and wet, to be in the dark atr night, not to have potable water, even if for reasons not due to their own fault they can’t support themselves; as opposed to “who doesn’t work shall not eat.”) That are the competences of the state which should not be exceeded.
    And why can’t it be done? Because there is no middle class, because too much wealth and too much power are concentrated in too few hands. Was it Aristoteles who said that too much power in too few hands (And wealth is power) is like too big a sail for a ship, it will cause it to eventually capsize…
    Unfortunately, I don’t know how it could be done. When a tyranny becomes genocidal it has to be deposed by military force from the outside, as Nazi Germany was. We can say that Saddam Hussein’s was a genocidal tyranny. As was Milosevic’s. Genocide can be stopped ony by military force, and if the people that is endangered by genocide can’t do that by themselves then somebody else has to do it for them. This does not alwas work out right. Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were conquered, and a democracy was successfully established because there WAS a middle class (even though Hitler would have destroyed that too; quite a few of the German middle class were Jews after all; and the GDR as well as the Japanese militarists, for reasons of their own, almost succeeded in destroying it) But that did not prevent the Holocaust nor the massacre of Nanking or other such atrocities. The genocide against Bosniaks was not stop-punched as in Kosovo. It was muffed, and the aggressor was given the spoils of war. The Rwandans were fortunate to be able to stop it by themselves (the better side that is.) Bosniaks, Palestinians, Rohingya, Uyghurs, Tibetans, they don’t have that luck. They have been turned into people without a land (the Bosniaks have about 25% of the land, God knows until when yet), and subject to genocide or genocidal policies.

    I don’t see how they can be helped. I don’t see how a middle class can grow in tyrannical societies such as Russia, China (even though it is starting to develop one), Iran, Saudi Arabia, or thoroughly destroyed, impoverished, despoiled and corrupt ones, like Bosnia. The Burmese military too have destroyed the middle class, that’s why we have genocide there now. The middle class in India is very small, that’s why Modi’s genocidal Hindutva fascists (and make no mistake about it, they ARE genocidals) will triumph.
    We can hope that at least in Bosnia things will some day get better. It may seem so unlikely at the moment. But if the South Koreans could do it, why not the Bosniaks? South Korea, in 1953 looked very much like Bosnia (free Bosnia that is, not the “RS”) looks today. But it has taken the South Koreans very long. Right up to 1989 it was a corrupt, tyrannical, dirt poor military dictatorship. Only after that did South Korea become prosperous. It has a middle class now. I would very much advise my Bosniak and other brethren to look at South Korea, to learn from their successes and mistakes. But then, Korea is still divided and I don’t see how it could be put back together except by military force (same as BiH, of course).
    Still, the notion of developing a middle class and establishing a truly democratic, free and humanist society is the best option we have. It’s a long, slow and complicated process. And we must at al times be ready to defend it against the forces of reaction, the tyrants, the fundamentalists, with deadly force if need be. Let them fire the first shot. But do not let them take the initiative.
    Of course I do not offer the perfect solution. I couldn’t do that. Nobody can. But if I can start somebody thinking I will have done enough. And I mean anybody with at least average intelligence should be able to see what I have said and see that it’s right. I don’t see myself as beng more intelligent than most. But if they don’t see it, or knowing it’s right they still refuse to see it, they’re either very evil, or very stupid, or both.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Fascists are fascists no matter if their fathers or grandfathers have been victims of fascism.
    Indeed, those fascists whose ancestors once suffered under fascism are the worse fascists, just like in the Roman Empire the liberated slaves were the worse slaveholders.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Yes. Since they see those who aren’t like them as garbage they themselves should be treated as such. They should suffer what they want for their enemies in their own flesh and blood, their own bodies and souls, those of their wives and children.
    Not because I believe in “an eye for an eye” (as Gandhi said that would leave us all half blind. But I do want to see them suffer as they make others suffer.)
    But because they are mad dogs, and you know what has to be done with mad dogs, so they will no longer be a danger.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Me too, but sometimes I can’t hold back.
    There are genocidal people out and about, and like it or not, in my mind they deserve the very worst a human being could do to another. That would not necessarily involve killing them, if I could destroy their souls I’d rather do that than destroy their bodies, and let them continue to exist as empty shells for the rest of their natural lives – a non-existence in fact.
    And mind you, I don’t see myself as a particularly cruel person. I could not hurt a fly. But for such inhuman genocidals, I feel they have through their inhuman views (and in too many instances, deeds) forfeited all their rights on Earth, forfeited their human condition. They must be removed from the face of the Earth, not because I hate them (even though I admit I do) but because they are as dangerous as mad dogs and must be eliminated so they will no longer pose a danger to mankind. And to make other individuals who are on the path of evil think twice before following it any further.

    I have no intention of ever harming anybody.
    But who comes at me with murderous intent shall suffer in his own flesh and body what he wishes for me. That is a promise.
    I intend, if they ever come at me as they did in 1992, before I let them overwhelm me I will take down six enemy side-boys with me to the land of the dead. That is a solemn promise too and I will teach that to my children.
    I would recommend it to the Rohingya or the Central African Muslims too. Would you rather be led like lambs to the slaughter? Do not let your enemies humiliate you and slowly torture you. Take down at least six side boys. If they outnumber you 10 to 1, if they have rifles and knives, and you have nothing, if help like the RPF in Rwanda or Operation Storm is not forthcoming, commend your souls to God. In 1857, during the Sepoy Mutiny in India, the British at the garrison in Delhi preferred to blow themselves up in the Delhi Arsenal rather than fall into the hands of the rebels; and blow up quite a few of them too. Why should that be legitimate only for “whites”? There are ways even for the poorest to do that; I will not go into them here, nobody should take me for a terrorist … DO NOT go out to seek them. NEVER put on explosive belts and go into their midst to blow them up. Then you would be rightly called terrorists. Do not try to find death in battle, or through an attempt, that’s not the right way.
    But when they have overwhelmed you, when they are all over you…as they were at Srebrenica, Foca, Visegrad, as they are now in the CAR, in Burma… when all is lost, no hope of escape or mercy, and you have to face Death anyway… THEN – and ONLY then, maybe if you are fatally wounded already – it is legitimate to blow them to Hell.
    Forgive me for saying that but when all is lost I shall not be led like a lamb to the slaughter, I shall die with my boots on. If I find myself in the same situation the defenders of the Alamo found themselves in, I will try to follow their example. I’m very sure that if the defenders of the Alamo had had enough gunpowder they’d have done just that. Don’t you think if the defenders of Masada had had gunpowder (or naphtha) they wouldn’t have used it? They too refused to be led like lambs to the slaughter or into slavery. Won’t you respect that I share their feelings? Why should any of us, in Bosnia, in Rwanda, in the CAR, in Burma, or anywhere in the world, be led like lambs to the slaughter?
    But I pray it will not again come to that. I pray that if we show our readiness not to be led like lambs to the slaughter, our enemies will think twice before trying.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    So you favor ethnic cleansing of India of its Muslims ?!?

  • Friend of Bosnia

    “Fecal fascist”! that is great. Spot on. Thank you for sharing my brother.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    And I don’t see the point of being polite to anybody who advocates genocide and genocidals.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    No. He tells it like it is. Why should anybody be polite to genocidals anyway.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Who says and believes such things as those fiends deserve to die a thousand deaths.
    I’m fortunately not aware that there are some who actually dare say such things over here. But if anybody did, I’d do all I could to find out who they are and track them down.
    And then…I’d give them back all the hatred they have vested on us since 1804. With interests. I would erase their souls if I could.

  • Nabeel

    Your rant was ridiculously off topic, and what’s with all the anti-Pakistan angst?

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    Carlos Danger, what happened to you? I never knew you in past comments to have this type of bizarre attitude. Are you a Hindutva supporter? A Modi supporter? You’ve gotten very over-defensive about posts regarding Modi’s likely election as PM!

    How can you reasonably say we shouldn’t have covered Modi and Hindutva?

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    While I don’t agree with Carlos Danger’s attempt to shift away from the atrocious, fascist nature of Modi, using words such as “coolies” is not acceptable and future posts that include it will not pass.

  • Anonymous

    You know, it wouldn’t surprise me if islamophobes believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth since they dropped out of kindergarten.

  • Heinz Catsup

    Ooh that’s dark, yet funny.

  • Heinz Catsup

    Good thing you captured these posts.

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