Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Mob violence/communal violence/rioting is something that we often read about. When we witness that madness it's something that beats all imagination. It's horrifying, nauseating . People killing people is not the best thing to watch. Assam witnessed the worst form of communal violence just few days back. At least 40 people were killed in the districts of Udalguri, Darrang and Baksa. No one knows what sparked off this violence. I was there in Udalguri and there were many versions doing the rounds. No one knew what was the reason for organised hatred among thousands of people and what led them to hack each other to death in these districts. I have read many times, many accounts of the India-Pakistan partition riots ( probably the worst in history) on both sides of the border, in Punjab and in Bengal. I have read stories by Manto, by Manik Bandopadhyay, by Khuswant Singh. I have also read about the infamous Nellie massacre that took place in Assam in 1983 when more than 2,000 people were killed in one night of communal frenzy. But nothing comes close to what you witness. On assignment in Assam's Udalguri district, these are photographs that captured the hatred for me. An assignment that has also put questions in my mind about the (ir)responsibility of television. The first photograph is of a pair of black sandals in a pool of blood. I was told that it belonged to a man from another community who was hacked to death. His body was dragged away. Rest, no one knows.

1 comment:

prarthana said...

Really, whatz a great tragedy in my own homeland? How can people kill others just for religion and community? Nelli Massarce was worst in Assam but it was due to ignorance n misguide of the Asom Movement leaders. But we feel pain to think why this happens to Assam again? To whom we will question--the so-called intelecttuals, Political top brass, ULFA, AASU...No all in assam in slumber of personal pleasure. Asom is in great turmoil and will be much in future. Worst politicians here. media is under the grip of demonic rulers.