Monday, April 27, 2009


Elections 2009

In one of the worst communal riots in India nearly 3,000 Muslim men, women and children were killed in Nellie, Assam on February 18, 1983. All the victims died for defying a call to boycott elections. Twenty five years since the riots it was time for the residents of this area in Assam to face elections again. Today in Assam, illegal migration remains a key election issue. Unfortunately, often, the people of Nellie who are bonafide citizens have been equated with foreigners. For victims of the Nellie massacre, the compensation has been Rs 5,000 for the next of kin of the dead, Rs 3,000 or Rs 1,000 for the injured. The people who survived the attacks plead to take a look at their wounds. But even 25 years on, the healing process hasn't started. At a time when people attack people labelling them outsiders, foreigners and what-nots, I found most of these men and women unaware of the larger politics behind it. Their voting decisions are also, often taken en masse. This April when suddenly the informed blackberry carrying citizenry want people to vote and independent candiddates are mushrooming to take care of Mumbai's potholes and Bangalore's highways, spare a thought for people at the margins.


Earlier this year. Meghalaya, Assam and Bhutan with Shamya, Ajitha, Rajarshi