This post is not about 'personality development' or for that matter enhancing your 'social skills'! Rather, it is about how certain 'elements' make use of national celebrations (in this case the Indian Independence Day celebrations) to announce to the public that they are still alive and kicking.
Yes, I am referring to various militant groups of the north east of India and their modus operandi.
Let's talk about Assam, my parent state. Well the usual method adopted so far has been to call a 'general' boycott (led by the ULFA) of the flag hoisting and all other functions that follow. This has been going on for more than three decades now. Yes, I must admit, the initial years when the organisation was much younger, more vibrant and had a lot of muscle, the effect was paralysing. Barring government offices where the national tri-colour was hoisted with a sparse gathering, the people in general preferred to remain indoors. Vehicular traffic was at the minimum, shops and business establishments downed their shutters and the whole state more or less wore a deserted look. Such was the clout that the organisation wielded.
But those glory days of the organisation are over. Most of the mainstream leaders are either no more or have come over-ground. Some of them are housed in designated camps while others are out on bail. The outfit now has two factions, namely, the anti-talk and the pro-talk factions. Both vying with each other to gain an upper hand!
So, when an opportunity presents itself, like the upcoming Independence Day celebrations on the 15th of August, the outfit (anti-talk faction) makes a feeble attempt at raising its ugly head by calling for a boycott of the celebrations. But it doesn't work nowadays. Most of the people of the state, especially the younger generation are not concerned or bothered with such antics. It is a national celebration which is to be witnessed and enjoyed by one and all of this great nation. So this boycott call by these outfits holds no water at the present times!
Funny it may seem, but till date no such call has been given by these outfits. Maybe they are waiting for the last moment to do so, who knows. But what is striking and harassing at the moment is the security-checks that have been put in place. You have these gun-wielding commandos and paramilitary personnel stationed at strategic entry points into every city and town of the state and also at vulnerable points of cities and towns to check and frisk all and sundry (ladies are spared, of course!). And believe me when I tell you, they can be real harassing for the innocent! Whether you are travelling by a two-wheeler, three-wheeler or a four-wheeler, whenever you come up against such a check post, you need to bare yourself (I don't mean literally!)for their scrutiny. From your vehicle documents to the luggage compartment, nothing escapes their prying hands and by the way the whole process is carried out in the most uncouth, gruff and foul manner that, it leaves you cursing the people for whom all this security fanfare is being carried out! Anyways, we have weathered this abuse of our privacy for than three decades now, always before the run up to any national celebration, guess we can manage for another few more days!
But wait a minute, let's analyse the whole scenario! Why this big fiasco of throwing an elaborate security blanket across the state in the run up to the Independence Day celebrations? Why this threat perception by the state machinery? None of the militant outfits practising their trade in Assam have given any inclination of a boycott call or otherwise till date, so why?
You may call it a high level of preparedness to tackle any unforeseen events, being proactive or just a show of muscle, okay, but the end result? The 'big fish' will never be caught, they are not here, some low rung straggler who still believes in the militant doctrines may be caught in the drag net, just may be, nothing definite.
So at the end of it all, hasn't the militants, especially the ULFA, made its presence felt, indirectly?
I hope this gives you an insight into the going ons in this part of the world. Do share the information, so that people are aware of the realities of this region and are not misled with all the incorrect pictures painted by the media!