Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Complex calculation of Ethnic Strife from another perspective in Assam

I ( Utpal Brahma ) keep track of my family ancestory. My great great grand father (paternal) was a General under the Koch army, but he was a Boro and hailed from the same village as the founder of Koch dynasty. My grand mother had Bhutanese blood in her.My mother is Koch + Kalita + Rabha. My wife is a Kayastha main stream Assamese.So what am I ? What about my children ? My direct reply in this query , first a human beings later Assamese or else.

1.Recent disturbance and fleet:-

The recent disturbance in Assam and its fallout and mass exodus of NE Indians from other parts of India.What began as an isolated communal conflict here in the remote state of Assam, a vicious if obscure fight over land and power between East Bengal migrated Muslims and the indigenous Bodo tribe, has unexpectedly set off widespread panic among northeastern migrants who had moved to more affluent urban cities for a piece of India’s rising prosperity.

Like a fever, fear has spread across India this week, from big cities like Bangalore to smaller places like Mysore, a contagion fueling a message: Run. Head home. Flee. And that is what thousands of migrants from the country’s distant northeastern states are doing, jamming into train stations in an exodus challenging the Indian ideals of tolerance and diversity. Assam, which has about 31 million people, has a long history of ethnic strife. The current violence is focused on the westernmost region of the state, which is claimed by the Bodos as their homeland. For years, Bodo insurgent groups fought for political autonomy, with some seeking statehood and others seeking an independent Bodo nation .

2.Ethnic Strife from another perspective:-

Energy crisis - mass migration - changing demographics - ethnic strife - economic stagnation and recession - melting polar icecap - rapid extinction of many species - environmental degradation - disappearing coral reef - rise of fundamentalism - growing food crisis ------

3.Human civilization at a crossroad:-

The world and human civilization as we know is at a crossroad, But when we analyze all these seemingly unrelated events -- the root cause of all lies in - the economic model that solely depends on increasing consumerism to sustain an model that demands relentless growth. Unless the world undergoes a paradigm shift - the I'll effects will continue to manifest in many forms just like a multi headed hydra from the ancient Greek epics.Throughout history, we have seen several civilizations rise to the zenith only to eventually decline and even collapse -- be it the Harappan, Sumer, Egyptian, Norsk in Greenland, the Mayans.One of the key reasons for the eventual decline of civilizations was over utilization of resources leading to the collapse of the environment which led to the eventual downfall of the economic and social order.

4.Present civilization:-

The present order seem to be heading in the same direction, The key difference is that, unlike in the past -- which were more regional or local civilization -- this time the impact could be far wide and global. This is the first case where human led -- fossil fuel based economic order has caused world wide global environmental change. We are yet to understand the full impact of this global environmental change.

5.Environmental changing:-

As the water level keeps on rising, as the regional drought intensifies, as the polar ice cap melts, as the glaciers start receding, as the challenge to feed the world intensifies -- it is likely to increase tension between contending nations vying over the same resources. A particular hot spot is going to be our South Asia. Melting of the Himalayan ice cap and rising sea levels will inundate large areas of low lying Bangladesh (as much as 30% of the land in next 50 years) and the people have to move somewhere.

6. Demographic balance:-

This will cause further tension in the region where there is already a growing concern over changing demographic balance.The above scenario was actually predicted in a study published (in 2003 )in a School of Strategic studies at a leading US University .The other parts only testifies what might be in store for us when resource crunch intensifies with further environmental change. Soon we will see wars being fought between nations to control the essential resources of food, energy and habitat -- which will only be further strained unless we control the environmental degradation and adopt a new economic paradigm.


We are not YET at a point of no return. Only what is missing is a global consensus at the leadership level -- who are yet to be cognizant of the scale of the impending crissis.

Guest post contributed by Utpal Brahma:-

Utpal Brahma has done his Bachelors in Engineering from IIT kanpur and MBA from IIM Calcutta. Currently lives in South Jersey,USA.Catch him in Facbook.

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