Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Expected results of terror

ULFA(United Liberation Front of Asom) strikes again. This time their targets are primarily Bihari immigrant workers who do small roles in the economy (laborers, milkmen). This is chillingly in line with ULFA’s strategy of exterminating all foreign (yes all Indian except Assamese are considered foreigners) nationals from Assam and ensure that Assamese gets maximum use of the state’s resources. ULFA is liberally supported by Bangladeshi Intelligence ( and hence the refusal of ULFA to persecute immigrants from Bangladesh who now reportedly form a considerable amount of population in several districts of Assam) and ISI. The first time I read something of that sort the usual Pak bashing did come to mind. But the logic is compelling, almost all of ULFA top leadership is in exile of hiding. Their organization is very strong, with disgruntled youth ready to join, but the funding for arms does not require rocket science to understand. What is the ULFA trying to achieve?

Actually what are all the terrorist organizations( I don't know what the list is based on, but just for some understanding) in India looking at. The north-east is definitely divided with calls for separate nations et all ( partially valid, 50 yrs of Indian Independence has not resulted in much for them). But what can they actually achieve:

1) The reorganization of nation states does not happen in times of peace. Unless there is full scale war India will not give up any of its territory. So, who will fight an open war with us? The Chinese? No, for them the chance to become a superpower is more compelling that fighting for minor territory, they can at best provide logistics. Pakistan? They are mad enough, but they would go for a Nuclear war which could prove disastrous for them. Covert action is best for them, to paint India as a muslim-hater for some time atleast. Bangladesh? They could do it, they need land and water (and everything else) for their people. But not very likely. Combined attack? Again would need a significant event for something like that to happen. Maybe a US invasion of Pakistan and everyone would get sucked in.

2) Destabilization of the country: This could serve its purpose, but the result would mean that the people who are disadvantaged would lost out even more because no one would invest in terrorism infested areas because of chance of loss. It's a vicious cycle, no development means that more people for the ‘cause’ which means more misery for people who try to live on. This is very synonymous with the PWG which reportedly does not allow the construction of roads in AP because that would undermine their authority.

Maybe some good can come of it, if the revolution slowly included political movements to force the central govt to be on its toes. But till then, the issue would be just a thorn, and the security forces will be used to quell the challenge. And no security force on the planet is benign and this would mean more misery for the common people. So finally you are left with just hope that such carnages as of this week would not happen.

Larger questions on issue of intra country remain. Will growth in the country living behind many geographies migration to better opportunities is a given, so if native population in growth states fights immigration (as in Mumbai, Bangalore) right now we would need a work permit system for the whole country. Will write on this some more.

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