TODAY -

The sudden exodus From Bangalore back to North East India

Monika Hijam *

Exodus of North East people continues from Karnataka
Exodus of North East people continues from Karnataka



I have lived in Karnataka more than a decade with Bangalore being my home away from home. Having lived for so long here, I find it difficult to express in words my emotions of love and loyalty that I feel for the people and the place. It is here I found so many faithful friends who aren't even from the place where I come from.

I never dwelt on my distinct facial features or which part of the country I came from or what the others thought of me because deep down I knew I belonged to India. I am every bit Indian like every other person who comes from the North or South or West or Central India. I have learnt a lot from this state and have created wonderful memories that will last me a life time.

The earliest mention of North Eastern India was by the Chinese explorer, Chang Kien in 100 BC. Throughout history we have been an important part of India which has served as a physical and cultural bridge between India and South East Asia.

Yet I see so many people who are puzzled by our looks. We have been labeled Chinese, Tribal folks and names which I don't even want to mention here. People still question us about our eating and living habits. I wonder why there are so many misconceptions about us, is it because people didn't pay attention to the History and Geography lessons taught in school or are we dealing with a bunch of illiterate folks?

The recent events the sudden exodus of so many people who fled the city I love like my own home, has left me devastated.

Imagine the plight of these people who came to Bangalore to earn their livelihood or to study. With big dreams for their future, for their families they left their homes and made Bangalore their own. Today they have quit their jobs some without even taking their salaries.

Many of them living here were supporting their families on a minimum wage. Suddenly everything changed in the fraction of a second for these peace loving people. The rumours that spread like wild fire evoking paranoia and striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of men had them running for their lives when it wasn't even their fault.

Why are people running away? Is it because they don't trust the Government or is because the Government hasn't taken enough measures to protect them? When I saw large groups of people from the North Eastern states huddling in railway stations waiting for the trains I felt sad and afraid for them and me. Never in my entire stay in this State, in this city have I encountered such a disturbing scene.

In the midst of these chaotic and disturbing scenes we have the airlines trying to make a fast and easy buck. Yet no one seems to understand the plight of the people. At any normal time a flight to the North East India cost us between Rs. 6, 000/- to Rs. 8,000/- . Now, all of a sudden fares have increased to Rs. 15,000/- (being the minimum!).

Isn't this daylight robbery charging people with no option upto Rs. 40,000/- when the actual cost is between Rs. 6, 000/- to Rs. 8,000/-? Are these opportunistic airlines trying to reverse their losses in this mayhem at the cost of petrified people running to be with their worried loved ones before riots breakout?

I love Bangalore, also called the pensioner's paradise, the green city of lakes and parks. The city which promoted cosmopolitan culture and attracted people from all over India to make it what it is today. Now I see newspapers and TV channels highlighting the exodus of the North Eastern people crammed into trains that take them home.

Opportunists like politicians and airline companies are robbing these people without a real heart. Sadness and emptiness fills my heart whilst looking for a solution and I wish I could turn back the clock to an era where Bangalore was a paradise for all to live in.


* Monika Hijam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at monikahijam(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on August 24, 2012.



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