Assam floods and why this calamity is once again a non-event for Indian media


Swapnil Kotoky

Assam is a region that hosts diverse cultures and subcultures under a single umbrella of “Axomia Manuh” (Assamese people). You may speak Bengali, born and brought up in Dhaka, may have even shifted to Assam only recently – still if you say that Assam has been your motherland – everyone believes you.

assam floods

Such is the level of brotherhood in the state that when somebody even mistakenly forces some immigrants to vacate the land they have been holding off illegally – the honourable CM of Assam Mr. Tarun Gogoi would come to their rescue and give them the necessary documents – helping them to stay in Assam forever.

As we are a very tolerant society, these stories never see the light of the day. Anyway, coming to the point of the flood, it will be wrong to judge national media for their step-motherly act, which by the way would be an understatement, to say the least. This is because there are several misconceptions making rounds in the power corridors of the country which put Assamese people in a catch 22 situation. Let’s look at the misconceptions:

Assamese People have Gills and Fins

Now we all know through our basic knowledge of science that we are all vertebrates (can’t speak the same about our Hon. CM, though). But gills and fins seem like a story stretched a bit too far.

The truth, however, is not that bizarre. It is actually the flip-flop and senseless blabbering of our Hon. CM that led many national media (s)experts believe that Assamese people have somehow developed gills and fins to take care of themselves from the flood

As support from the centre is almost what we can say “Nil bate sannata.”

Flood is Assam’s Annual Event

As everybody celebrates festivals such as Holi, Diwali, Durga Puja, national media thinks people of Assam celebrate flood. I mean when a great river like the Brahmaputra flows through its heart, so flood is a natural phenomenon. As we Indians don’t believe or support only unnatural acts – all thanks to Baba Ramdev and his lackeys – so it’s only natural that we don’t give a batsh*t about some natural act happening in some distant corners of the country.

ULFA: Assam’s Lost Claim to Fame

There was a time when ULFA ruled Assam like a sovereign state. The outfit’s name instilled terror in every non-Assamese’s heart. Assam had its golden days under ULFA’s iron fist. Well…all these statements are as true as Jon Snow is dead (Oops!!! not revealing any latest gossips about GoT). However, national media believed them, and Assam shared some glory days even though there wasn’t an ounce of truth in those stories. After ULFA’s fall and as you can’t name some other disturbing outfits such Jaish and Al-Badr, which are active there, due to fear of sickular forces calling you Bhakts, national media lost all interest in Assam

All these statements are as true as Jon Snow is dead.

Sad but True

There was an outpour of grief from Indian when Aylan Kurdi died. When thousands of Aylan Kurdis are dying in Assam flood, all we see in the national media is which IPL team is going to win the tournament or better – what Sunny Leone is going to wear in the next Honey Singh number. Now some of the blame (Justice) Arnab for not screaming out loud for the people of Assam but you need to understand that he is a mere pawn in the chessboard.

The real mover and shaker still plays from silhouettes. This rant may go on, but the client is calling for a meeting so can’t pen down more thoughts, as I am also running the rat race and not reaching the unreachable cheese slice at the top.

Views expressed here are the author’s own and doesn’t subscribe to them