It was a trivial rumour that has triggered panic among the North-Eastern people who are living in Hyderabad and Bangalore that they would be killed by an agitated community in revenge to attacks in Myanmar. Bangalore’s Nelasandra and some outskirts of Hyderabad witnessed groups of local people belonging to a community threatening them to leave or face consequences soon.
The threats have yielded the desired results. All trains to the North-East were crowded with people fleeing, reminding India of similar incidents which had shaken its roots after independence 65 years ago. This time, the target is easy and results were clear. Triggering panic may help certain groups but it will surely bring the country’s growth to standstill and relegate it 50 years in history.
The telephonic query from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Karnataka Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar failed subside the inherent fears among the North-Eastern people in Bangalore who are desperate to leave Bangalore for good. The flip side of it is that even Japanese and Korean expatriates began to feel insecure fearing mistaken identity for the northeastern people which may make them targets of attacks.
The timing is set at a time when the country is gearing up to increase foreign investments and regain the lost confidence of foreign investors in our markets and the governance. More than the retrospective taxation, fear for life would entail any prospective investors run away from the country. In turn, the buoyant job scene may suddenly evaporate and bring the youth back to the reality of unemployment that haunted the country in the 70s, 80s and early 90s.
The Karnataka police has opened a helpline number for the people from the Northeast 9480801020 while Hyderabad police commissioner said half of the city techies have fled the city owing to rumours. Maharashtra is still reeling under pressure with thousands of the North-eastern people fleeing the cities like Mumbai and Pune.
Despite appeals from the prime minister and local leaders and the police, the northeastern people are living under fear that was unseen in any modern democracy. A day after the 65th Independence day, India has to fear for its survival.