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Uglier than Ranjan Daimary

The very next day after the NDFB chief Ranjan Daimary was produced in the CJM court, in Guwahati, I got a call from my office to do a story with an alert that a mail has been forwarded to me to follow the story line. The story was about Ranjan Daimary,s arrest but I was shocked to see the name of Kasav the accused of Mumbai attack being dragged into the story. So what was the relation between Kasav and Ranjan Daimary? It was too simple that Kasav in the initial stage did not had a lawyer to defend him and the Assam Lawyers association had also decided not to fight for Ranjan Daimary, because he is the chief accused of the 30th October blast and one of the blast was inside the court premises that killed lawyers and thus a parallel was drawn. Perhaps no one had ever thought in their wildest dreams about relating Kasav while talking about Ranjan Daimary and the 30th October Blast untill the media had tried to build a relation between two person of two different countries in respect to different sentiments shared by the people and even by the government. Some national media got interested to get the ready made story line, “Ranjan Daimary is Assam’s Kasav” and started following the story giving the Kasav angle. What message are we trying to send to the people across the country and the world about the BODO community?

There is no doubt when Kasav's story was making all the headlines in the national news and also in the local newspaper, so any news associating his name would really grab the attention of the Editor or any viewers. What so every may be, was it really necessary to drag Kasav's name in that news thus giving a bad impression to the people of the country about our own people. Yes there is no denying that Ranjan Daimary had killed innocent peoples in the name of revolution, and also that the NDFB is also the chief accused of the 30th October blast. Was the Lawyers decision became so appealing that Kasav, s name got resemblance with Ranjan Daimary? To my believe it is something like saying all Muslims are terrorist. Yes we know all Islamist terrorist are Muslims but all Muslims are not terrorists and it must be also clear that no Bodo militants can be related to Kasav. Few years back a bollywood film entitled “TANGO CHARLI” had shown about militants in the North-East, and depicted the Bodo militants in a very horrible manner something like man eaters. The movie was banned in Assam by the then cultural Minister Mrs. Hemo Prava Saikia after there was public Hue and cry. The infamous Adavasi clash in Beltola took no time to give a bad impression about the whole Assamese community’s attitude towards women when some notorious people stripped a Adivasi Lady. The reason that most of the people of our country don’t know about the North East they try to judge it through the eyes of the media. So where is the responsibility of the media? I don’t think any foreigners are ruling the media Houses.

Is Arabinda Rajkhowa any different from Ranjan Daimary? In fact the ULFA has killed more innocent people, what about the killings in the Dhemaji Blast, did any one ask to Hang the ULFA leaders whenever they were produced in the court. How a bomb blast in the court premises can be different from that of the Dhemaji Blast.

Ranjan Daimary cannot be stopped from getting any legal assistance; he has to be tried in the court. Assam lawyers Association has refused to fight for him. But we all respect their sentiments as a human being, but legally this cannot be justified only because of the blast in the court premises. If journalists are killed by militants will the media house stop publishing news? If a government office is targeted by militants will it stop functioning, there has been blast in Fancy Bazzar, Paltan Bazzar, and everying thing is going as usual, and all accused are getting legal assistance in the same court. Whatever may be, saving the face of the lawyer’s profession, Mr, Sabda Rabha, has come forward to give legal assistance to Ranjan Daimary which has again raised the eyebrows of some media groups trying to give it a political colour and once again trying to alienate Ranjan Daimary, thus giving a wrong impression to the Bodo community. The Bodo Sahitya Sabha has already expressed about some media playing with the sentiments of the Bodo Community and trying to create differences between the greater Assamese and the Bodo Community. In the long run one cannot deny ant communal clashes if provocation is overdone when communal and political agents are always looking for opportunity to exploit any vulnerable situation. Will media then take the responsibility for any untoward incidents or security breakdown or get busy flashing “BREAKING NEWS”.

If Arabinda Rajkhowa gets a lawyer to defend himself, why not Ranjan Daimary. A layman will never understand the difference between the killings of innocent people done by the NDFB or the ULFA or any other organization including government machinery, perhaps from now onwards the people would try to differentiate the innocent killings and categorizing their punishments even. Thanks to the role of some media groups for enlighting the peoples thought. But where will this lead to us? At least not towards a united Assam that we all talk about. At times we have all realized how hollow we are inside in the name of a greater Assamese society; we are a state without any soul. This is not in the cases of our sister states. We have always shouted Delhi is far away from Dispur and thus they don’t listen to our painful voice. But how far is Diphu and Haflong from Dispur, Have we ever tried to feel their pain or share their grievances. How many organization are now sharing the sentiments of the greater Bodo community?

The arrest of Ranjan Daimary was no different from that of Arabinda Rajkhowa or Jewel Garlosa, but to my firm belief no one thought even in their wildest dreams that such a crisis situation would be suddenly created by a section of Media. From the Lawyers decision, to relating Kasav with Ranjan Daimary to public interview in the TV saying Ranjan Daimary should be hanged till death and that Ranjan Daimary is the Kasav of Assam, where were all these voices when Arabinda Rajkhowa was arrested and brought to the court? In contrast the very next day after Arabinda Rajkhowa was produced in the court, the media and newspapers termed him as a hero and that the ULFA as whole had morally won their first war against the government. It is the same media for whom Ranjan Daimary has become the ugliest criminal in the history of the world. Were we born to fall from grace in such an ugly manner and still take pride to carry on things unchanged? I believe there is always exception and till democracy is alive people will always look forward to see the media playing a greater role in uniting the society. The common people of Assam have always tried to restrain themselves in the time of crises and will always have to do so foreseeing that more man made crises like situation awaits us ahead.

The greater Assamese society have progressed a lot we have understood how we have fall whenever we were divided. Yet we fear because we are very vulnerable. History says though Ahoms came from a foreign land they dedicated themselves to form a greater Assamese society and unite them and that kept us away from the mighty Mughal invaders. But it seems now the Assamese society is more divided mentally than physically. The choice is our as to how we would like to carry on as a greater Assamese society. The people should be the ultimate judge and keep their eyes wide open to the role played by the Media. It’s high time People should learn both to respect and reject the forth estate according to their conscience.

Peter alex todd
Correspondent, Guwahati.
Asian News International.(ANI)

Author info

Peter Alex Todd's picture

Journalist, musician.


N Bhuyan's picture

it,s sad that a person of your stature can post such an article. Mr Daimary does not represent the Bodo community, he is a butcher & so never will. Bodo people are of calm and peaceful nature much to the contrary of Mr Daimary. The lawyers have taken a step towards criticizing criminals like Mr Daimary & I believe that we should back them up. Your article tries to portray Mr Daimary a hero, but is he? please ask yourself. There is no point in comparing one butcher to another or why one butcher was treated as a hero. why don't we take it as a welcome change that people have started calling a spade a spade.
Rongmon's picture

Anjali Daimary was the first person to give a communal edge to the entire episode. Her irresponsible statements has helped her cash on ethnic sentiments which are so high in this region. She very well knew when to play her cards. I had visioned as a prospective political leader of Assam in the near future for a broader canvas. She is one of the most educated leaders of Assam. Anjali condemned the Oct 2008 blasts at the time of the incident. But suddenly she has changed colours. And let me say, no one was spared in the blasts. Victims included all sections of Assam, be it Ahoms, Kalitas, Misings, Brahmins, Deuris, Sonowals, Morans or Bodos. There were victims from neighbouring states too. PLEASE DONT DERIVE POLITICAL MILEAGE BASED ON ETHNIC LINES.
angshuman's picture

Hi Peter, I fail to understand the fuss. Ranjan Daimary, Arabinda, Kasav - all of them are nothing more than petty criminals & murderers. They should be given the maximum possible penalty for the heinous acts they had committed. Bodo or Assamese - does it really matter? The media is always on the lookout for sensationalism, so it is not a surprise that Ranjan's story is viewed in analogy to Kasav. The media is also wrong in portraying Arnabinda as a hero, but is not wrong in the portraying of Ranjan. Why the analogies? And with all due respect, what is the point of your article? All of them should be hanged... That's it.
D N Singh's picture

Well done Peter. In fact our local media is very immatured and even seniors in the media houses overlook the stories or intentionally publish biased news. This should be stopped in the best interest of society and the country.
Prabhakar Basumatary's picture

Well done Peter. I totally agree with you... Killing them will not finish the crisis. It will make the situation more worse. There are still people who follow them blindly. We should make them media to bring that blind folded folks to light. Sometims we need butchers to get back the hidden goats. We dont know where has the butchers hidden the goats. We need them to bring them to life, people commenting agints this article, I believe they must be very intellactual to judge everything. please do research.
Pallavi Barua's picture

A few days back I read in the story of Aten Timung in 'The Assam Tribune'. Timung lost his limbs in the Oct 30 blasts, the one in Ganeshguri. He left his wife for being unable to support the family. Today Timung's wife works as a prostitute to sustain. Aten Timung belongs to the Karbi tribe/community of Assam. Though I personally dont approve of a word called 'tribal', let me say to the ethnically aggressive persons, Timung is a tribal. What does the people who say, "The Assamese are discriminating the tribals" have got to say about the example of Aten Timung? Aten Timung is a poor labourer. Whom should he blame? Assam, Assamese (I don't know what to say about this), Bodos, Brahmins....?
J Sharma's picture

It's funny that someone condemning the blasts can hail the perpetrators just because Ranjan happens to be her brother. No civilised society can pardon the crimes of ULFA, NDFB and their likes. Arabinda and Ranjan are the same two faces of a coin.
Mukesh Basumatary's picture

N Bhuyan and Rongmon has no idea of real practical life. Their judgement on Peter Alex Todd'S article is just like the adament assamese claiming to be a british sahab. Alex's idea can save Assam from turning it into North East Pakistan after being divided 50/50 with the Bodos. Follow Alex assam.
Sanjeeb Kalita's picture

From my viewpoint,Ranjan daimary,aravinda rajkhowa and those who dared to kill innocent people to create terror and to prove their strength should always be treated as criminals.Our local media should avoid creating sensation.i am surprised to know the decision of the lawyers association not to go for the legal fight for ranjan daimary.on the one hand the lawyers terming ranjan as criminal and if so why did they fight for the ulfa leaders who even not spared the innocent people?
C Kashyap's picture

Well written Peter. Good expression and you are right from your perspectives. No options remain in the hands of youth when they want to do good and the system does not listen to them . Being a true supporter of rule of law i agree and strongly belief that all those who break the law must be punished according to law. But at any cost there should not be any partiality . We are going to be a weak society in near future. We are alienating the tribal people for our own interest. Media houses are in Guwahati and still the presentations seems to be anti tribal or anti some community. You have rightly mentioned about Diphu and Haflong. People living in Guwahati and metros are least bothered about others.( I have full respect for the civil society organizations representatives who are really committed for a change and their mindsets are positive though most of them also stays in towns or cities) . As Delhi is little far from us and our stories are not well depicted as only negative stories ( in national media)are there similarly less positive stories from tribal areas are well reflected in our local media. But all those who does not obey the law must be punished according to law. But let's not forget ,who will be the voice of the marginalized and others in due course of time and if we are not serious than we will not have a healthy society as violence might start in any other form.
peter alex todd's picture

I am very happy to see the comments following my article “UGLIER THAN RANJAN DAIMARY”. With all due respect to those who have posted their comments and perhaps whom i might never get a chance to meet throughout my life would like to thank you all. I believe you will all in some way or the other way help building a greater and healthy Assamese society in the long run. I have gone through the comments and all have touched my heart. I value all your thoughts which will some way help me in the near future in my profession. However there are few points i would like to clarify few things, first is that, Law should be equal for all, secondly i have never said Ranjan Daimary is hero, but i will never draw a parallel with Kasav, because Kasav,s sole motive was to terrorise the whole India, he is not fighting for any political right , he has no objectives , instead he was just paid for his mission by anti India forces. We all know what "JIHAD" is, and how in the name of religion it has terrorised the whole world. so as far as KASAV,s act is concerned ,no parallel can be drawn with any militants or militant groups of the north east. Again, I am not at all justifying the killings of innocent people by any militant groups, including Ranjan Daimary, s act. We also know why insurgent groups or militant groups or so called rebel groups have born in the North-East and that it has not come out of the blue all of a sudden as Kasav had came. History will say about Kasav and about the militancy problem of the North East. However both are a headache for the country, one being the internal security threat and other being the external? But both problems can’t be viewed in the same perspective and any layman will agree to. Though the face of terrorism is same all over the world, the roots are different.
Haranga's picture

I think the media is trying to alienate the tribals again. The Assamese society claims to be inclusive of all the societies but in realities it is not. Do not alienate the tribals any more. The Assamese ruling class do not seem to remember the history. I think Ranjan is just a clue; their real attitude and behaviour has just come out. Hats off to Todd.
Morningkeey P. Tungzang's picture

I wonder how can Mr Bhuyan and Rongmon sees Alex to be praising Ranjan, Alex is only doing comparative studies between how an ULFA is perceived in compare to the NDFB. The Assamese in one way portrayed the ULFA leaders as heroes, welcoming them with Gamosa etc in CJM court, when they were last brought there ..where as Ranjan was hailed as a monster... Can somebody tell me the difference between ULFA leaders and Ranjan Daimary? Can anybody tell me why should not they be treated the same... both of them are terrorist anyway... No talk should be held with the ULFA either, both the NDFB and ULFA demands the same thing... they are both anti-national... Both of the should be punished equally in accordance with the LAW... If all Assamese can accept the ULFA leaders for punishment then , I don't think why anybody will oppose to the Punishment to be melted out to NDFB leaders..
Menso Nowluck's picture

I salute for your impartial writing. I hope the so call Assamese will wake up from our writing. If the Assamese cannot accept Bodo, Karbi, Dimasa etc as their own brother,then let divide Assam and live peacefully ever.
debojit's picture

I agree with ya all, they are dangerous be it tribal or no tribal, millitants are millitants, if they are responsible for the lives of innocent people there should be no surrender for they but only death sentence, they should all be killed or again tomorrow like those surrendered ulfas the so called sulfa again they will dirty the community in either ways. i was also really amazed when aravinda rajkhowa etc were given soo much respect with gamocha and stuff whereas he is not even worth a shit. for these stupid millitans of not just Assam but entire northeast we the people who had been suffering.
Nanda Kirati Dewan's picture

Congrats Alex. A Well written piece. The Greater Composite Assamese Society or Assamese as a Society needs to understand this aspect of the sentiments of the member community of the society. Alex has very rightly written and pointed out instances of gross violation of rules of humanity. We should stand above all this to build a better Assamese Society.
Amit Basumatary's picture

whatever may b! We just want a separate n complete statehood!!!NO BODOLAND,NO REST!!! JAI BODOLAND! LONG LIVE NDFBs!
Denial's picture

Thnx Todd,for ur observation on this very sensitive has again showed the gape or differences between the assamese people and bodo people.It is increasing day by day.actualy,the media is no more impartial.there is no such existence of 'GREATER ASSAM'.The existing assam is divided mentaly in many pieces long before..
stanle y's picture

According 2 my observation, taking the lives of innocence is a universal crime, and yeah! That the fact.... But i would like 2 raise a question 2 u all, "are the government trying to analyize the grievances of those people carrying arms against the government? And yeah, they are not only the main root to blame, try to see both the interior and exterior cover up stories, and at last not but the least,

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