A local conflict in a remote section of India goes viral.
Violence in distant Assam boils over in the rest of the country
The Economist, 25 August 2012
ON JULY 6th, a month after an altercation at a mosque in a region run by (non-Muslim) tribesmen in north-east India, four men on motorcycles shot and killed two Muslims. Six weeks later, some 80 people have been killed in communal bloodletting; the army has been sent into Assam with orders to shoot to kill; tens of thousands of north-easterners in other parts of India have fled homeward in fear of their lives; India has accused Pakistanis of being the origin of doctored video messages designed to stir up religious hatred; and 400,000-500,000 Indians are homeless or displaced within Assam, the largest involuntary movement of people inside the country since independence.
Violent propaganda spread through mobile phones, are held responsible for fanning the flames. Maybe, but the killing of an Arch Duke that nobody liked very much was the spark that ignited World War One. Sometimes conflict just gets out of hand. Particularly when there is a long standing set of grievances and a history of past violence.
|Refugees fearing further violence (form Economist Slide Show No. 13)|