Asia

Preventive Diplomacy and the Political Crisis in Assam, India

A somewhat similar situation to the Rohingya repression is developing in neighboring Assam, in northeast India. The Assam situation has not received the international attention that Myanmar has as wide-scale violence and refugee flows have not taken place, thus the need for preventive diplomacy now. The people of Assam in northeast India are potentially sitting on top of a smoldering volcano that threatens to erupt into catastrophic suffering. The violence would target ethnic and religious minorities, most particularly Bengali-speaking Muslims, somewhat on the pattern of the fate of the Rohingya of Myanmar.

The women of Macharawari Pallem, a village of the Yanadi indigenous people located some three hours from Chennai city in South India, finally re-claimed their land after being award it over two decades ago and losing it to landlords and village elites. Credit: Stella Paul/IPS
Asia

Oppressed Indigenous People in India are Reclaiming Their Rights One Village At a Time

There are roughly three million Yanadi indigenous people in India today. What is common among them all is the cycle of utter poverty and deprivation that they have been subjected to. Yet the Yanadis are taking steps to claim their rights. “There are so many odds, but for my people, standing together can be the best way to overcome them all,” said Gandala Sriramalu, a Yanadi community elder.