We were hearing only the other week from BBC correspondent Jim Muir about the dangers of "a patchwork country, an ethnic and confessional cocktail".
How right he is.
"Ever since the rebel attacks started on Friday, thousands of migrants have flocked to railway stations, desperate to catch the first train out of Assam. "It is true that the trains going out of Assam towards northern India are loaded with these people. Many are not even waiting to buy tickets," an official of the north-eastern frontier railway said.
Tinsukia, with its hosiery and brick factories, has the thickest concentration of Hindi-speaking settlers anywhere in Assam. The villages around this town have borne the brunt of the rebel attacks since Friday, in which more than 70 people, almost all Hindi-speaking settlers, have died so far. Authorities blame the attacks on Ulfa rebels, who began their fight for Assam's independence in 1979. "
You can't help wondering why this hideous racist violence isn't all over the Guardian and the BBC. I guess that as in the Congo, there's just not a good enough case for blaming the evil imperialists.
Not all Assamese are against the Hindis.
"If the Hindi-speaking migrants leave, the shortage of labour will be filled by the illegal migrants from Bangladesh. We cannot allow that to happen," says Sammujal Bhattacharya, chief adviser to the powerful All-Assam Students Union (AASU) that ran a campaign against illegal migrants in the 1980s.
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