Militancy in Indian ‘mainstream’ journalism has become synonymous with Kashmir. Time and space permitting, the Naxals manage to squeeze their way through. Northeastern India in general finds scarce mention. A sprinkling of Manipur, Assam and Nagaland somewhere in the ticker or buried in the inside pages. And any remnant of the tiny troubled state of Tripura in the consciousness of the ‘national’ media seems erased.
I came across some statistics on the official website of the Tripura Police which made me ponder. The numbers might not give a close competition to the toll in Kashmir, but they are not insignificant enough to be ignored to oblivion.
Extremist related Incidents in Tripura
(1999 – June 2005)
Persons killed by extremists: 914
Persons kidnapped by extremists: 1469
Extremists arrested: 767
Extremists killed: 272
The absence of international interest in Tripura does not mean that it is not a matter of national concern. Is it because one of the reasons behind militancy in Tripura is the political rivalry between the Congress and the Communists in the state (ironically working hand-in-hand at the centre) apart from the issue of mass immigration and land alienation? Not commanding a large enough vote bank or circulation and viewership, are the people of those parts destined to remain the insignificant others?