The Epidemic Is Back Again

There has once again been an outbreak of xenophobia in Assam and the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) is its carrier. Enraged students and unemployed youth have gone on an aggressive jobs-for-locals-only drive over the past fortnight. In two incidents last week, activists of AASU and the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chattra Parishad (AJYCP) went on a rampage, ransacking offices of the Railway Recruitment Board and Doordarshan Kendra, Guwahati, gheraoing the officials, protesting against “discrimination against locals” in central government jobs.

Assam has 18 lakh educated youths looking for employment. Such protests are therefore natural. But what has enraged the AASU and the AJYCP is the “deliberate” attempt by the authorities to deprive the local youths the chance of competing favourably with their counterparts in the rest of the country.