Title: 25 Years OnÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Nellie Still Haunts
Author: Hemendra Narayan
Price: Rs. 80
We Indians have a very poor sense of history. We have not yet completely understood the importance of documentation and investigation. It is no surprise then that most of events and incidents of life are simply forgotten. One can argue that forgetting is one way of dealing with events but this leads to new interpretations later on with dangerous consequences. We thank British historian for finding and preserving history of India but lot of our conflicts of today Ã¢â‚¬â€œ religious, linguistic, regional, caste- can be traced to the problem they created by their look at India through Western eyes.
Journalist Hemendara Narayan witnessed the Nellie massacre of February 18th, 1983. He saw the death of hundreds if not thousands killed in a matter of hours. The memory of dead and those who survived haunted him for years and after 25 years he prepared this booklet to preserve the memory for future. This booklet has his original story that he filed hours after this gruesome incident. He takes us along in the horrible journey where we find mobs of people hunting down poor inhabitants of villages in and around Nellie.
As the men make a desperate dash to safety, women, children, and elderly are killed. It is a miracle that anyone is able to survive from this brutal attack on humanity. Narayan revisits this tragedy by recalling some of the faces that he remembers surviving – a women in green sari and a little boy who get slapped by a machete wielding murderer.
After independence of India, this is the first such incidence of this nature where thousands were killed and yet no one has been punished for this crime. Survivors never got justice; many continue to live in camps and only got Rs. 5000 in compensation.
This booklet has official documents and memorandum from the Lalungs- those who killed Bengali speaking Muslims- thus providing us with everyoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s version of the event including the government. Muslim voices can be heard only in the news reports, as none of their memoranda or statements has been included.
Book could have been made more useful by adding more documents, photographs, and interviews with survivors and attackers to reconstruct the event. Still, this is a good attempt in keeping the memories of Nelli alive so that we have accurate records for future.
Also read TwoCircles.net series on Nellie :