A migrant worker from West Bengal has been beaten to death in Tamil Nadu. A group of Chennai residents mistook him for a thief and child lifter when he lost his way and entered the residential area. 6 men have been booked for lynching him to death.
The Anti-North campaign in TN reached a new low when DMK joined Tamil Nationalists in demonising migrant workers from Uttar Bharat. High-profile people like Revenue Minister, Health Minister, and others have been consistently painting a negative image of people from Uttar Bharat which has resulted in enmity between Tamils and non-Tamils in general.
This incident is a perfect example of that, as even though Dravidianists think of Trinamool as an ally and West Bengal is a non-Hindi state, a Bengali was lynched to death without even being questioned. Kshetra Mohan Burman, a Bengali man, worked at the construction site of Casa Grande in Kelambakkam in the Chengalpattu district. He resided with fellow migrant workers near the construction site.
On February 12, he went out to have supper and lost his way to the construction site on his way back. As he wandered around searching for the site, he reportedly trespassed a residential area. Locals thought he was a thief and child lifter, as locals usually do on spotting a suspicious looking non-Tamil, and tied him to a pole. Men beat him to a pulp, leaving him to suffer throughout the night.
Only the next day, the police were informed and took Burman to the government hospital. But his condition deteriorated and he succumbed to the injuries a day later. 6 men, Anand, Raja, Udayakumar, Vignesh, Bala Murugan and Ramesh, have been arrested by police.
Politicians have largely contributed to this kind of blind hatred towards people from Uttar Bharat. Last year, the DMK government’s Revenue Minister advised Tamil Nadu Traders Association members to “get rid of North Indian traders”. “Only Tamil traders should do business in TN. People from other states or countries should not do business here”, he said.
Public Works Department Minister EV Velu also talked along the same lines saying, “Laborers from North Indian states should not become dominant in the field. TN’s economy will improve only when Tamils are employed” while addressing builders and contractors in an event. Earlier when there was a threat of reemergence of Covid-19 virus, Health Minister Ma Subramanian alleged that North Indian students studying in the state were spreading the virus resulting in high number of positives in the state.
This has resulted in Tamils escalating casual issues and clashing with migrant workers. Social media also plays an important role in spreading fake news about Uttar Bharatiyas and whipping up hatred. So much so that Coimbatore police had to issue a warning not to spread fake videos of clashes between Tamils and non-Tamils. Burman’s blood is as much on the politicians’ hands as the killers.