Happy in Bangalore, but

Published : Sep 21, 2012 00:00 IST

ABDUL SUKUR LASKAR is a security guard in a residential building in Bangalore. As if reading your mind, the first thing that Abdul Sukur, a 50-something Assamese Muslim, tells you is that he has all the relevant papers and affidavits to show that he is an Indian citizen and not, as you may think, an illegal Bangladeshi immigrant. The Bangalore police, he adds, have checked his papers, given him a few telephone numbers, and asked him to call if there are any problems. My father and even grandfather come from the same village where I was born, he stresses.

He arrived in Bangalore seven years ago from a nondescript village on the outskirts of Silchar town (343 km south-east of Guwahati) in Assams Cachar district and now makes around Rs.9,000 a month. He says this is much more than he can ever hope to earn back home. My family, like most others, has only a small piece of land in my village three bighas [1.2 acres]. The rice we cultivate on it is not enough to feed me, my five brothers and our families. And very often waters from the flooding Barak river wash away much of the crop.

Abdul Sukur is fully aware of the ethnic clashes in Lower Assam. He is critical of successive Assamese and Central governments for encouraging illegal immigrants to settle down in Assam. Jobs, he said, had become scarce because of them. Although he claims he is happy in Bangalore and has also brought his wife (who works as a domestic help) and son (who works as an office boy) with him, he says the city can only be a temporary home. I want to go back. The rest of my family is in Assam. I also dont understand the local language.

Sign in to Unlock member-only benefits!
  • Bookmark stories to read later.
  • Comment on stories to start conversations.
  • Subscribe to our newsletters.
  • Get notified about discounts and offers to our products.
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment