Is Northeast free from ISIS impact?
Mehdi is synonymic to the reality of how an educated person who has a family can be brainwashed into a propaganda unleashed by the fundamentalists without actually even knowing the person in flesh and blood .While Mehdi is a person who originates from Bangalore, this could very well be the case anywhere in the country and more importantly in the Northeast where there is a growing perception of hostility directed towards the minorities.
For those who are unaware of the Mehdi Story it goes somewhat like this, the Twitter account, @shamiwitness was tracked down by the Central intelligence agencies, it was one of the most popular and influential handles of the dreaded ISIS and this account was being run out of Bangalore.
According to the investigations Mehdi, a resident of Bangalore ,working with multinational advertisement was inspired by the propaganda of the ISIS and was given the primary task of running the social media campaign. Till the time the twitter handle was taken down it had amassed over 18,000 followers.
Speaking with various police officials from the Northeast, the authorities emphasized that this is not an one off case related to a metro but could be an study on how the movement has gone local via the use of the internet. The Authorities also added that the profile of this person 'Mehdi' was that of a normal guy who's Facebook profile was full of pictures of "pizza dinners with friends and Hawaiian parties at work.'' However the Facebook account now stands deleted, this according to the police makes it harder to identify the culprits as they do not fit the stereotype fundamentalists.
The new Jihadist could well be the regular guy in the college or your work place and is unlikely hoping to look like a Mullah Omar or a Bin Laden and ISIS has used this to their advantage state local officials.
However, the authorities have also categorically stated that this should not become a tool to discriminate people purely on the basis of their religion. The Northeast has a significant population of Muslims in the region and many of them have contributed to the development of the region.' Unlike certain other parts of Indian the Northeast the minority community has embraced the local culture and also speak the local dialects and it appears that their regional identity is far more important than the religion they may follow' adds S Hazarika a keen student of regional politics and demographics.