E-Pao! Feature - After 10 years - North East India Will Be

After 10 years - North East India Will Be

By: R.B. Thohe Pou *

The North Eastern States of India have rich resources and in the midst of rich resources, the people are poor and just depending on nature. The total population of North Eastern states according to 2001 census is 38,49,5089. The literacy rate of India is 65.4% in 2001 Census and the literacy rate of seven sisters is 65.85%.

The Arunachal Pradesh has the lowest literacy rate with 54.7% and second lowest is Assam with 64.3%. While Mizoram has the highest literacy rate with 88.5% and second highest is Tripura with 73.7%. Most of the seven sisters states are rural and the region's literacy rate is more than all India rural literacy rate, which is 59.4% The Seven Sisters endowed with rich natural resources and relatively have higher literacy rate as compare to other states of India.

However in the midst of abundant natural resources, the people in the region are mostly depending on nature and economically backward. The literacy rate in all the seven sisters are high and where will all the educated people in North Eastern States will be heading without any job opportunity in the region after 10-15 years?

Why there were bomb blast in Assam and Nagaland on 2nd Oct. 2004? When I learnt about the bomb blast from National Newspaper, I was not shocked or panic. I just said to my friends, "The time is coming that there will be many more bomb blast after 10-15 years if the central government is not taking the initiative to solve the insurgent problem."

According to newspaper report, about 67 were killed bomb blast in Assam and Nagaland and more than 100 people were seriously injured. It was indeed sad that many of our precious brothers and sisters were died and injured in bomb blast. However after 10-15 years more serious bombs are sure to blast incase the government of India fails to solve the insurgent problem in the region.

The recent bomb blast in Assam and Nagaland is just the seed sprouting, which were earlier sown in the region due to some reasons. Many insurgents are sowing seed of bomb in the region and it is likely to sprout more plants after 10-15 years. The U.S. government is aware of the insurgents' problem in NorthEast India and they want to solve the problem. However the Indian govt. is still dithering to solve the problem sincerely.

The North Eastern states are drawing the special attention of the central government in recent years in many aspects and it is slowly opening up the heart to understand the Seven Sisters' problem. But the question is what they were doing in last 50 years for the N.E. people?

The central government is now trying to bring some development in the region. However they are now helpless to bring any successful development project due to insurgency problem. The central government blames the insurgency groups for not successful development project in Seven Sisters States.

North Eastern States before 1990

Do you think the central government is sincerely trying to bring the development in Northeast? Many people alleged that the N.E. people are economically suppressed or neglected. The only gifts and development project in North Eastern States is only Armed Force Special Power Acts in last 30-40 years.

Human rights are violated in different aspects. The educated people in the region were become helpless and restless to get justice in human rights violation by the Indian Armed Forces. The region has high literacy rate but economically backward due to central government negligence.

The central government policy of recruiting less people in Assam Rifles from northeastern states in last 3-4 decades made worst the situation in northeast. How can the people from other state or foreign country understand the local people of the NorthEast India? If the Assam Rifles are the "FRIENDS OF THE HILLS" Why not recruit only the local people from northeast or at least 60% of Assam Rifles?

As the central govt. is recruiting mostly from other states in Assam Rifles, the frustrated young people in the region have not other option but to join only in their own group set up by their local insurgent groups. Some people thoughts that only Arms can bring justice in this neglected and human rights violated region. Thus many insurgency groups were formed for many reasons or aim and objectives.

Present situation in N.E. Region

The North Eastern States are in the transitional stage wanting to solve all the problems in the region. It can go worst or better after 10-15 years. The Indian govt. is trying to suppress down the insurgency groups by sending more forces and many innocent civilians are harassed, raped and killed. So instead of giving the information and leading to arrest the insurgents - the people hate the Assam Rifles popularly known as "Friends of the Hills".

Unless the Friends of the Hills are friends of the hills- with the word "Friends of the Hills" in paper or mouth and in heart treating the people as enemy cannot solve the problem in northeast. "Friends of the Hills" need friends from the civilian who will support them. But instead of supporting the Friends of the Hills- the civilian support the insurgents due to harassment and brutal killing by the Friends of the Hills.

"Friends of the Hills" is commonly known among the civilian as "Enemy of the Hills" because the Friends of the Hills are harassing, raping and brutally killing the innocent civilian. The Indian armies need to deal and treat the N.E. people with love and understanding.

The more the central government send army and rise the number of army to suppress down the N.E insurgents and killed the civilian, the more insurgency group will become stronger and all the people will only support the insurgent instead of supporting the Indian army.

If we go to North East region and take personal interviews or survey to all the educated people and common people, more than 90% of the educated people will respond that the region is Neglected Region of India. If we go to central government and ask them - they will respond that we are always ready to bring peace and development in the region.

However due to insurgents, we cannot bring any successful development project. If we go to insurgency groups and ask them about the problem - they will say that we had formed the insurgency groups because the central government is injustice to our people and neglected our people. Now the problem is how to solve the problem in Northeast India? What will be the best solution now?

What will be the situation after 10-15 years?

Will the North Eastern region remain the same like last 3-4 decades after 10 years? I am sure it won't remains perpetually. The literacy rate in the region is becoming very high in all the states. After 10 years the entire insurgents group will be well equipped with sophisticated weapons. If there is fire in the house, we need to put it off or let it burn the house. If the seed is sown, it will be sprouted automatically.

Today many educated and frustrated job seekers in the region are attracted to join in different insurgency groups and after 10-15 years, more educated people will join and attracted to take up arms due to frustration and to get justice of human right violation. The literacy rate in North East is high as 65.8% but after 10-15 years, more than 70% of the total population will be literate but possibly only 10%-15% will hardly get proper job.

When people are educated, they want to live a happy live doing something good for themselves and for the societies. However if such educated people are not given the justice to get the job to survive. What will be the reaction? Where will they heading to? Especially in Northeast, there is a very attractive job for the educated people.

Arms are always ready for the educated people. Money is no problem for the educated people in all the insurgency groups. Instead of dying out of frustration and hunger, many will join the insurgency groups. So will the educated people after 10-15 years continue to suffer due to absent of justice and negligence from the central government?

The people from other states will find difficult to join in insurgency group and they may not understand the inner feeling of the northeast people. But the people in N.E. will always attracted to join in insurgency group than dying out of frustration due to absent of job opportunity and human right violation in the region.

There is very good environment for the N.E. people to join in insurgency group. Every thing is ready there, it doesn't need to form new group or new route to go anywhere in the world. More serious than job is the violation of human rights in the region, which can never bear by any human being.

Another good reason to join the insurgency group is the human rights violation in the region. If your parents are harassed and killed without any reason, what will be your reaction to the armed personnel? When women are forced to deliver their babies in open ground, men anus is penetrated with stick, women are molested and raped infront of their kin, loved ones are shot dead mercilessly - how can the people tolerate and bear the situation?

N.E. Iraq of India or Switzerland of India

After 10-15 years the North Eastern States will be like the present situation in Iraq bomb blasting almost everyday incase the state and central government do not bring any development project and take the initiative to solve the insurgent problem. It may be known as "Iraq of India"

However the North East region can be also known as "Switzerland of India" after 10-15 years if the central government takes the initiative to solve the entire insurgency problem and bring development and peace in the region. It is high time for the central government and the people of North East to decide. If the central govt. is not taking the initiative to solve the insurgency problem there will be lots of bomb blast in North East and in some cities in India after 10-15 years.

The last bomb blast in Assam and Nagaland will be nothing comparing the bomb blast to blast after 10-15 years. However the future of N.E. is totally depend on central government and the people of North East especially the insurgency groups. If the people have good job and enough food to eat, who would want to go to jungle with empty stomach?

When we observe the present scenario, it seems there is no chances to bring any development project in the region unless the insurgency problem is solved. However there is means to bring any kinds of development project for the northeastern people from different channel if the central govt. is sincere enough to bring development in the region.

It is high time for the central government to bring some successful development project in the region so that North East India will be another Switzerland of India but not the Iraq of India after 10 years.

It is also high time for the northeastern people to accept the entire development project from the central or state government. Let us hope and pray with our fingers crossed that North East India will be called the Switzerland of India after 10-15 years.

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*R.B. Thohe Pou contributes regularly to
The writer can be reached at
This article was webcasted on May 27th, 2006

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