TODAY -

The Idea of Northeast (India)
- Part 2 -

Partha Jyoti Borah *



Contemporary development

A political solution for a long cherished peace is always given a lethargic treatment as talks with the rebel groups are often regarded as not auguring at all with concept of the nation. Split among those groups as seen in the case of Naga and Bodo movement is an ad hoc policy applied by the government. Their demand of right to self determination, no doubt, bears semblance with demand of sovereignty.

(Indian) Constitutional framework which often becomes the hindrance of peace talks is not stone engraved sanctorum that can't be surpassed for its (India's) own people. The government often resorts to some sort of managerial (bureaucratic) settlement like the Sixth Schedule which leaves more questions than answers. The implementation of Sixth Schedule in the Bodo dominated area of Northern Assam led to the ethnic polarization within the mixed population of the region.

The special provision of Sixth Schedule does not guarantee financial autonomy and also does not ensure right to resources. It is ineffective in impeding migration from the mainland India and inclusion of other existing ethnic tribe in its domain. As a result the small ethnic groups see themselves in the wrong side of the national space which generates mistrust among the communities. It is a conflicting reality of the "pristine Indian Constitution" which pledges devolution of power to the grass-root.

The "Ethno-nationalist" movement in the culturally dynamic Northeastern region finds its root the threat to identity. Because of the uneven representation in the democratic process [worst in the contemporary bargain (coalition) democracy], these people hardly finds a place in the decision-making. Just to crush the spirit self determination (read sovereignty) resorting military means, classical divisive formula among the armed groups, Sixth Schedule etc are hyper centric mechanism.

Many model of federal structure of Assam and of the Northeast were proposed by the civil society group of the region (However, not as an alternative to the sovereignty). For example the Plain Tribal Council of Assam in 1967 submitted a proposal for demanding federal recognition of Assam to the central government who was vehemently denied.

Absolute right over its resources, rapid industrialization of the region with native and ethnic people as its prime stakeholders, opening up of the eastern front for extensive border trade etc are some of the many ways which can be implemented. Real estate development and opening up of MNC malls in some few square kilometer of urban centres displacing the local population to more ghettoized area or dumping natural water reservoir are not the benchmark of economic development.

The region shares 98 percent of its border with Bhutan, China, Burma and Bangladesh. Remaining 2 percent connects the region with the mainland India through a narrow passage called Siliguri corridor. Border trade with these countries of the region with less of interference from the central government will ensure economic facelift of the region. Pretentious armed trafficking and drug trafficking along the borders are combatable and should not pose as hindrance to the much awaited border trade.

Rest apart, for the people of Northeast a clear-cut definition of 'native' and 'ethnic population' has to be ascertained of course with the consensus of the people. The comparatively developed dominant group will have to leave its hegemonic notion and pave the way for the edification of mutual trust among the communities.

Extrinsic process of the formation of 'nation-sate' has to be stopped with immediate effect. Be it the Bengali speaking people of Bangladesh or the Hindi speaking people of mainland India, they are often seen as the grave threat to identity.

Not acknowledging identity politics (movement) of the region is self-defeating for the world's largest democracy.

Note:

1. Sixth Schedule: The tribal Areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram are specified in the table appended to the Sixth Schedule of the constitution, which has undergone several amendments. After the creation of state of Nagaland, the table includes 9 areas in four parts
I. a. The North Cachar Hill District b. The Karbi Anglong District
II. a. The Kahsi Hills District b. The Jayantia Hills District c. The Garo Hills District (All in state of Meghalaya)
IIA Tripura Tribal Area District
III. a. The Chakma District b. The Mara District c. The Lai District

In 2003, The Bodoland Territorial Council was also incorporated in Sixth Schedule)

These Tribals areas are to be administered as autonomous district but outside the executive authority of the state concern. Provision is made to create District Council and Regional Council for exercise of certain judicial and legislative function. The councils are primarily representative bodies and they have got the power of law making in certain specified fields such as management of a forest other than reserved forest, inheritance of property, marriage and social customs, and the Governor (Nominal Head of a Province) may also confer upon the councils the power to try certain suits and offences. Thses councils also have the power to assess and collect land revenue and to impose certain specific taxes. The laws made by the councils shall have no effect unless assented by the Governor. (Introduction to the Constitution of India by DD Basu)

2. Mizo National Front: The Mizo National Famine Front, which was originally formed to help ease the immense sufferings of the people during the severe Mautam Famine in Mizoram, was converted into Mizo National Front (MNF) on October 22, 1961. The ways in which the authority of the day handled the famine left the people disillusioned. The wave of secessionist and armed insurrection was running high among the Mizos. The secessionist movement held on for about two decades. This chapter of insurgency finally came to a close with the signing of the Mizoram Peace Accord on June 30, 1986 between the underground government of the Mizo National Front and the Government of India. Under the terms of the peace accord, Mizoram was granted statehood in February 1987. Laldenga became Chief Minister, but soon lost power due to defections in the party. (Excerpts from wikipedia.org)

3. Udalguri Riot: The Clash started on October 3, 2008 at Udalguri, a place in a Six Scheduled autonomous district. According to government figure the riot rendered almost 2 lakh people homeless and killed 21. The nefarious activities of the politician to harness the vote banks and some unlawful activities of some student groups in the name of deporting illegal immigrants and its violent reactionary measures by some minority bodies had spontaneously built a plausible plot for the riot. (The Northeast Voice, December, 2008)

4. ULFA: United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) was formed on April 1979 to lead an armed struggle for an independent homeland. In the same year, All Assam Student Union (AASU) lunched the Assam Movement to drive out illegal immigrants mostly from Bangladesh leaving in the state. ULFA's top leadership namely Paresh Barua and Arobindo Rajkhowa are reportedly living in Bangladesh for past several years. In 2005, group comprised of people from the civil society was formed by the ULFA to establish a congenial atmosphere through talks with the Indian government. Several rounds of futile talks were held between the group and the government.

Concluded.......


* Partha Jyoti Borah ( Editor, The Northeast Voice) contributes to e-pao.net regularly. The writer can be contacted at parthaborah(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)in
This article was webcasted on June 30, 2009.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #2 : Gallery
  • Yoga Day: Celebrating Your Health
  • Chak-hao - black gold of Manipur
  • In response to the culture of shaming
  • 3rd Documentor Imphal
  • 4th International Day of Yoga by AR
  • Appeals for Resolution of MU Crisis
  • Recommendation to control Flood damages
  • International Yoga Day at Loktak PS
  • After Flood : Introspection about the future
  • MUSU & JAC : Hot issues before the Govt
  • Zeliangrong orphaned by Nationalism #2
  • General Thangal Eco Park : Gallery
  • Letter to President on Crisis at MU
  • Precision medicine & life sciences
  • Black topping-can ground leveling be behind
  • Condemns security force intrusion in MU
  • Developer wanted at LMP, Konjeng Leikai
  • AR gears up for International Yoga Day
  • NPF rejoinder to NDPP : 20 June
  • Rejoinder by Dr. Shurhozelie : 20 June
  • For a little bit more
  • Deadline of 5 days time set : MU crisis
  • Garlic Festival @Ukhrul #4 :: Gallery
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #3 : Gallery
  • Inungshi, Gaichanglungliu :: eMing
  • Taking 'Hau' Music to Rest of World
  • Kakching bags cleanest city in NE Award
  • JRF (Junior Research Fellow) at IBSD
  • Oxfam India launches emergency response
  • VC, MU - Resign immediately :: MUTA
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Translation of ancient Manipur texts begin
  • Pre Yoga Capsule organized
  • NDPP Rejoinder on 19 June
  • NPF Youth Wing Rejoinder on 19 June
  • Favouring digital govt : still a Virtual dream
  • June 18 Anniv : Consult all stakeholders
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • Binota Thokchom at BRICS Young Scientist
  • The Merger of Manipur
  • Improving school management in Manipur
  • Pros & cons of screening tests
  • NPF Rejoinder on 18th June
  • Nagaland CM statement on Aboi ambush
  • June 18 significance: Still living on prayer
  • Need to identify one's strength
  • 18 Immortal Souls Remembered : Flash
  • The Great June Uprising : Read all about it
  • The Pitfalls of Identity Politics
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • All his sons :: Poem
  • Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016
  • Eid bring cheer in flood hit areas
  • Willong Khullen, Maram #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Defending the environmental defenders
  • Delusion in self - cause of worry
  • Road to Russia: FIFA World Cup
  • It must be love :: Poem
  • 'Future of Naga people is bleak'
  • Give a miss call to Amnesty
  • 'Naga area' bandh on June 18
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #2 : Gallery
  • Id-Ul-Fitr Festival
  • Letter to PM Modi on Naga Talks
  • Greetings on Eid-Ul-Fitr
  • Rejoinder to NPF statement
  • Rejoinder to Nagaland Chief Minister
  • Flood relief continue on 3rd day
  • India-Vietnam Youth Dialogue 2018
  • MU debacle: Why would it be left unnoticed
  • Spirit of World Cup : Brazil to Russia
  • NEC to come under Home Ministry
  • Manipur NGO hosts summit on LGBTQ
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #1 : Gallery
  • Women Struggle in Self-Determination
  • 14 June- World Blood Donor Day
  • Naga Integration not possible- NPF react
  • Naga Integration is not possible- CM Rio
  • Relief work in flood affected areas
  • A day which keeps our spirit alive
  • Ranked 320 in the country : MU
  • Flood in Imphal [13 June] #2 : Gallery
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #5
  • Be alert: It's admission time
  • Yin and Yang
  • Watermelon beauty benefits
  • Temp accommodation for Aligarh students
  • Wrath of Mother Nature: Why challenge..
  • 60 pc is no longer first class : 95 pc
  • Flood in Imphal [13 June] #1 : Gallery
  • Sanamahi Laihui & Sanamahi Laining
  • Kuhi- Essential plant for Nungbi pottery
  • Climate justice is integral to development
  • The bridge :: Poem
  • Lt S Vijaya Devi felicitated
  • Then : Indifferent :: Now : Hyper sensitive
  • Phumdigi Tantha : Dance Drama : Gallery
  • Grief at Xavier Rutsa's demise
  • Modi's India: A descend into Ochlocracy
  • The Philippine Experience
  • Cry of a Dying River #33 :: Poem
  • Community Iftar at Moijing, Cachar
  • Candle Light at DU over Assam lynching
  • Demand replacement of Manipur Univ VC
  • The Tragedy of Higher education
  • Unacceptable points spelt out
  • Teinem Luira Phanit @Ukhrul #3: Gallery
  • RPL-PMKVY trainees @Hojai : Gallery
  • Manipur Sports University in UP ?
  • Coloniality of the Postcolonial
  • Yellow leaves in the autumn :: Poem
  • Prof N Irabanta-distinguished academician
  • Leadership matters
  • Artificial turf for budding talents
  • 2 municipal bodies in NE awarded
  • Who is Arambam Somorendra ?
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #3 : Gallery
  • Linthoi's "The Tales of Kanglei Throne" #2
  • Grass root challenge- Education in hills
  • Earth does not belong to us...
  • Sita Mata as test-tube baby
  • What happen to VIP Culture Mr. CM
  • Merchants of education
  • Laitonjam Rajnikanta : Profile
  • A blessing to see :: Poem
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #4
  • Difference between Hinduism & Hindutva
  • How to choose the perfect fragrance
  • Iftaar party at Lilong
  • Bitter truth of Manipuri society
  • MU, NSU, IGNTU : Students at the centre
  • Amuktang-Ga Haikho #1 : eRang
  • Sangai Veterans' Football #2 : Gallery
  • Pony : A Cavalry Horse Par Excellence #2
  • Issues that keep Manipur burning
  • Cry of a Dying River - 32 :: Poem
  • CM & AR interaction with villagers
  • Certification of PMKVY trainees of Hojai
  • Christian appeals for Peace in Shillong
  • How safe are our women?
  • Riders put up by JAC for talk
  • Khangkhui Cave in Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • Pluralism, Democracy & Ethnic Relation #2
  • Irom Sharmila meets with Mehbooba Mufti
  • JRF @ Mizoram University (Biotechnology)
  • Tobacco and heart disease
  • Understanding SOWA - RIGPA #2
  • Campaign "to End Child Sexual Abuse"
  • Implementation of 7th Pay
  • Indigenous street vendor sing gi wafam
  • The crumbling Manipur University
  • Kang Tournament @ Yaiskul : Gallery
  • Zeliangrong orphaned by Nationalism #1
  • A rainy night :: Poem
  • HSLC Exam is the start! What next?
  • 1528 cases of fake encounter
  • Linthoi's "The Tales of Kanglei Throne" #1
  • Handloom Weaver @Bishnupur : Gallery
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Hinduism in Manipur : Political Perspective
  • All the World and his Wife :: Poem
  • Tribal Cultural Festival #1 : Gallery
  • Women in CCpur turn to self-help groups
  • Purul Paoki Wrestling : Gallery
  • Sangai Veterans' Football #1 : Gallery
  • Khangminashi IV (Lecture) : Report
  • Seminar at MU - Hinduism in Manipur'
  • Evolution of The Meetei State
  • Heartbreak at Ukhrul: Unfolding Shirock
  • State Level Khurpui-Lam Festival: Gallery
  • June Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • School Girls Basketball #2 : Gallery
  • Where is Manipur....???
  • 'Manipur' in Google maps : Gallery
  • The Killing Fields - 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Mama Poktabi :: Funga Wari
  • Veterans Football Tournament #2 : Gallery
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #1 : Gallery
  • Sougrakpam Vijaya makes history sailing...
  • Arunachali unfurled Salai Taret at Mt Everest
  • Panthoiba: 2nd Rank- class XII, Uttarkhand
  • Ras Leela @JNMDA Day : Gallery
  • HSLC 208 Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • HSLC 2018 :: Toppers Listing
  • HSLC 2018 :: Check Result
  • HSLC :: Statistical/Subject Topper
  • HSLC 2018 :: External
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #2 : Gallery
  • Kakching Garden :: 360 Panorama View
  • Folk Dance Festival #5 : Gallery
  • Aerial view from Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Curtain Raising- Sangai Fest 2017: Gallery
  • Lainingthou Lai Lam thopka #2 : Gallery
  • Re-visiting Khangkhui caves in Ukhrul
  • Gardening @Ema Keithel #2: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #2: Gallery
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #2 : Gallery
  • Steelheart @ Shirock , Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • A. Halim Chowdhury: A Profile
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Class XII Result : Science Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Arts Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Commerce Toppers
  • HSE Result 2018 : District Wise
  • HSE Result 2018 : Highest Marks
  • HSE Result 2018 : Science Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Arts Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Commerce Stream
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS