TODAY -



E-Pao! Feature - The predicament of India’s NE: The region as a contractors’ item

The predicament of India's NE: The region as a contractors’ item

By: Amar Yumnam *



India’s north–east continues to suffer from one predicament to another. Till recently any policy-making and development intervention in the region was marked by certain national and regional failures. This I would call the old predicament. But now when efforts are being made to get out of the old predicament, a new predicament has befallen the region. But then what are these predicaments?

The Old Predicament:

The old and lingering predicament is one which has been blinding the Government of India (GOI) to the developmental needs of the region. The policy for balanced regional development has always been suspect in so far as the State like Manipur are concerned. Besides, the GOI has always based its north-east policy on two edifices.

First, the so-called perspective of national security has been a cornerstone of GoI’s policy for the region. While it has overridden any other consideration for policy intervention in the region, it has had the unfortunate impact of blinding the GoI to the reality of the region.

It is also because of this perspective that the army has been allowed to have an unduly large space for expressing their interests while deciding on the politico-economic interventions for the region – an interest they are now doggedly trying to protect. Secondly, the security perspective was given a covering by the policy of minimal intervention in the socio-cultural scenario of the region in the name purportedly of preserving the rich cultural heritage of the region.

So practically the only basis for intervention in the region has been the one based on the national security perspective. What has been most unfortunate for the region is that this intervention and epoch was accompanied by the region’s failure to articulate its own agenda. In other words, interventions based on the security perspective were allowed to have a free run as well as an undeterred reign for well over four decades.

Realisation, Really?:

It was during the early and mid-1990s that the GoI realised that the earlier approach had failed to bear any fruit, and that time had come for devising interventions based on better understanding of the in situ realities of the region. Now is the phase of this new approach. While the perspective is right, the approach is absolutely flawed and many have started aggrandising themselves in this new atmosphere. I would call this the new predicament of the region.

The New Predicament:

Forced by historical lessons and the evolving circumstances, the GoI adopted some significant initiatives in the 1990s for a new orientation towards interventions in the region. But now it is increasingly looking like interventions on a rush order basis. With no loss of time and effort, it has tried to remove the historical scar of basing interventions in the region without knowing the region at all and by founding any new intervention on the realities of the region.

Now the developments in this phase constitute the new predicament of the region.

First, many Indian scholars of international repute have all of a sudden become experts on the region. The only knowledge they have about the region is their landing in the region some thirty-forty years back for a few days in one city of the region and occasional meeting with people from the region.

They command a large say in the national policy making of India, and are marked by the usual arrogance of Indian academia. But the least said the better about their knowledge and understanding of the region.

In a national seminar about the region, a sociologist of international repute and who had even been the president of the International Sociological Association spoke last week in his key-note address: While [Northeast].. has been recognised as a conglomeration of several culturally distinct units conceding separate politico-administrative arrangements, the Northeast was treated as one unit – the North East Frontier Agency.

This sociologist covered his ignorance by his arrogance and pretentious insight into Nehru’s vision when mildly tried to remind before dinner that NEFA is now what is called Arunachal Pradesh. Another scholar confidently spoke in the same seminar and by looking at the HIV scenario in the region of high and rising extra-marital sex.

Thank God, his was not a key-note address. So he could be immediately snubbed and corrected that the HIV route in the region is not sex. Such examples abound when it comes to the relationship between the region and the national scholars.

Secondly, there have now emerged so many institutes based elsewhere outside the region but doing such a wonderfully paying research and project on the region. These are manned by internationally reputed scholars and competently-experienced bureaucrats.

Thirdly, some people, who originated from the region but hardly belonging to the region anymore, are now doing hectic business on issues in the region.

Fourthly, both the institutes and the scholars mentioned above seem to have established a well-oiled nexus with the various ministries of the GOI to get anything in the name of Northeast not only going but profitable as well.

The Upshot:

The upshot of what I am trying to argue is that contracting in the name of the region by a nexus of pretentious intellectuals, corrupt bureaucrats and willing ministries/agencies of the GoI has now emerged as the latest predicament of the region.

It is now the responsibility of the GoI to put a halt to all these immediately so that the national interest is not compromised repeatedly in the name of the region.

Sincerity, commitment and genuine involvement should be the foundation for a sustainable policy for the region.

Paternalistic advisers and contractors have never brought any sustainable development anywhere in the world and nor will it in the case of the north-east.


* Amar Yumnam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on May 11th, 2006


* 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
  • Tangkhul Zingtun Longphang #1: Gallery
  • Wungramphy, Khamgonpou: eMing
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows #3 : Gallery
  • Career option in Human Rights
  • Water conflicts over the Brahmaputra
  • PAC against Killing of Pravish: 17 Jan
  • Neiphiu Rio resigns from NPF
  • NPF-BJP Relationship : NPF clarifies
  • Consolidating the sporting heritage
  • Rising air and noise pollution
  • Kukis have equal right... : Neiphiu Rio
  • Rajnath reviews security in NE
  • Lafoi Shamda puthorkpa #2 : Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Commercial Stalls #3: Gallery
  • The joy of living :: Poem
  • Bamboo a tree or grass ?
  • SELF Workshop on Leadership & Fulfilment
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Fight against corruption; we need Lokayukta
  • Hailing the role of drivers
  • Nangna Helli Nungshiba #2 :: eRang
  • Pung Chollom : Gallery
  • Wakhal Seireng :: Book Review
  • Imphal Jamboree by Global Shapers
  • Importance of regular health check-ups
  • Meetei demand for ST is Constitutional.. #2
  • Weapon Display organized at Moreh
  • Ex-Servicemen Rally organized
  • AR helps Orphanage & Old Age Home
  • Search of comprehensive culture & identity
  • List of MLA (Jan 2018) #1 : Gallery
  • Manipur Gas Today :: Android App
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3: Gallery
  • GNRC media fellowship announced
  • The Meiteis- Festival & celebration maniacs
  • How to make bridal mehndi long lasting
  • Governor's attention drawn to RIMS
  • Scientist develops prototype of electric car
  • Stereotypes about NE make people living..
  • Light Show at Loktak Lake #5 : Gallery
  • Candlelight vigil for Pravish : Gallery
  • Imbroglio of ethnic identity of Ranglong
  • Foundation For Excellence scholarship
  • Time Table - Class XII Exam 2018
  • Mail spoofing- Trickery by deception
  • Trial by fire
  • Call for solution before election
  • Villagers along Myanmar border get pass
  • Meetei Chanu 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Art and Artist, A Creative Space
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows #2 : Gallery
  • Ode to Thy Mellow Light :: Poem
  • Xmas with Meitei eche at Phaijol
  • Time Table - Class XI Exam 2018
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • IMC , now another hurdle to traffic mgmt
  • Setting aside two days for the people
  • Maring: Kummui Chaa-um : Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #5 : Gallery
  • Statehood Day Women's Polo Tournament
  • Time Table - HSLC Exam 2018
  • Bananas: Beauty's best friend
  • DPC for Follower at Manipur Police
  • Job Openings at JCRE Skill Solutions
  • The lost treasure
  • Nagas' Interests : Stand of NPF MSU
  • Nagaland polls on schedule: HM
  • Mukna Kangjei Tournament #2: Gallery
  • Keisham Manihar : Natyabhusan(Leela)
  • World Tourism Day #3: Gallery
  • Responsibility of protecting the environment
  • Phishing vs Vishing: The Verbal Challenge
  • BNHS Bi-monthly Program for Jan-Feb
  • Managing weight for preventing diabetes
  • Making democracy peoples' participatory
  • Progressing from media to SC
  • Manipur to set up modern food lab
  • Gaan Ngai @ Kakhulong Khun: Gallery
  • A trip to Moreh #2 : Gallery
  • How long catchy slogans keep hopes alive
  • Recycling of hospital waste-water
  • I am sometime or somewhere : Poem
  • Angami Zapu Phizo's Surreal 2017 AD
  • Film "Legacy Of King Narak" awarded
  • Of PM and our CM
  • Patronising the killing machines ?
  • Deferment of polls unlikely: Ravi
  • PM may visit Manipur in March
  • Emoinu Khoiramba @Koubru #2: Gallery
  • NEROCA FC Vs East Bengal #2: Gallery
  • Transform Colleges into Innovation Centres
  • New Delhi: World Book Fair 2018 :: Review
  • Cry Of A Dying River...12 :: Poem
  • Workshop on National Pension for NE
  • Law enforcers action - Well & good
  • Final pact yet to see light of day
  • Cold wave hits Manipur
  • Take out the cymbals, Manoharsai to stay
  • Indo-Naga Peace Process :: Articles
  • MaiOn - Scenes #2 :: eRang
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2: Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #4 : Gallery
  • Is Global Warming Natural or Anthropogenic
  • Prof Gangmumei Kamei: Legendary hero
  • Common Education System rally organized
  • DAMMS launched 2018 calendar
  • Chorus for 'Solution Not Election'
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows #1 : Gallery
  • Gaan Ngai @Moirangkhom : Gallery
  • I was born healthy, I wanna die healthy
  • Practice peace & change the life
  • TSA Moreh Block installed
  • Cycle Rally: common education system
  • Ethics, medical profession & soaring fees
  • Meetei Chanu 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Meira rally for Pravish : Gallery
  • Accelerate momentum to endTB for SDGs
  • The call that can't be turned down
  • Live@MDU: New act with same old vibes
  • 1st Centre of Excellence- Electronics Skill
  • LED Lights installed by Loktak Station
  • NE tragedy: Policy failures & influx
  • Angaoba - Scenes #3 :: eRang
  • 51st Mr Manipur Contest 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Result: Manipur Sangai Intl Digital salon
  • Use Swachhata App to Make Imphal No. 1
  • Career @ events and celebration
  • Night nourishing
  • Indo-Nepal Friendship: 25 yrs of Don Bosco
  • Understanding the indices of life
  • Poppy cultivation & drug cartels
  • Emoinu Khoiramba @Koubru #1: Gallery
  • Day 10: Closing of Sangai Fest #4 : Gallery
  • The creation of the universe, matter...
  • Mumbai: The city of dreams
  • Let this new year kill your new fears
  • Asian Waterbird Census: Count waterbirds
  • Looking for a better inclusive alternative
  • Coaching & commercialisation of education
  • New Year picnic @ Singda Dam : Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Despite Stolen Dreams :: Book Rvw
  • Handloom Training @Hojai : Gallery
  • The Perfect timing
  • IGAR (south) meets Chief Minister
  • Communique from Neiphiu Rio on NDPP
  • Discussion on 'Rohingyas' at Delhi
  • In the process of making change- Manipur
  • Looking ahead from vantage point 2017
  • NEROCA FC Vs East Bengal #1: Gallery
  • World Tourism Day #2: Gallery
  • Immediate Manipur
  • Easter Peace :: Poem
  • You are what you eat
  • Goals for Girls: Leadership Summit @Delhi
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Front Page Photo #6: Gallery
  • LUCIFER-X released debut EP
  • ..on the ocean of despondence :: Poem
  • Happy new year to State lovers
  • New year, new me: Re-designing self
  • Quiz Competition & Career Awareness
  • Calendar for the Year 2018 :: e-pao Tools
  • Gaan Ngai : Zeliangrong festival :: Flash
  • 51st Mr Manipur Contest 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Crowd @ Flower Festival @Mao #4: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai Festival of Zelianglong
  • Goodbye 2017, welcome 2018
  • Cry of a dying river- 11 :: Poem
  • Free Heart OPD & Echocardiogram
  • Peoples' mandate: what next?
  • Understanding Manipur and its history
  • Kwatha (Indo-Myanmar Border) #2: Gallery
  • Thang Ta @Parlimentary : Gallery
  • A Hymn for Goddess Emoinu
  • Bamboo for poverty alleviations
  • A costly peace deal
  • The song of the speech-impaired : Poem
  • Opportunity for NE Youth @Delhi/NCR
  • Chief Of Army Staff visits Manipur
  • Waiting for another begining
  • NE: Little change albeit promises galore
  • Flower Festival @ Mao #3 : Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Why the Ngamu Fish ?
  • Unsung heroes
  • Wishing a goa in Manipur!
  • Handloom Weaver at Nagaon, Assam
  • Reminder on role of media & political party
  • Hospital death: Deliver justice if delivery ..
  • Restricted Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • Lourembam Bedabati : Sangeetbhusan
  • Culturals @ Mera Houchongba #3 : Gallery
  • Handloom Training @Assam : Gallery
  • Ras Leela @Parliment committee: Gallery
  • List of RIST popular talks during 2014-2017
  • 'Good Governance Day' & Manipur
  • Christmas eve @ CCpur #2 : Gallery
  • Public Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • Pui Thangamliu #2 :: eRang
  • Christmas Carol @ Lamphel : Gallery
  • Royal Crematorium at Bangkok #2 : Gallery
  • Christmas Carol at Namdulong : Gallery
  • General Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • 3rd Flower Festival @ Mao #2 : Gallery
  • Lafoi Shamda puthorkpa #1 : Gallery
  • Nupilal Ningsing Lamjen : Gallery
  • cYK_rb TwaI :: Seireng
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #7 : Ooba
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download it
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS