E-Pao! Essay - Peace and Unity : A common vision for NEI

Peace and Unity : A common vision for NEI

Lalrindiki Ralte & Z. K. Pahrii Pou

We are a group of students coming from Northeast India belonging to different tribes and states. We came to Madurai (Tamilnadu) to get higher education in different disciplines. Coming far away from our respective communities and region has given us the space to look back at where we come from in a collective manner. By sharing together our diverse experiences, we came to realize that Peace and Unity are some of the most important concerns among different ethnic groups as well as within the same group in Northeast India. Since the different ethnic groups are spread out all over the region crossing inter-state and international boundaries, we feel that no particular ethnic group can survive by themselves without having peace and unity with their neighboring group/s or among themselves since we have to share and safeguard together the resources such as land, forest, water etc. for our survival and peaceful existence.

At the same time we also realize that unless and until we identify and try to understand the persistent problems in our region in their totality, we will not achieve the peace and unity that we longed for. Out of the many problems, we identify the following on which we, the people of Northeast India, can share a common platform:

1. Violence: We realize that violence is deeply entrenched in most of our traditional leadership practices, among different movements for autonomy and in the state structure in the form of militarization. We feel that it is this kind of violence, which is the greatest obstacle in ensuring peace and unity among us. Nowadays more and more victims of different forms of violence are innocent civilians like women, children, elderly people as well as marginal and weaker groups such as immigrants and landless laborers.

Since violence has become an everyday reality among the different groups, we feel that large-scale awareness programme need to be held on the destructive role of violence. The increasingly popular "Gun culture" and the misguided attempts to solve problems through the barrel of guns should be rejected. Above all, we feel that the people of Northeast India together should adamantly say "NO" to all forms of violence.

2. Ethnic Identity Politics/Tribalism: The politicization of different ethnic identities by certain groups having vested interest is creating more hostilities and suspicions among the different ethnic groups in our region. This has further exacerbated violence and xenophobia among the people.

While affirming and acknowledging the importance of safeguarding and upholding the different distinctive ethnic identities of our region, we also feel that there are many crucial issues, which transcend ethnic barriers on which we can take a stand together. Many ethnic groups and the weaker sections in each group are in the process of losing their control and access to resources, which threatens their very survival. This is one crucial issue, on which concerned people of Northeast can stand together irrespective of ethnic identities, in order to safeguard the livelihood and survival of the marginalized groups.

We feel that a conducive political atmosphere needs to be evolved to start the process of linking up with one another on crucial livelihood issues. The people of the region have to resist divisive ethnic identity politics to ensure the development of such political atmosphere.

3. Problems in Educational System: As students, we strongly feel that it is the irrelevant education and corruption in the educational system in our region that gives rise to alienation from our own cultural heritage, unemployment, and unwholesome behaviour. Educated unemployed youths are the most susceptible ones in joining groups who uphold the culture of violence. We also feel that increasing alcoholism as well as drugs and substance abuse among the youths all over the region is largely due to the problems in our educational system.

Hence, we feel that we need a curriculum, which is relevant and suitable in the Northeast context particularly in inculcating the ethos of peace and unity among the younger generations. We need education, which will help us to value and sustain the constructive practices of our different ethnic traditions as well as the values of modern democratic society. We also need education, which will help us to innovate our traditional skills in order to provide sustainable livelihood and employment. Students' organizations all across the region together can challenge the increasing privatization and commercialization of the educational system and corruption in the system and structures of education.

4. Materialism and Consumerism: Increasing materialism and consumerism are destroying the fabric of the communitarian and a more egalitarian structure of the different ethnic communities in our region. We think that this has led to rampant corruption and the widening of gap between the powerful affluent class and the mass toiling class in almost all the ethnic groups all over the states of Northeast India. By corruption, we mean not only the mishandling and misappropriation of public money, but also abuse of power and responsibilities by our leaders as well as moral and spiritual corruption of the general public.

Once again, a concerted effort on the part of all concerned people in Northeast region is needed to fight against the vices of materialism and consumerism. We need to have a strong sense of responsibility and accountability in handling financial resources which mostly come from outside. Since materialism and consumerism are directly related to imported goods from outside, we feel that buying and using the local products available in different parts of our region could be one important way of checking these vices. This in turn can give secure livelihood for the local producers. Our value system based on uncritical worshiping of material possessions due to the influence of consumeristic societies elsewhere need to be challenged and condemned.

There are many more common issues, which we need to continue to discuss together in order to promote lasting Peace and Unity in Northeast India and beyond. We would also like to appeal to all other Northeast people, who are studying and working in different parts of the country, to make the time to come together and share common concerns of our region. We do not have any other place to call as our homeland except Northeast India. We are all responsible for the welfare of the whole region. Sharing and discussion lead to conscientization, which ultimately leads to concrete involvement and actions.

We would appreciate if you could kindly send your comments and suggestions to the following persons:

Lalrindiki Ralte
Northeast India Students' Fellowship
Madurai- 16, Tamilnadu

Z. K. Pahrii Pou
Northeast India Students' Fellowship
Madurai- 16, Tamilnadu

This article was webcasted on 20th November 2005.

* 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 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.

  • Teinem Luira Phanit @Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • PM Narendra Modi @Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Candle Light for Pravish @Delhi: Gallery
  • RTE taunts Kamuching: Mapithel Dam
  • Please dont become slave to any holy book
  • Pravish's Parents meet HM Rajnath Singh
  • Assam Rifles celebrates Cheiraoba
  • Job requirements @SKY Hospital
  • Nursing opportunity across Europe
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Education: addressing the core issue
  • Call to amend the Army Act
  • MoUs inked to boost tourism in NE
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chingkaba #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sports @Kakwa: Gallery
  • Human right intimidated by SF: Amnesty Intl
  • Bikers rally to spread awareness on Cancer
  • TB survivor resolves to make TB-free ..
  • State Level World Kidney Day
  • Course in Comparative Literature at NEHU
  • Candle Light at DU for Pravish Chanam
  • PS issue stands as litmus test for CM
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #1 : Gallery
  • Premier League coaches train : Gallery
  • Culturals @ Republic Day #3 : Gallery
  • Draft Asian Declaration: right to justice #4
  • Radhakumar's Atoppa Sansar Amada #2
  • Prevention of cruelty to trees
  • Premier League coach train NE participant
  • GoI may sign agreement without NSCN(K)
  • Manipur celebrates New Year with gaiety
  • Zeliang denies involvement in terror funding
  • Shopping: Sajibu Nongma Panba #1: Gallery
  • Stall @Science Congress, MU #1: Gallery
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba (Meitei New Year)
  • Saving Nambul: Convergence of view
  • Job @ PR Enterprises, Khurai
  • National Institute for Locomotor Disabilities
  • Seminar on 'Conflicts in South Asia'
  • Luck matters; but not always
  • On completing one year in office
  • Spectacle distribution at Loktak Station
  • DGAR visits Manipur on his farewell visit
  • PM at Science Congress @MU #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Water & color #3: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • A tribute to Stephen Hawking
  • Draft Asian Declaration: right to justice #3
  • Effect of a Sleepless Night :: Peom
  • Psychology at MIT School of Vedic Sciences
  • So near yet so far
  • Naga CSOs walking with JCILPS
  • Vegetables grown @Thanga #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Fancy Dress Contest: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sport @Khagempalli #2: Gallery
  • Truth of Life :: Poem
  • Celebration of womanhood
  • HQ IGAR (S) celebrates 15th Raising Day
  • Jet Airways for more flights for NE
  • Publicity doing good, Garbage filth continue
  • Other issue overriding education: Class XII
  • Wortam: The Rising Young Mashangva
  • Eidi Ethantani by Eyoom :: Review
  • OMCT : UA on harassment of Ranjeeta
  • Mass destruction of opium poppy cultivation
  • Career options in printing press
  • IBSD launches hi-tech facility for farmers
  • Bangalore Yaoshang - Cheiraoba Thabal
  • Quality over quantity
  • What will the PM have to say ?
  • Zeliang gets fresh summon from NIA
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni @Longmai (TML) #4 : Gallery
  • Nengneingah, Lungkhambou :: eMing
  • Yaoshang Water & color #2: Gallery
  • Draft Asian Declaration: right to justice #2
  • BJP led Govt, not flunk in first year
  • Demand handing of Pravish case to CBI
  • PDA Govt claims false credit: NPF
  • Feminism & Path to Women's Liberation
  • Word of caution from Ibobi: BJP to listen
  • Yaoshang Cooking Contest #2 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #4 : Gallery
  • Radhakumar's Atoppa Sansar Amada #1
  • Nigol :: Poem
  • List of Portfolios : Nagaland Govt
  • Clarify: Report of Zeliang summoned by NIA
  • Academic Programs offered by PHFI
  • Cong speaks: Changes expected in future
  • One year under the BJP: Significant but..
  • Students @ Class X Exam #2 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sport @Khongman: Gallery
  • Draft Asian Declaration: right to justice #1
  • Cry Of A Dying River...21 :: Peom
  • Manipur-Nagaland border disputes
  • Not a word on beauty on Women's Day
  • Women Religious Tour reaches New Delhi
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #3 : Gallery
  • Chirom Indira- Nari Puraskar Award: Gallery
  • Human Rights Defender intimidated by Army
  • Rooftop Solar Power Plants: Gallery
  • Home stay for nature tourism in Manipur
  • Moodle: A learning management system
  • You can't stop small newspapers ...
  • BJP show in NE State: The backroom boys
  • Moldhin Chan: A Thado-Kuki Folktale #2
  • Yaoshang Nakatheng Chatpa #2 : Gallery
  • Mapithel Dam, Thoubal River & Tumukhong
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #2 : Gallery
  • Time for "Nokphade" to go global
  • Campaign on International Women's Day
  • War between Left & Right has begun
  • Poppy plantation, destruction & missing link
  • Yaoshang Halankar #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Water & color #1: Gallery
  • Harassment of Ranjeeta (HRA) by Army
  • Women's positions need to change
  • The Weeds :: Poem
  • We now know gold was created in space
  • Issues of women's rights should be priority
  • Protection of paddy land Act
  • Thabal Chongba @Khurai : Gallery
  • Bor-keina race @Yaoshang Fest : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #1: Gallery
  • Tanushree @Elecrama Startup Award: Vote
  • Indian Science Congress in MU: Act East?
  • Fulbright 'pathways' for college leaving class
  • Job @ St. Stone Medical Devices
  • Army jawan martyred in Bongjai IED blast
  • National Integration Tour for Women
  • AR conduct Yaoshang sport festival
  • Condemns rising vendetta politics in NE
  • Yaoshang Sport - Marathon #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sport @Keishampat #2: Gallery
  • NERIST Director post vacant since 2014
  • Dynamic Startup 3.0 at MIMS, MU
  • NDPP Legislature 1st Meeting at Kohima
  • 8th Theatre Olympics at Guwahati
  • Yaoshang Cooking Contest #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sport @Keishampat #1: Gallery
  • Sentinel Cup Equestrian #5 : Gallery
  • Translating inclusion into seclusion is..
  • Condemns land acquisition of muslim
  • News erroneously portraying Zeliang
  • Report: Shillong Lajong vs East Bengal
  • Yaoshang Sport @Khagempalli #1: Gallery
  • LGBTQ Yaoshang Sports Meet #1 : Gallery
  • M. Shenbangpu : Akademi Award 2014
  • Tribe: A concept in a state of crisis
  • Neiphiu's NDPP-BJP alliance stakes claim
  • Digital footprints: Blueprints for detection
  • Rio refutes news about 'Naga Peace'
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Nakatheng Chatpa #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang with Governor : Gallery
  • Black holes that are neither holes nor black
  • Lingaraja Temple- Lord of Three Worlds
  • Study helps hill student make up lost day
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba : Gallery
  • Saroi Khangba #3 : Gallery
  • Chirom Indira: Highest Civilian Honour
  • Rejoinder to "MCPCR in dire straits"
  • Poppy destruction: The new norm ?
  • Stop harassment of Urikhimbham
  • Sadar Hills District Demand :: Timeline
  • Understanding the origin & essence
  • Call to reduce Yaoshang days: Make it 3
  • 8th AMWJU Sports Meet : Gallery
  • March Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Yaoshang Thabalgi Sen Khaiba #2 : Gallery
  • Stop this shaming of menstruation
  • Yaoshang Greetings from BJP Manipur
  • Self-conscious manhood: Find true self
  • Parl Secy: To be or not to be ?
  • Holi colours can cause side-effects
  • Equality matters
  • Creating nuisance on the roads
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni @Longmai (TML) #3 : Gallery
  • Cultural @ Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • Nonsense is Sense : Guv's attention invited
  • Protection of Human Rights: Resolution
  • Protection of Human Right Defender: Meet
  • Mapithel dam chapter before NGT
  • GOC 3 corps calls on the Governor
  • Gangnam style is better
  • From boycott call to verbal duel: NPF, BJP
  • Festival of Colours to Sports Festival
  • Food Processing Training @Oinam : Gallery
  • Time to ban malicious Moreh products
  • Cry of a Dying River - 20 : Poem
  • Training prog on Food Processing at Oinam
  • One year - now a doomsday ahead..
  • Thought on full five days of Yaoshang
  • Loree Kaju Luita Phanit #3 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Thabalgi Sen Khaiba #1 : Gallery
  • Lui-Ngai-ni Token Celebration at Chadong
  • Sannaroisingee Numit 2018 : Gallery
  • Students @ Class X Exam #1 : Gallery
  • AoNna tEnaba :: Seireng
  • Thanga Keithel : Gallery
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Singcha Wuya Won @Kamjong #5: Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic