TODAY -

Autonomous District Council in North East India
- Part 3 -

Dr. Laishram Dhanabir *

Oath Taking ceremony of elected members of 6th Autonomous District Councils :: June 2010
Oath Taking ceremony of elected members of 6th Autonomous District Councils :: June 2010



Sixth Schedule and Ethnicity in North-East

The prolonged turmoil in the North-East is rooted in two causes; (a) the question of ethnic/cultural identity, which is perceived to be threatened by encroachment/infiltration by people of other ethnic/cultural groups from within and outside the region and the country; and (2) the persistence of economic backwardness14 Creation of smaller & ethnic states does not seem to have led towards elimination of either of these causes.

In any case the viability of more new states in the region is extremely doubtful. The experiments with Autonomous District Councils have also not yielded the desired results. Such a step has so far not received the favor of either the ruling politicians or the agitation leaders demanding greater autonomy or separate states.

Some kind of competitive ethnicity, real and contrived, is frittering away the energy of people, besides encouraging fragmentation and social distancing. There is a need for relook. There is no justification now of ADC in Meghalaya and Mizoram. It seems waste of resources15.

The problem of encroachment and infiltration will also be easier to handle with closer monitoring at the local level, a task that can he easily and legitimately taken up by the elected local bodies. Thus democratic decentralization of power to the grassroots can lead to an ultimate solution to the twin problems of persistent underdevelopment and ethno-cultural insecurity of the people of the region. It is therefore necessary to ensure through constitutional or other provisions that politicians are not able to prevent such a process of democratic decentralization from setting in.

While the provisions like the Sixth Schedule and the PRIs require a thorough review, the existing federal arrangements and the power sharing demands new thinking. It is necessary to explore new dimensions of power sharing in the region which may address the long-standing demands of various ethnic groups to have genuine autonomy and self-rule. Should we hesitate in terms of asymmetrical federal arrangements with whatever modifications in the manner that it has been experimented in Quebec and Switzerland with success to quell bitter ethnic conflicts? And there can be no better time than this when negotiations are being held with the various rebel groups of the region16.

Sixth Schedule & Insurgency

While Sixth Schedule was incorporated in the Constitution to give Greater Autonomy to the Tribal Areas of the North-East to counter insurgency, the ADCs in Autonomous District Councils in Karbi Anglong district and North Cachar Hills district have been witnessing separatist movements in the last decade.

This underlines the fact that Councils have not been able to fulfill the aspirations and address the grievances of the people of the area. Ceasefire agreements with the key insurgent groups have helped to reduce violence in the area.

Groups active in the two Autonomous Councils—United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS), Dima Halim Daogah (DHD), and also Hmar People’s Convention- Democracy.17 Tripura too has been witnessing insurgency despite the formation of TTAADC. The two principal secessionist groups in the state are National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF), which mostly operate from their bases in Bangladesh. Peace Accords have been signed with two factions of the NLFT— Montu Koloi and Nayanbasi Jamatiya and they have laid down arms last year17.

Recommendation

The relevance of the Sixth Schedule in the present context needs a serious review. The Schedule was specifically created to ensure the protection of the minor tribes from the threat of marginalization, domination and homogenization by the major tribal group under the jurisdictional area of the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs).

While the Schedule succeeded to a great extent to preserve the distinct identity and autonomy of tribal population, yet the same provision has become subject to controversies. The former excluded areas which the Schedule was supposed to protect have graduated from districts into full-fledged States such as Meghalaya and Mizoram.

Therefore, the District Councils in these States are now an anachronism as they overlap the normal district administration and have tended to duplicate the former and become a rival focus of power and financial burden.

Further, the Sixth Schedule has an inherent tendency to promote ethnic polarization and sub-nationalism. At one level, the Schedule has brought out the clash of interests between the non-tribal valley dwellers and tribal hill dwellers. Further, the Schedule has problem so far as issue of representation is concerned.

For instance, the Legislative Assemblies of Arunachal, Mizoram and Nagaland have all but one seats reserved for STs. This was justified when the tribal’s were in majority. But a sea change has undergone in the demography of the region. In a way, the Schedule promotes a de-facto regime of two-tiered citizenship. Unless reviewed comprehensively, the Schedule could become chief source of future conflicts in the region.

The genesis of the movements for greater autonomy by different ethnic groups in the North-East lay in the British policy of administration for the region. The system of administration established under colonial rule was effective in the plains of the region. But the hills, inhabited mostly by tribal people, were virtually left out from that system of administration. In fact the hills were classified as ‘excluded’ or ‘partially excluded’ areas and tribal communities living in such areas were allowed to continue with their traditional arrangements of self- governance’.

After independence, in an attempt to integrate these areas while preserving the tradition of self-governance of the tribal communities, the Sixth Schedule was incorporated in the Constitution of India. The Sixth Schedule provided for District and Regional Councils for the erstwhile ‘excluded’ and ‘partially excluded’ areas and these institutions were expected to integrate such areas with the modem system of administration while preserving the traditional autonomy and self-governance of the tribal people. But these arrangements failed to meet the aspirations of the newly emerging political leadership of some of the tribal groups.

Nagas demanded independence. Other groups also followed by launching movements demanding autonomy of various degrees. The Central Government responded to these demands by carrying out several rounds of reorganizations of the region and carving out new states. But instead of settling the issue, creation of the new states encouraged other ethnic groups to organize movements and agitations demanding greater autonomy, separate states and so on.

Concluded....


* Dr. Laishram Dhanabir wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was posted on September 12 , 2016.


* 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
  • Aerial view from Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Governor's Taekwondo Cup: Gallery
  • Entrepreneurship in the context of Manipur
  • Face scrubs to avoid dirt this summer
  • Ah, me - Now Happy, Now Sad :: Poem
  • Rio assures of co-existence with neighbours
  • Nandeshwore- President, Manipur, RJSP
  • 'PDA Govt is functioning smoothly'
  • SC voices displeasure at defence ministry
  • Manipur NPF differs with Shurho over BJP
  • Khangkhui Cave, Ukhrul #2: Gallery
  • Chhungthianhoih, Agui :: eMing
  • Identity crisis : @Somorendra Lecture
  • Reflection on Tour of Dubai & Abu Dhabi #2
  • Khangminashi - II : Report
  • Globalization & its impact on our culture
  • District Demand 2011-2018 :: Timeline
  • Dishonouring the Constitution of India
  • From EVM to floor test Onus on BJP
  • Curtain Raising- Sangai Fest 2017: Gallery
  • 4th MCA Plate Tournament : Gallery
  • International Nurses Week #1
  • Story of Silence : @Somorendra Lecture
  • Apiculture (bee-keeping) #2
  • Khangminashi - II : Invitation at Thoubal
  • IBSD-ILS Centre set up in Bhubaneswar
  • Of 3 Ws - Beware
  • Forming the Govt : Office of Governor
  • Lainingthou Lai Lam thopka #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur Fight League Season 1 : Gallery
  • Prison Diary of Lamyanba NK Sanajaoba #3
  • Rights of indigenous people & merger
  • Manipur's tryst for a native Chief Secretary
  • Marxji, Modiji & Birenji
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Reasoning without disparities
  • Regulate movement of auto rickshaws
  • Healing Touch: A case of still to outreach
  • Re-visiting Khangkhui caves in Ukhrul
  • Sandrembi Cheishra :: Book Review
  • Homecoming & Other Stories :: Review
  • Kuki-Zomi Insurgency in Manipur #2
  • Cry of a Dying River - 29 :: Poem
  • Shija Hospitals MOU for RBSK Nagaland
  • Are we waiting for the "Go-dot"
  • Understanding with KSO : Reaching to all
  • NNC observes 67th Naga plebiscite anniv
  • Event on martial art ends
  • Garlic Festival @ Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • Dr. Cesarczyk drizzled harmonics in the rain
  • Tlanglhungbung Leikol - Tourist destination
  • Manipulative skill pays in usurping power
  • Khonzel TV : New Manipuri Streaming TV
  • Naturopathy as career option
  • Free Eye Camp at Wangoo
  • Khongjom Day: OK to observe on Apr 23, but
  • Outside Manipur after Class XII
  • TRAU Vs Langsning FC : Gallery
  • Ngasepam Nalini : State Akademi Award
  • Construction of Ima Keithel
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Dreaming :: Poem
  • Test for dengue fever
  • Home Coming & other Stories : Book [upd]
  • Eco Tourism as alternative to Timber Trade
  • Go to Village - boon .. but a scourge for PRI
  • Citizenship Bill ... on basis of religion!
  • Gardening @Ema Keithel #2: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #2: Gallery
  • Course in Book Publishing at IGNTU, Kpi
  • Reflection on Tour of Dubai & Abu Dhabi #1
  • Gurudev :: Poem
  • Counseling to Delhi University Aspirants
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Apiculture (bee-keeping) #1
  • Entrepreneur find ways to recycle plastic
  • Social impacts of Mapithel dam
  • Cyber crime defined: The Bhopal case
  • Timber banned but no ban on firewood
  • Traffic chaos : Regulate not ban entry !
  • Cheiraoba Thabal by LGBTQ #2 : Gallery
  • Culturals @Shirui Lily Fest : Gallery
  • Kuki-Zomi Insurgency in Manipur #1
  • Civil Service as a career option
  • The plight of education in Manipur
  • Appeal to Stop Oil Exploration
  • TechExpo at IIT Guwahati
  • Awaiting- a light at end of the tunnel
  • Wanted : Responses not reactions
  • Kabo Valley: A brief history
  • 'Autonomous Naga council'- a major hurdle
  • Cry of a Dying River - 28 :: Poem
  • Admission :: SAIRAM college at Patsoi
  • Khangminashi :: Lecture series at KKT
  • CASO conducted at Mantripukhri
  • PRI & the Mission- "Go to Village"
  • Final pact likely soon : Stand of CSOs
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #2 : Gallery
  • Steelheart @ Shirock , Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • The Killing Fields - 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • A village "wall" a destruction for others
  • Thank you Mangaal Rural...
  • Lack of proper investigation- minor girl case
  • Nagaland Cong shelved plans to contest LS
  • Employment drive through Afforestation
  • Bid to attract the brightest
  • A. Halim Chowdhury: A Profile
  • Gardening @Ema Keithel #1: Gallery
  • Occupational hazards of journalists
  • Election: The greatest weapon of the people
  • Community Gardening in memory of Belinda
  • Politicians need a thorough headbanging
  • Beauty essentials for your holiday
  • NPF will not attend meeting..
  • A view on "Go to Village" Mission
  • Littering Shirui peak after Lily Fest
  • Polo ground & institute in Manipur
  • Khangkhui Cave, Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • Dance competition @MANFETE #2 : Gallery
  • Bracing for monsoon madness
  • When I'm sick :: Poem
  • 1949: Story of India's Takover of Manipur
  • You can't defile a Judge like that
  • Legal provisions for misusing Social Media
  • Bill for non-local: Need to learn from 2015
  • Heart OPD Camp at Youth Club Brahmapur
  • Flood in Imphal [06 May ] : Gallery
  • Gudui Ngai @ Ragailong : Gallery
  • Ode to Inle (in Myanmar) #2
  • AFSPA Repeal from Meghalaya, Arunachal
  • Reclamation of eutrophicated water bodies
  • Hey smartphone! Free me from your spell
  • Job Positions at VITSOFTS, Canchipur
  • Lainingthou Lai Lam thopka #1 : Gallery
  • Phumdigi Tantha Dance Drama : Synopsis
  • Speaker List at Seminar on Atomic Energy
  • The making of village republics
  • The Sunset Blues :: Poem
  • Rio for development on eastern corridor
  • Welcomes decision on mini hornbills
  • Good show only from Imphal
  • 'ZB (AMN) President creating confusion'
  • Zeme Nagas aggrieved at 'non-inclusion'
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Prison Diary of Lamyanba NK Sanajaoba #1
  • Communal Harmony in a Multicultural ..
  • Community Gardening Event at Ema Keithel
  • Usurped Domain
  • Fruit stalls : Who gave them the license ?
  • 60 best social media practices
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #1 : 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
  • Scholarship for Civil Aspirants : Gallery
  • The Streets Of Imphal
  • Civil Aspirants Scholarship Announcement
  • Vandalizing of fruit seller- protecting identity
  • Free Heart OPD Camp at Manipur University
  • Go to Village Mission: Another first for Govt
  • Khongjom Day - April 23 #2 : Gallery
  • 16 out of 18 clears IIT/JEE Mains
  • RIST Talk-36 : Enchanting Light of Firefly
  • Cry of a Dying River - 27 :: Poem
  • World Veterinary Day - 2018
  • Halt oil exploration work in Manipur
  • Snakebites and Uniformed Saviours
  • SRDP funds: NDPP calls for investigation
  • National PR Day at Guwahati
  • The only way towards salvation
  • Haudonggi Lamchat :: Funga Wari
  • Mukada: Eroding Festival of Kharam Tribe
  • Steelheart @ Shirock , Ukhrul #2 : Gallery
  • 'Go To Village mission' launched at Yaiskul
  • Quality assurance management as career
  • Test for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  • UCM, MPP making clear their stand
  • Kh Sanjita & Saikhom Mirabai :: Gallery
  • May Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • How India Restrain NE Extremist Outfits
  • Liangmai disassociate from Zeliangrong #2
  • Climbing the Shirui Hills #1 : Gallery
  • NE Guide to Thailand : Gallery
  • Prof N Irabanta : Doyen of Aerobiology
  • Paintings @Imphal Art Camp : Gallery
  • Opening: Shirui Lily Festival : Gallery
  • Floral tributes to PLA members #3 : Gallery
  • Ode to Inle (in Myanmar) #1
  • Steelheart @ Shirock , Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • TRAU Vs Bengaluru FC #2 : Gallery
  • 'HUN' Thadou Cultural Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Khongjom Day - April 23 #1 : Gallery
  • Northeast Indian Guide to Thailand
  • Teinem Luira Phanit #2: Gallery
  • Naorem Kalimohon Singh : A Profile
  • Cheiraoba @ Kolkata : Gallery
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa [14 Apr] : Gallery
  • Md Awaysh Khan: Mr. India : Gallery
  • Mahesh Thounaojam #2 : eRang Photos
  • Mnipur Ima :: Seireng
  • Tributes to Khelen Thokchom : Gallery
  • Sanakhya Ebotombi Haorokcham: Biography
  • PM Narendra Modi @Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Enakta Leiringei (Film) #2 :: eRang
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS