Saturday, May 22, 2010

North East needs to grow up

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The recent flare up of communal tension in Meghalaya and the incidents at Manipur once again proves that North Eastern states have a long way to go to get over the ethnic clashes. The region has been infamous for communal clashes and terrorism which has resulted in grave under development of the region over the last six decades since India gained independence. Small incidents are enough to start clashes between different communities leading to loss of life and property and above all defacing the image of the region not only to the country but to the world. In the day of the Internet people across the world know what happens in any corner!

There has been a feeling among the inhabitants of the North East that the region has been overlooked by the centre. It is partially true but at the same time the people have done little to create a scenario of development as well. Terrorism have been time and again said to be a fallout of the gross neglect of the centre but the vice versa also holds true that it has been the biggest roadblock to development in the region. The numerous extortion drives that are carried out by the terrorists in the region has been a hurdle in private investment in the region with none of the industrial giants having any manufacturing or service industry in the region.

New Delhi hasn’t been a good judge of the situation in the states. Pacifying one state at the cost of the other has been a regular trend in the region. The recent example has been the Manipur versus Nagaland incident where both ethnic groups feel they hold the right ground. The Centre obviously hasn’t learnt lessons from similar agitations in 2004 and repeated the same mistake. It has always believed sending battalions of soldiers would solve the problems but that hasn’t happened the problem as more and more terrorists seems to rise from nowhere. Had New Delhi spent the same energy and money in building more universities the situation could have been different. For example South Assam has very little of terrorism as there is a University, a Medical College and a premier Engineering College NIT Silchar.

As for the people support the man with the guns they have to realize that gun was never picked up in North East for its development and protection of ethnic interest. It was just a cover-up for the huge amount extortion drives that are carried out in the name of a rebellion of freedom. It also protects the interest of the arms and the drug dealers in the region. What else would explain Rs 3900 Crore of money ceased in Bangladesh from an account belonging to the chairman of ULFA Arabindo Rajkhowa. Where was the money extracted from and where did it find its way? In a peaceful North East this amount of money could not be minted easily!

The solution to the problem is in development and that should not be in the form of begging to New Delhi rather starting it from within the region. North East has the potential to become a second Goa, thanks to the beauty it has been blessed with. But is the region doing enough to attract tourists? The answer is a straight No. Arunachal Pradesh can supply power to the entire eastern part of the country and generate revenue. Has anything been done in this regards? No. Nagaland can become a trade hub with the East Asian countries but have we done anything? Again a sad No. It is high time that the region grows up and takes constructive steps not for anybody but for itself.


Sushobhan Sen May 23, 2010 at 12:54 AM  

Well written. The North East is like a treasure chest for India that lies deep beneath the earth. Only a joint effort by the locals and the rest of India can excavate it.

bikramjit May 23, 2010 at 12:55 AM  

my point is why didn't the government(whatever!!! it claims itself to be)....curb it when they had the chance as in before it became a national agenda.....simple reason is that dude it was another scope for congress to expand its political muscle.....what happened to punjab...why do we have a congress government there today???....u see what am trying to say...its not the terrorists to blame more than the politicians themselves

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