Monday, March 27, 2023

NE states must develop united character muscles for overcoming challenges and adversities

To play effective role in North East politics, one need to study the genesis chapter in depth and need to understand the intricacies of the region politically or otherwise. Undivided Assam was ruled by various dynasties-the Pala, Koch, Kachari, and Chutiya and there was constant warfare among the princes until the coming of Ahom people in the 13th century.
Till 1714 Ahom kings ruled the entire Assam before the Ahom kingdom was occupied by warriors from Myanmar in the late 18th century. The Britishers came in and ultimately drove out the invaders, and, Treaty of Yandabo was signed with Myanmar in 1826.
That’s how Assam became a part of British India. With the partition and independent of India in 1947 Assam became a constituent state of India in 1950.
Between the early 1960s and the early 1970s Assam lost much of its territory to new states those emerged from within its borders.
In 1963 Nagaland become the 16th state of India under the name of Nagaland with a political agreement under the protection of Article 371-A. In 1972 Meghalaya was given statehood. Also in 1972 Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram were separated from Assam as union territories; both became fully-fleged states in 1986. Princely states Tripura and Manipur were merged with India in October 1949, and
On 21st January, 1972 the state of Manipur and Tripura also became full-fledged states under the North Eastern Region (Re-Organization) Act, 1971.
Likewise, Sikkim became a fully-fledged 22nd state of India in 1975 under the protection of Article 371-(F) of the constitution of India. North East India, consists of eight states, as we all know today, is very different from what it was some centuries ago. The entire NER was not part of India politically and not even administratively, till the Britishers unified it with the rest of India sometime in the beginning of the 18 century.
After having excruciating experience dealing with the people of the region, based on political and administrative convenience, the region was divided to eight political units-Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Manipur and Sikkim.
Unlike the formation of states in so called mainland India on linguistic basis, these states in NER were formed on the basis of ethnic and tribal boundaries. Therefore the formula of the creation of these eight states is on ethnic and cultural differences. Nevertheless, on the basis of some common shared problems, nature of its geographical isolation.
It is also due to a particular unique geo-political strategy in the Indian polity that for all practical purposes the NER is looked upon as a single unit. These eight states as one unit is the Eastern-most region connected to mainland India via a narrow corridor squeezed between Nepal and Bangladesh, which is popularly known as Chicken’s Neck. It is pertinent to mention that nowhere does India’s complex issues exists as serious as it exists in the northeast India, where the politics of identity and self-determination led to internal and external security challenges.
For sometime, situation had been looking somewhat peaceful in the recent time since signing of the Mizo Accord, Bodoland Accord, Accord with Karbi Armed groups and Nagas peace accord between GOI, NSCN I.M and NNPGs. Nonetheless, it seems the much hyped signing of Naga Peace Accord between Narendra Modi government and various Naga insurgent groups have hit a roadblock due to growing trust deficit between government of India and the Naga insurgent groups. More so, when seat sharing formula announced, forgetting the last famous election slogan, “ELECTION FOR SOLUTION” which have hurt the sentiments of the enthusiastic Nagas waiting for final settlement of the final Naga Accord.
If the talks fail after waiting with such a high enthusiasm, the consequences could be highly unsavory. Of late, looking at the growing unrest between Assam with the neighboring states in the region. It’s evidently clear that the biggest blunder committed by the Britishers, and the then successive governments at the Centre for not properly demarcating the state boundaries between Assam and the neighboring states.
As a result the alarming rise in the aggressive and violent behavior of Assam towards all her neighboring states in the most volatile North East India, the situation is getting deteriorated day by day and aggrieved youths are in no mood to watch the situation as mute bystanders and no one can predict what’s there in store.
There are numerous instances where peace loving tribal people from the neighboring states residing in the common border areas lost lives and properties due to unprecedented aggression from Assam side. The situation has so much worsened in almost all the border areas, the grave fear of succumbing to one’s aggressive impulses, violent urges and starting civil unrest is clearly visible.
Particularly in Assam-Nagaland, Assam-Mizoram, Assam-Meghalaya and Assam-Arunachal border areas. For many decades, tribal people from across all these states are tolerating to coersive Dadagiri attitude of Assam, and all these ill treatment committed against every innocent commuters across Assam border areas happening under the nose of various central agencies.
It’s evidently clear that Assam superior political influence at the Centre and privileged placement in various central government establishments is systematically abused to. Harass the people from the neighboring states and intended to destroy lives, properties and causing injury to the neighboring states with their much improvised fighting forces fully supported by New Delhi on various pretext.
Aggrieved people will definitely try to find the root causes of such aggressive hostility and why such violent behaviors are on the rise lately.
In the given situation, sharing the same Governor with Assam is not at all acceptable. Nagaland need to have separate Constitutional head of the state at the earliest.
Every Naga leaders must understand the Role and power of the governor as per Article 154 of the Indian constitution.
Central government must immediately review the policy for maintaining maximum harmony and coordination with all the aggrieved NER states and also review the deployment of central neutral forces policy in the disputed border areas. As of today, so called neutral forces functions under the command of an officer who takes order from Assam police Head Office.
Keeping in view of the stated reasons, It is evidently clear that Assam always stands as the most favored choice of New Delhi in terms of socio-economic upliftment and other Developmental programmes, irrespective of whichever political party is at the helm of affairs in New Delhi.
(N.Thomas Lotha)

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