Wednesday, December 08, 2021

‘A special policy is needed to protect indigenous peoples of the Northeast’

By EMN Updated: Nov 25, 2014 12:21 am


Tripura people, referred to as Tripuri, an ethnic group were engulfed by influx of migrants and now people of most of the North Eastern states have been seriously threatened by migrants and so the Government of India needs to formulate a special policy for the region to protect its different indigenous peoples, North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) advisor Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya said here today.
Delivering a speech during a “One-day Discourse on Socio-Economy & Political Affinities hosted by All Manipur Students’Union (AMSU) at Hotel Nirmala in Imphal, Bhattacharya blamed New Delhi for the illegal migration taking place in North East region.
He accused the Centre of not seriously taking the issue of migrants in the region and said the issue has raised serious security concerns.
Bhattacharya said identity crisis is evident in the polity of NE though the Government of India has claimed that a political change has been brought in the region.
He alleged the mainland India still looks down on the people of NE.
The Centre has been taking up big projects in the region which need scientific discussion, he said and mentioned the controversies caused by exploitation of natural resources by the Government.
The NESO advisor said the Centre is yet to devise a clear-cut policy to solve the exploitation of natural resources in the region. Bhattacharya further said development schemes and policies sponsored by the Centre for the NE are not implemented at the grass-root level.
Referring to Look East Policy, he said the Centre has failed to show any concrete change in Manipur which will be the corridor for the policy.
The NESO leader said only the corporate sector and rich people will get benefit from the India’s Look East Policy, and that the people will have to watch the activities without getting any profit from it.
Giving the inaugural keynote address during the discourse, NESO secretary general Sinam Prakash said all the seven states of the North East seem to be happily lost in their consciousness of being ‘unique’ Nagas, Assamese, Mizos, Manipuris and the rest.
He said, “We want to continue our self-obsession”, adding, “We seem to have no time to take serious notice of the world knocking at our doors.” He also said an identity of NE can emerge only when we are sufficiently conscious about the threats and opportunities that come in the wake of entry of the corporate houses and foreign investors into the region.
The demographic influx from outside the region, including ‘foreign nationals’, is another threat which can destabilise the indigenous societies of the NE, he said, adding this demographic onslaught is bound to increase by leaps and bounds with corporate houses and foreign investors speeding up the economic developmental activities in the region.
Assam has generated mass movement against migrant influx in 1980s and states like Manipur and Meghalaya are now agitating for regulating the influx thorough the mechanism of Inner Line Permit System, the NESO leader added.
He said the struggle for protection of the historical identities must continue even though it anchors the displeasure of the Government at the Centre.
The right to life and security in the region has been suspended in the name of ‘national security’ for more than half a century, Prakash said and accused New Delhi and the guardians of the Constitution of India not being impressed with the recommendations by their own Commissions and Committees as well as the UN experts, Committees and Working Groups on UPR of the Human Rights Council to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, a racist, war-time and colonial Act.
He added, “It is on the basis of our shared awareness of these political, economic and cultural challenges confronting the indigenous peoples of NE and our ability to struggle and respond to these challenges that can fashion and forge a new content to our NE identity.”

By EMN Updated: Nov 25, 2014 12:21:05 am