National seminar on politics of location underway at Kohima
JOTSOMA, NOVEMBER 14
A two-day national seminar on Politics of Location with special reference to Northeast India got underway Friday at Sazolie College, Jotsoma. The seminar includes an in-depth discourse and paper presentations on a wide sphere of political factors with the northeast (NE) region in perspective including Cross Border Movements, Statelessness & Politics of Location, Regional Initiatives, Contextualizing & Understanding the Complex Interface of Land, Identity & Development Process, NE Women as Material Subjects of Power, Migration & its Ramifications, Rhetoric & Reality of Ethnic Nationalism in NE, Language & Tribal Identity Formation, Insecurity of NE- Contravention of People’s Right (Human Rights) and Threat of State Security etc.
Eminent academicians and scholars from renowned universities and educational institutions in West Bengal, Meghalaya, Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram and New Delhi are participating in the two-day programme, which is being organized by the department of Political Science, Sazolie College Jotsoma.
Speaking at the inaugural function of the seminar as the chief guest, Nagaland University Pro-Vice Chancellor, Prof. A Lanunungsang Ao said the theme of the programme is being brought up for analysis at the right time. He underscored that the need for the hour is for the people of the northeast to look thoroughly into their geographical, societal and cultural history. This, he said, is more relevant today as the majority of the people in mainland India do not know where the northeast is or who the people of the northeast are.
The Pro-VC also highlighted the need for a deeper study on the cause and effects of the influx of illegal immigrants from the neighbouring nation Bangladesh into NE region. Stating that the region, particularly Nagaland, is hundred percent under threat from this menace, he voiced concern that if strict remedial steps and mechanism are not put into place then the region will gradually be overtaken by the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.
He expressed hope that the two-day discourse will yield concrete recommendations and suggestions which could inspire policy makers and bring about a huge degree of change.
In his keynote address, OKD Institute of Social Change and Development (Guwahati) director, Prof. Dr. Bhupen Sarmah said it is necessary to understand and have a thorough comprehension of how the northeast region was created. Looking back on history, he said the region came into being as a result of “distortions” made during the colonial times, annexing and clubbing hills areas with Assam, barring Manipur and Tripura, for economic purposes. He stated that even after Independence, the colonial map was continued to be used and the NE states were attempted to be homogenized. Towards this end, the academician said even the Nagaland-Assam border conflict was started during colonization and that the people need to realize that “we are fighting amongst ourselves”.
“We have to accept historical fact and we need to look at the root cause of these conflicts very carefully,” he stated.
He implied that the NE region continues being manipulated by vested powers, stating, “We have been talking about development of the northeast for over 60 years now…But where is the development?”
Dr. Sarmah stated that many young people who can afford to go and pursue their studies from outside refuse to come back to the region owing to the lack of employment opportunities. “Regional planning is absolutely a farce,” he lamented, vocalizing apprehensions even for the Centre’s policies for the NE- Vision 2020 and Look East Policy, lest they turn the region merely to be used as a route or a corridor for cheap economy.
The most important thing, he emphasized, is that, we keep our focus on trying to understand the issues and not divert attention from them.
Anthropological Survey of India (Kolkata) former deputy director Dr. NK Das, NEHU Shillong professor TT Haokip, Tezpur University associate professor Dr. Kedilezo Kikhi, Scottish Church College Kolkata assistant professor Esita Sur, Women’s College Shillong lecturer Rosemary K Debbarma, NEHU research scholar Hirokjeet Roy, Dr. Joseph K Lalfakzuala of Government J Buana College Lunglei, Sazolie College assistant professor Thepfusalie Theunuo, and Patkai Christian College Dimapur assistant professor AG Samuel were the resource persons of the day.
On Saturday, special presentations will be made in regard to Nagaland state on the second day of the seminar such as ‘Frontier Nagaland-Problems & Prospects’, ‘Decoding Competitive Party Politics in Nagaland’, ‘Naga Women in Politics’, and ‘Corruption in Nagaland-Causes and Remedies’, among other topics.