Friday, June 15, 2007

WHAT’S THE COST OF ARUNACHAL?

-by Roto Chobin

A game of ping-pong has been playing between India and China since the first half of 20th century, in which the state of Arunachal is being used as a ball. The British, being a judge to this game, made a mess by crushing the ball and rushed out of this game in haste, leaving behind two ambivalent countries to play with deformed ball. The so-called border talks are being held at the expense of Arunachal. The debate on border issue seems incredibly long and the outcome is not on the horizon. And if today the Arunachal is being treated as a whore, the British and Tibetan must share a part of blame. The Tibetan, who had some sway over certain part, didn’t took care of the maiden, the British broke its virginity and passed it to India, and then the India kept the state like a mistress and now China wants to have it.

Let’s take a look at the historical records to unravel if Arunachal really were a territory of China or an integral part of India. The starting place of border dispute extends back into the 19th Century, when both China and British India asserted claims to remote mountain areas between China and India. But the people of Arunachal unknown to the doom, existed as a sovereign state. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the tide of development was lapping into the foot-hills. So the British drew a line along the foot of the hills which was to be called the “Inner Line” and the “Outer Line” under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873. The Inner Line was an administrative line, in the Assam tribal areas, to keep hunters and traders out of the Assam tribal areas; no taxes were collected beyond the Inner Line. The Outer Line was the international boundary of British India. However, little publicity was given to the demarcation of the Outer Line. On March 30, 1911, Noel Williamson, Assistant Political Officer of Sadiya, and a tea estate doctor were attacked and killed by Adi tribesmen in Komsing. Williamson was formally warned not to cross the Inner Line without expressed permission. Williamson's death provided for the revision of the tribal policy for which Williamson himself had argued for years. A British expedition, headed by Major General Hamilton Bower, was mounted in late 1911; the mission continued until 1913. The alleged purpose of the expedition was punitive; indeed, the Adis were punished for slaying Williamson. However, the ultimate objective of the expedition was to define a new border and to inform the Chinese of the new limits of British sovereignty. While the British were exploring Assam, the 1911 Chinese Revolution erupted. By 1912, Chinese influence in Tibet had fallen drastically. As Chinese power in Tibet waned, Chinese pressure on the Assam border ceased to exist. The British now endeavored to secure the Assam Himalayas from any future Chinese intervention.

The fall of Chinese power in Tibet led to negotiations between British Indian, Chinese, and Tibetan delegates to the Simla Conference of 1913-14. The British had decided to make Tibet a genuine buffer state. The British chief delegate, Sir Henry McMahon, introduced the idea of a second buffer into the long Sino-Tibetan debates over the boundary between Chinese control and the Tibetan buffer. The Chinese government immediately repudiated the agreement. The Chinese rejection was a blow to McMahon's buffer scheme. However, McMahon had meanwhile negotiated another buffer and zone of defense for the Himalayas. He had made a separate agreement with the chief Tibetan delegate; this agreement defined the frontier line along the crest of the Assam Himalayas, based on the 1911-13 Abor Expedition. The line was marked on a large-scale (eight miles to the inch) map; however, this map and the details of the McMahon-Tibetan agreement were not communicated to the Chinese. The task of making good the McMahon Line was given to J.P.Mills, the government’s adviser on tribal affairs, who was to say that: “the tribes to be incorporated (in India) belong naturally more to Tibet than to India. In race and in language they are mongoloid. They all speak Tibeto-Burmese languages which have nothing in common with the Assamesse of the Aryans of the plains. It follows therefore that what one might call the cultural and social pull is towards Tibet …. The McMahon Line therefore suffers from the disability that though it may look well on the map … it is in fact not the natural boundary, whereas the frontier along the plains is the natural one.” The Indian government also recognized that the population along the north-east frontier was ethnically and culturally closer to Tibet than to India, but due to the strategic and geopolitical considerations that had formed Britain’s approach to the north-east border applied with equal force for the new (Indian) government. One of the last acts of the Chinese nationalist ambassador in New Delhi was to remind the Indian government in February 1947 that china did not recognize the McMahon Line, and held the simla convention invalid.

In the early1950s, a strong Assam Rifles patrol moving up the Subansiri River was warmly welcomed by one of the tribes, feasted and given shelter - and then massacred almost to a man. Under Nehru’s order, no punitive action had been taken. In 1952, G.S. Bajpai, then the governor of Bombay urges that India should take the initiative in raising the question of McMahon Line with the Chinese government, only to be told by K.M.Panikkar that the Prime Minister (Nehru) had decided that it was not in India’s interest to raise the question of the McMahon Line. By 1958, the Indians had completed the work left unfinished by the British and made good the McMahon Line. In December 26th 1959, the china implied that the Indian maps are ‘cutting deep into Chinese territory’ in the western sector, while of the eastern sector it is said that ‘the whole boundary line is pushed northward, including an area of about 90,000 sq km which originally belonged to China. In 1986, differences raise again over the McMahon line in the Sumdorung Chu area of Arunachal. After Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to china in 1988, a Joint Working Group (JWG) forum was formed to find a real solution to boundary problems and thence, the delegates from both side debated on this issue from time to time. Ironically, the JWG forum has focused more on peace along the border than on a real solution to the boundary problem. And so far umpteen JWG meeting was conducted without making much headway, and so far not even a single representative of Arunachal was invited to participate in the border talk.

The natives of Arunachal not only resisted Indian occupation when Indian officials moved into inner line, but were equally intimidated by Chinese troops when they entered in Arunachal during 1962 war. The peoples of this region never had a direct contact with China nor with India which makes the state more or less a sovereign state. But from the day Arunachal Pradesh was lifted up into the category of ‘Indian states’ from Union Territory in 1986, she has worked diligently with Indian constitution. And in these 60 years, from the Independence Day till today, the development of infrastructure is not worth mentioning which leads to grave doubt that India’s incapability to develop physical infrastructure in Arunachal lays in the reason that India cannot hold on to Arunachal for a long time. On the contrary, the Chinese has developed Tibet beyond recognition, even laid a rail tracks up to Lhasa which is situated 3,600 meters above sea level, and which, I anticipate, will bind Tibet more close to the mainland. Apart from development of infrastructure issue; if we analyze the statement made by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee during his visit to Chandigarh last year and in a recent parliament session- 1. “Some adjustments will take place here and there on Arunachal Pradesh and J&K at the conclusion of the ongoing talks with China and Pakistan respectively.” 2. “India and china are exploring the framework of a final package settlement covering all sectors of the India-China boundary (May 10, 2007 Arunachal Times),” it corroborate the doubts enormously. On the other hand, China left no stone unturned to remind the people of Arunachal that they are Chinese citizen. For instance, lately, Chinese embassy refused to grant visa to an IAS officer, Ganesh Koyu who hails from Arunachal, because he comes from a disputed area and which didn’t come as a shock to me as this kind of denial had happened in late 1990’s to then the chief minister, Gegong Apang, when he sought a visa to visit China but was told by Chinese embassy that he doesn’t need a visa to visit his own country.

However, most of the people of Arunachal are of the opinion that the Arunachal would do better under Indian constitution. But the question still refused to subdue is: does the Indian Government and Indians are ready to assimilate the state within its republic. The ‘flip-flop’ attitude of federal government and their vague opinion on Arunachal not only perplex us but also steer us into dark alley. Besides, We (Arunachal along with Mizoram and Nagaland) were accused of being a parasite state by substantial section of the populations that claims that we survives on the flesh of Indians who allegedly labours night and day at IT industry et al to make Indian economy bullish. And we have been blamed for the lack of infrastructure in their state, for the potholes, etc. as well because their money has been pumped into these three states. Perhaps, they may be right in pointing out this. And if this view is defended by Indian government and Indians, then the privilege to call Arunachal an integral part of India is wholly invalid. And the Arunachal should have been given back their earlier status of sovereign state. Furthermore, the Indians are not happy with reservation (reservation in job and educational institution for scheduled tribe and caste), and we (the youth who have been to metropolis and influenced by it) are not happy about being ‘scheduled’ tribe (ST) for so long and to be called ST makes us a part of highly caste ridden and feudal society of Aryans.

At long last, considering the dealings of the centre with our state, it does indicate that the federal government of India, who is directly responsible for corrupting our state government by fattening the wallets of our politician and their enforcement arm, will never be able to oversee our state efficiently. The failure of Indian government to administer competently must not suggest that the whole of Arunachal is for bargain. And the Arunachal and its people shouldn’t be used as pawn in order to strengthen the bilateral ties between India and China. The talk show of two giant goliaths must go on and, but, let the Arunachal be a buffer state - free from Indian and Chinese influence.

60 comments:

  • Riilo

    Well written.
    As Chobin says, the Indians follow a national policy to keep us backward--and then humiliate us from every available fora for being 'parasites' !

    While the much remoter and higher Tibetan side has every available amenity, our side does not even have a road connection(even broken ones will do!), a few kms of non-functional rail and the number of internet cafes in the state can be counted on ones fingertips with several toes to spare.
    To the Indians we are objects to be bargained in Marwari style.The day they get a good bargain from China all their 'integral part of India' bullshit will disappear in a second and 'my heart bleeds for AP' will emanate.

  • Anonymous

    umm................the grass is always greener on the other side.

    i'm from tawang region and am proud to be in a democratic country where my views are respected.

  • Anonymous

    anonymous,

    Democratic??
    Have you heard of AFSPA,Irom Sharmila and the countless people executed by the Indian army??

    Try speaking against the Indian Govt and see the democracy vanish!
    I'm sure even the 'despotic' Chinese 'respects' the views of Tibetans who toe their one-country line?

  • AG

    'umm................the grass is always greener on the other side.'

    try removing the veil around your eyes pal, the author never said or meant that.

    do you know that Tawang is the main contention between India and China? Do you really think your views would be considered when both these countries go about solving the border dispute? C'mon wake up pal.

  • Anonymous

    ag why bother i'm damn sure this fellow is an indian impostor.i have plenty of connections in tawang and people there just tolerate the indian army as a necessary evil. all locals who have gone across to tibet via bhutan has only good things to say.

    the only people who wholeheartedly support indian occupation in tawang are the monks,nepali and tibetan refugees.
    monks because their lazy existance is not tolerated by chinese.Nepalis have been settled by indian army on prime land to support occupation and ready supply of prostitutes &tibetan refugees for propaganda.
    the economic(and therefore political)control of tawang is now firmly in hands of the tibetans and nepalis.

  • Roto Chobin

    @ anonymous,

    It may be true that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. And since you’ve broached the subject, I felt it need to comment on this pasture issue. As far as the economy of China and India is concerned--the grass is definitely greener on the other side. The FDI inflows in China are greatly higher than that of India. In energy and bilateral trade, the China is again far ahead of India. And in manufacturing, China is a global leader. Furthermore, the analyst says that China, by 2008, will be the world’s third –largest exporter. As a result, the China is steadily rising in Human Development Index (HDI) rank. But, where are we? Running neck and neck with Pakistan and Bangladesh in HDI rank?

    Secondly, if you are referring to Arunachal as a part of China by your ‘greener grass’ idiom, I’m afraid you are wrong again. I only said, “let the Arunachal be a Sovereign State if India is unable to look after and build up infrastructure in Arunachal”. And if I’m not mistaken, it was some unemployed youth from your district Tawang, who talked to journalist, Jaideep Majumdar that being a part of China would not be a bad idea and which was published in Outlook (Nov 27, 2006)

  • Anonymous

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    Human Rights
    Commentary: India kills its own in Manipur
    HONG KONG, Jul. 3
    BIJO FRANCIS

    Column: Incredible India
    There is sometimes a fine difference between sense and nonsense, particularly when it comes to implementing legislation. But this fine distinction could make the difference between life and death.

    At a press conference in Delhi, India's Defense Minister A. K. Antony said that under decisive circumstances the armed forces require special laws to protect their rights. He sought to justify the Defense Ministry's objection to repealing the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958 and ending its application in various parts of India, particularly in Manipur state. What the minister conveniently ignored was the plight of thousands of people who are tortured, murdered and raped by the armed forces under the cover of this law.

    In August 2006 I met Soibam Mithun, a young man aged 23 in Moreh, Manipur. He told me this story:

    "I came here to give tuition to children after I finished 12th grade. On the night of July 21-22, 2006, I opened the door, hearing someone outside. I wanted to go out but my brother and mother held me back. Then an army officer stepped into the light. He asked all of us to step outside. As we came out, soldiers poured into the house. We were told to keep our hands raised while one pointed his rifle at us.

    "The officers who went inside came out with some CDs. An arrest memo was produced. I did not see anyone preparing it. However, my name was on the memo and the underground organisation UNLF was also mentioned. I was beaten up and put into the army vehicle. My brother and mother protested, but no one heard them and an officer threatened that if they made more noise they would take my brother too. Still my brother did not stop shouting, but my mother was so scared that she covered my brother's mouth with her palm to keep him silent. I was thrown into the army vehicle.

    "I was taken to the 24 Assam Rifles' camp in a Gypsy, an SUV commonly used by the army. At the army camp I was blindfolded and taken to a room. My legs and hands were tied. I was told to lie face up on a wooden cot. My legs were stretched and my underwear was removed. A wire was fixed to my testicles and they applied electric shocks. I had never suffered anything like that in the past. They hit me on the back of my head with a rifle butt. They accused me of being a UNLF cadre. I told them that I was not. The more I said I was not connected with any organization and that I was making a living by private tuition, the more they hit me and applied electric shocks. For a moment my blindfold was removed and I also saw others like me in the same room being tortured in a similar manner.

    "The interrogation continued for a few hours, until 4 a.m. Later I was told to have some tea, but when the tea was brought they poured it onto my thigh: the scar is still there. In the morning I was told to sit in the sun and made to eat chilies. They also sprayed chili powder in my eyes. I could not urinate and they gave me some tablets, which they forced me to take and drink a lot of water. Still I could not urinate. Then an officer came and threatened me again. He asked lot of questions about whether I was associated with the UNLF. I repeated that I was not. They asked me, "Who fired the shells?" "Who killed the Subedar (an army rank)?" I said that I was in Imphal during the time of that incident, but they thought that I was lying.

    "At about 4 p.m. I was blindfolded again. When the blindfold was removed I found that I was at the police station. I stayed there for a day and the next day was taken to Imphal where I was produced at the Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court. I was remanded till the 27th and then was again produced before the court and released on bail the same day.

    "I have no words to explain how I feel now. It is very difficult to put in words. One has to go through it to understand it. I am so scared of the army that I do not feel comfortable when an army person is traveling in the same bus with me. I find it difficult to go out of my house since on the road you meet soldiers. I still have problems with my testicles and with urinating. I am still undergoing treatment.

    "I do not think I can live here anymore. I do not know what to do now. I want to end my life."

    The defense minister of India does not know what people like Mithun have faced. All he knows are the "success" stories of the armed forces about which his secretaries brief him at his office.

    The AFSPA is one of the worst pieces of legislation the Indian Parliament has ever passed. Under this law all security forces are allowed to operate under complete impunity once an area is declared disturbed. Even a non-commissioned officer is empowered to shoot to kill on mere suspicion that it is necessary to do so in order to "maintain the public order." Over the decades this law has claimed hundreds of lives.

    The AFSPA contravenes all basic norms of both Indian and International law. The attorney general of India, in response to the United Nations Human Rights Committee's questions in 1991, used the same argument Antony as the defense minister posed to justify the continued use of this law. The attorney general said that even if the law contravened Article 4 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, which India has ratified, it was required in the northeastern states, which were on a "war footing."

    The continued use of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in India raises many questions. Has the use of the law improved the situation in any of the places it has been applied? Has it improved the morale of the armed forces? Has it reduced violence in these regions? Has the Act helped to bridge the gap between the local population and the government?

    If the answer to all these questions is an emphatic NO, why should implementation of this law continue? The defense minister of India and the government he is part of owe their people an answer, particularly the victims of this law that people like Mithun represent.

    --

    (Bijo Francis is a human rights lawyer currently working with the Asian Legal Resource Center in Hong Kong. He is responsible for the South Asia desk at the center. Mr. Francis has practiced law for more than a decade and holds an advanced master's degree in human rights law.)

  • Diganta

    Excellent article. You should write more of these to let the rest of Indians know about the conditions in the state. A fight for sovreignty could be a bitter one, why not fight it diplomatically through media? Unfortunately Indian biased media does not represent your view. But I think views from people like you should be encouraged more and more to come forward ... so that I don't have to search in 'Arunachal blogs' to get the view of people from Arunachal. Great going ... happy blogging. I want a summerised article from you to sum up problems of Arunachal. Thanks again.

  • Diganta

    One additional opinion - Do you really think Arunachal will flourish as a 'buffer state'? For example, Nepal and Bhutan are a kind of buffer states between India and China. However, they didn't show any progress ...

    I feel 'progress' is an outcome of soooooooo many parameters that we should not even calculate it clearly. To me, a strong state govt can really solve a lot of issues as they did in many other states. But, if they are corrupt, people must look for alternative.

  • buru

    Nepal and Bhutan are not "buffer states" but more accurately Indian 'client states'--undemocratic polities propped up by India.So no hope for progress there.

  • AG

    @Diganta,

    Here we are not talking about fighting for sovereignty but we are saying that Arunachal and it’s people shouldn’t be used as a pawn to strengthen the bilateral ties between India and China. And to think of expressing our views through media, how many, this so called ‘free media’, would highlight our plight? So till we have our own domain, we have to make do with the blog to put across our views to the rest of the world.

    You have rightly said that a strong state government can really solve a lot of issues, had it been U.P or M.P. but with 2 representatives and total dependency to New Delhi, I’m afraid even a strong state government would do much to solve the issues.

    And going by the ‘Happiness Index’ of Royal kingdom of Bhutan, I would say they are much better than most of us Indians. Who knows then, Arunachal be better off as a ‘buffer state’ than with Indian or Chinese influence.

  • Diganta

    "going by the ‘Happiness Index’ of Royal kingdom of Bhutan" - Is Happiness index a real parameter at all? I disagree. They are happy mostly because they are cut off from the rest of the world.

    "but with 2 representatives and total dependency to New Delhi, I’m afraid even a strong state government would do much to solve the issues. " - Absolutely perfect. You know what, the system of allocating seats is completely flawed in India. It totally depends on number of people and does not consider geography. So sad it is.

    "this so called ‘free media’, would highlight our plight?" - I am sure it would, definitely. Once you approach the right person in right time. Truth can never be hidden. Try out, success is in your hands. I don't see any better way however.

    "it’s people shouldn’t be used as a pawn to strengthen the bilateral ties between India and China."
    - Absolutely. And see, here you come into picture. When there is a program in any of the so-called National News channel talking about this issue, they neither take any Arunachal resident in discussion, nor they try to show how they think. I believe, if you approach correct people, they will broadcast your views as well.

    "Arunachal be better off as a ‘buffer state’ than with Indian or Chinese influence." - what you have said is nothing but an oxymoron. In reality, both India and China are so possessive about their boundary states that it's impossible to be outside the influence of both. Rather, there could be a balance between the two, which is really difficult to achieve. If there are such political acumen and willingness to balance both, the growth could be achieved even now. As a voter of a buffer state, wont the people vote for the same people whom they vote for today?

    Anyway, great blog and really good insights.

  • buru

    Well, even though Gross National Happiness may not be an 'actual' measurement of 'happiness' it is apparently the nearest one can quantify it in near-scientific terms.Can you give an alternative technique?

    *In addition you are contradicting yourself by adding in next line that they are actually happy--but because they are'cut off from rest of the world'!
    While this last statement(ie cutting off) itself is flawed the explanation is cynical &childish: Why don't then Nagaland/Kashmir/Manipur/Fiji/Timor/Timbuctoo achieve the same amount of satisfaction and 'happiness' because they are also 'cut off'?

    *Why should we be in the desperate position to beg outsiders to 'highlight' our plight, esp when they shout from every diplomatic rooftop that' AP is our integral part' and then proceeds to shut us out of the discussion?
    That explains the header of this post.

    *There is no Oxymoron in what AG said:
    Once a state is out of somebodys clutch their people have the freedom of choosing the path of their choice to a large extent--even as a 'buffer state'.e.g. take the Singapore(consructive)route or Sri Lanka(destructive )route--both are examples of small states who charted their own course despite hegemons in the neighbourhood.
    The people need not necessarily vote for the same people in-charge now as these are propped up by Indian handouts.

  • AG

    @ Diganta,
    Thanks for showing optimism. But I doubt these media would really help. Why? Aaj Tak has opened it's shop at Itanagar since long but yet to broadcast anything substantial about Arunachal.

  • Diganta

    @buru
    Let me clarify what I mean by 'cut off' - it's very simple. People in Bhutan does not know about what is happening outside so they are happy. Once they come outside (that they have to ...) they'll feel the punch.

    Singapore balanced the hegemons (US, Indonesia, Malayasia and China) efficiently. I have already said if you can balance the hegemons you can really succeed, but that requires extremely high political intellect and leadership. Had that been there, Arunachal would already have an edge over other states in India. Singapore was already ahead in the region when they got the freedom.

    "The people need not necessarily vote for the same people in-charge now as these are propped up by Indian handouts."
    - If people understands they are Indian handouts, why do they vote for them now? And people will continue voting for them if they don't understand ...
    People are fool and you are a genius, that seems to be the real trouble in you.

    @ag-
    I am always optimist about people, be they want to be with India or not. Don't you understand that human beings as a species progressed a lot over last 100 years ... I feel we'd continue the race and cover up the patches soon.

  • Buru

    1.''@buru
    Let me clarify what I mean by 'cut off' - it's very simple. People in Bhutan does not know about what is happening outside so they are happy. Once they come outside (that they have to ...) they'll feel the punch.''
    ---Only a person living in cloud-cuckoo-land can make such a statement.Where from did you get the idea that Bhutanese people are a bunch of regulated ignoramuses?I had Bhutanese schoolmates in India way back in the 80's sir.Accepted their country regulates to some extent media like MTV or pornography but thats about all.Its not as if its a hermit/repressive regime like North Korea or cold-war era East Germany who were really"cut-off" and by your definition East Germans and Soviets must have been a very happy lot righto?

    2."Singapore balanced the hegemons (US, Indonesia, Malayasia and China) efficiently. I have already said if you can balance the hegemons you can really succeed, but that requires extremely high political intellect and leadership. Had that been there, Arunachal would already have an edge over other states in India.
    ".
    ---Sir, pray tell me your age?
    Do you have any idea that a sovereign NATION can chose its own internal/External policies to suit its needs whereas a puny STATE does not have power to even prevent the centre from imposing legislations like AFSPA on its territory??
    Have you any idea the state Govt exists at the mercy of the central govt under the indian constitution?? Have you any idea the state govt has no say in controlling its borders or even on building roads in parts of the state?

    3'"Singapore was already ahead in the region when they got the freedom."
    ---another example of reliance on suppositions instead of facts.Singapore was devastated by WW2 and people were in semi-starvation.It was so chaotic and problematic that the Malaysian Federation EXPELLED it---only after which it set its own course to prosperity.


    "4.If people understands they are Indian handouts, why do they vote for them now? And people will continue voting for them if they don't understand ... "

    ---because they have no option.Even 99% of Iraqis used to vote to re-elect Saddam Hussein, 99% of Libyans still do.Same with Kashmir 'votes' get it?What I meant to say was that if Indian Govts bribe money is withdrawn we may get a more level playing field.


    5."People are fool and you are a genius, that seems to be the real trouble in you."


    Bhaiti, if you are not comfortable with others exposing your arguments for the bunch of fairy tales that they are then kindly refrain from joining issue ok? Jua primary school loi,ki jane ei bar pass hobou pare sage?

  • Diganta

    "Accepted their country regulates to some extent media like MTV or pornography but thats about all." -regulating media is eqv to regulate everyone :). Also Bhutanese Govt is always expelling their citizens claiming that they are Nepalese.

    Have you any idea the state govt has no say in controlling its borders or even on building roads in parts of the state?
    - I know. So, how would it facilitate the growth of Arunachal if it has to control it's border and allowed to build own roads. The budget constraint remains the same. Who'd plan it? I am looking for an option.

    "Singapore was devastated by WW2 and people were in semi-starvation." - I know there were similar situations in Germany and Japan also. The momentary loss did not count for their long term progress as it did not in the case of others also. Singapore has a position on top of the Malacca strait with lots of Chinese merchants pouring money and they used it efficiently. And also, Malaya did not willingly gave up Singapore. Malayasian Chinese sufferred multiple riots and then they have chosen a separate state through referrundum (Singapore national referendum of 1962).

    "because they have no option." - To free up you need to create an option first. That's where I am looking at. Once the option is there I can assume that the political intellect to drive Arunachal is also there. No country/region did get a better status before they themselves came up to get benefits.

    "Jua primary school loi,ki jane ei bar pass hobou pare sage?" - Let me know which language you are talking ... I understand it :).

  • Diganta

    Anyway, I should not waste my time projecting some hypothetical situations.

  • Buru

    " "Accepted their country regulates to some extent media like MTV or pornography but thats about all." -regulating media is eqv to regulate everyone :). "
    ----Are you serious?? Perhaps you are blissfully unaware that AXN and FTV were banned officially and Google,Youtube and Orkut were threatened unofficially(till they fell in line) for the same reasons that the Bhutanese did?
    Now I see why you are so happily arguing away being "cut-off" from ground facts.

    "Also Bhutanese Govt is always expelling their citizens claiming that they are Nepalese."
    ----what is the relevance of this in our discussion?

    "I know. So, how would it facilitate the growth of Arunachal if it has to control it's border and allowed to build own roads. The budget constraint remains the same. Who'd plan it? I am looking for an option."

    ----AP is surrounded on 3 sides by other countries of which one is the largest Asian country and fastest growing economy in the world.One is the largest ASEAN country.Instead of going thousands of kms via Malacca straits for trade the AP border is opened imagine the advantageous position both the state and country can reap.No country started with surplus funds.
    To illustrate the dog-in-manger attitude of Centre: Nathu La pass in Sikkim was opened to Chinese trade recently--with a rider--only items like Yak tail ,incense and butter to be traded!
    Re Roads you are prob unaware that the centre was till this year following a policy by which roads were not allowed to be built anywhere near the Upper Half of AP to 'prevent Chinese from using them for invasion'. Without roads, in a mountainous state, can people progress? Why should we be the scapegoats for 'national interest'?

    I can go on and on but thats the drift.

    "I know there were similar situations in Germany and Japan also. The momentary loss did not count for their long term progress as it did not in the case of others also. Singapore has a position on top of the Malacca strait with lots of Chinese merchants pouring money and they used it efficiently. "
    ----no no no.The Japanese and German examples does not apply to Singapore by any stretch of imagination.They were Empires with millenia-old history, the latter was born out of the blue without any established social or economic base. Give them the due for their hard work.

    "And also, Malaya did not willingly gave up Singapore. Malayasian Chinese sufferred multiple riots and then they have chosen a separate state through referrundum (Singapore national referendum of 1962).
    "
    ---ha ha.Kindly read up your history before making a fool of yourself, yet again.
    The Singaporeans desperately wanted to be a part of Malaysia and were expelled crying and kicking in 1965. Before that, in 1962, in the Referendum you have mentioned, the Singaporeans voted overwhelmingly(70%)to MERGE with Malaysia.bleh.

    "To free up you need to create an option first. That's where I am looking at. Once the option is there I can assume that the political intellect to drive Arunachal is also there. No country/region did get a better status before they themselves came up to get benefits."

    ---no offence meant but this sounds like gibberish to me and I can't make head nor tail of what you are trying to say.


    "Anyway, I should not waste my time projecting some hypothetical situations."

    ---Nobody asked you to in the first place.Also todays hypothesis-->tomorrows theory-->becomes fact day after.

  • Diganta

    AP is surrounded on 3 sides by other countries of which one is the largest Asian country and fastest growing economy in the world.One is the largest ASEAN country.Instead of going thousands of kms via Malacca straits for trade the AP border is opened imagine the advantageous position both the state and country can reap.

    - Let me discuss on this only. I think I should at least understand your hypothesis.

    1) Why will Myanmar, India will trade with China when they have their own overlapping boundaries. India has boundaries at Sikkim, Ladakkh and Himachal. Myanmar has a huge overlapping boundary. What is the advantage of choosing Arunachal boundary over others?

    2) If it is true, why they are not choosing Arunachal (or even Nepal/Bhutan) *now* to do the cross border trade and going via thousand miles of Malacca Strait? (In fact trade of China:Middle-East also goes via the same route)

    3) China means Eastern provinces, right? Tibet and the West is still nothing significantly better than India.

  • Buru

    " Let me discuss on this only"

    ---you are free to chose any part that suits you pl

    "1) Why will Myanmar, India will trade with China when they have their own overlapping boundaries. India has boundaries at Sikkim, Ladakkh and Himachal. Myanmar has a huge overlapping boundary. What is the advantage of choosing Arunachal boundary over others? "

    ----And why wont they trade with India via AP??
    Overlapping boundries does not mean anything as long as good roads and political will don't exist.
    Also both countries are so huge physically and economically that trade can and should occur from multiple portals.
    Does the existance of Kolkata port hamper/rule out trade from Vizag port rule out trade from Chennaiport rule out trade from Pondicherry port rule out trade from Tuticorin port rule out trade from Trincomalee port rule out trade from Colombo port rule out trade from Mumbaiport rule out trade from Surat port? Understood now?
    I never made the case that AP will be the only chosen route--it will be an important one though, and for the size of AP even if a fraction of the trade is done via AP it would be a great thing.In addition one cannot overlook the fact that AP is the nearest Indian state to the engines of Chinese economy of southeast coast.
    Re Burma--the other Indian states are racked by insurgency thats why.


    "2) If it is true, why they are not choosing Arunachal (or even Nepal/Bhutan) *now* to do the cross border trade and going via thousand miles of Malacca Strait? (In fact trade of China:Middle-East also goes via the same route)"

    ---that is because the Indian Govt has shut the border and shoots anyone who approaches it so where is the question?
    Re Nepal/Bhutan --its their wish to trade with China or not to.Additionally the Indian govt goes into epileptic fits if these two countries are seen to attempt any activity resembling closer relationships with China thats why.


    "3) China means Eastern provinces, right? Tibet and the West is still nothing significantly better than India. "

    ---China means china.Can you take out Bihar or Kashmir or MP and then define India??
    Anyway I am not debating this topic in this post, you are(though I can prove you wrong on this count too).

  • anon_tani_gal

    I hope I am not interrupting this debate, but I just want to say Singapore grew into a rich economic trading port due to quite a few factors. Primarily the dynamic leadership of Lee Kuan Yew. I don't think there is any such politician of that calibre amongst Arunachal leaders.
    As a trading port, it has a strategic location i.e. it is situated midway between the orient(china,korea,japan) and the occident( europe, americas, australia).
    The north east would have fluorished because of it's border and proximity to some of these countries in terms of trade, but unfortunately the central government will always treat the northeast as a step child to be used and abused (human rights abuse, imposition of AFSPA). That's the general consensus amongst northeaterners and it's not a big surprise to anyone as to why ?

  • Diganta

    "that is because the Indian Govt has shut the border and shoots anyone who approaches it so where is the question?"
    Just one more question to buru. Why is this (shooting down) helping our so-called National interest? National interest is also in trade and tourism, right?

    And if the route (India-Ap-China) is open for trade you won't need a Buffer state concept anymore, right?

    @anon_Tani_gal
    I think I know that anyway is true. Indian Govt has always been step-motherly to North-East and Kashmir. This is partly due to less political influence of the region in Delhi (read corrupt local politicians) and partly due to ethnic apathy.

    On the other hand, I am brought up in a town in West Bengal and I heard about "Central govt. apathy" towards West Bengal thousand times. Now I live in Hyderabad, and listen to the same story. I used to hear the same in Delhi also. So, what's the outcome? Everybody blaming a single hypothetical organization for all their failures :).

    However, it doesn't blow out the case of apathy against North-East. I feel, in next 10 years things would change a lot ... already there are ports in Myanmar to help North-East and Govt is investing a $100mn there. Once a port is open, I'll keep my fingers crossed. How can politics of a few people can keep the most literate region backward for long?

  • Buru

    ATG you are welcome into the pit ;)

    True of what you said ,with qualifiers. Prob no leader of LKY's calibre in AP now, accepted--though it can be only said for sure if the situation comes up( ie similar circumstances of soveriegnity etc).

    Also accepted its strategic location--the same reason why AP too can prosper given a chance(ie a smaller land-version of Singap).But of course it requires a leader with vision and will--Srilanka has a better location/resources and better ports than Singa but look where wrong policies have landed it into.

    I get irritated by people who makes it a point to only point out at pessimistic scenarious mixed with a large dose of ill-founded patriotism.Give us the chance first then maybe pick on us if we fail.

  • Buru

    "Just one more question to buru. Why is this (shooting down) helping our so-called National interest? National interest is also in trade and tourism, right?"

    ---it is NOT helping, neither AP nor India that is what I have been saying all along :O !!?!??
    ---Exactly ,trade(and to a lesser extent tourism) is that not what I have been clamouring for all along so wheres your beef??


    "And if the route (India-Ap-China) is open for trade you won't need a Buffer state concept anymore, right? "

    ---I never proposed a Buffer concept.
    Even if another has said so, why wont buffer concept work?? Did Switzerland not do business both with Allies and Axis powers even at height of WW2?

  • Buru

    Diganta:


    Re discrimination of NE it is not some nebulous concept like WB or Andhras case. If you say the centre did these to West Bengal I'll forever shut up:

    1.National Capital Police released a do's and dont's (eg dont eat your smelly food)specifically for NE people.

    2.AP govt not allowed to build roads in a large part of state for 'National interest' so people has to walk over mountains for days to get a book or matchbox.

    3.AFSPA/TADA etc in place for decades continously.
    People shot and raped at random without fear of prosecution.
    4.Cell phone connection denied to whole NE till past few years for 'security'.

    5.Cell phone roaming denied to whole NE even today for same reason.

    6.Neighbouring countries shut out from trade or social interaction(our traditional trading partners were these , not India in the past remember).
    The list can go on.

  • Diganta

    Ok, I understood the ideas and grievences and I wholeheartedly support you (sorry for taking too much of your time). I still think media is the best route to let others know about your problems. People in India are generally good and they will help AP to grow once the issue comes forward. The sad part are the politicians (both National and State-level), who think the 'Hypothetical National Interest' should be prioritized over trade and development. They are happy to project that AP is not growing due to an evil China.

    Shortly I am going to have a post on this topic in my blog. Happy blogging ... people should know the truth!!

  • Diganta

    Center did not do these but there are lots of others (some of them are genuine) to kill West Bengal trade. Example :
    1) Equating the prices of raw-materials - killed Bengal small manufacturing industries.
    2) Step-motherly attitude towards tea and jute industry.
    3) Brutal end to Naxal movement in 1970s (nothing less than AFSPA)
    4) No improvement towards Calcutta Port, where we could have grown manyfolds over trades with Bankok and Singapore.
    5) All border areas still can't have mobile phone. 150 meters along the border are virtually left to Bangladesh.
    6) Illegal migrants from Bangladesh.
    7) BSF/BDR kills 1 person a day.

    Overall WB were one of the top three richest states in India till 1960s. Now it's at 12th. Why isn't it a step-motherly attitude?

  • Buru

    "1) Equating the prices of raw-materials - killed Bengal small manufacturing industries."
    ---applies to whole country right?
    Anyway I did not get the problem that you specified.Does not sound like discrimination anyway.


    "2) Step-motherly attitude towards tea and jute industry."
    ---applies to whole country.Also what does it mean I thought it is thriving.

    "3) Brutal end to Naxal movement in 1970s (nothing less than AFSPA)"

    ---few years of naxal movement can never be compared to the wholesale brutalization over 5decades. In fact the naxalite movement was for all practical purposes crushed by local POLICE action within a few months and mopped up later.How can you compare this to the brutal occupation by Army/BSF/CRPF who are not only vicious but also mostly from a different culture/religion/race which worsens the effect.

    "4) No improvement towards Calcutta Port, where we could have grown manyfolds over trades with Bankok and Singapore."
    ----is this a state or central subject?this could be negligence at most. I am talking of actual discrimination in black and white seen in NE.


    "5) All border areas still can't have mobile phone. 150 meters along the border are virtually left to Bangladesh."
    ----I doubt it.I have colleagues from WB(and Tripura too).Only 150 metres?

    "6) Illegal migrants from Bangladesh"

    ---nothing compared to NE.

    "7) BSF/BDR kills 1 person a day"
    ---question is who? Far as I know these are Bangladeshi cattle thiefs and illegal attempts to cross.You have legal border crossings, we don't.


    "Overall WB were one of the top three richest states in India till 1960s. Now it's at 12th. Why isn't it a step-motherly attitude? "

    ----yes it is, but it is done by communist policies of
    Basu &co who came in power around then(1977).

    At most you can accuse centre of neglignce(seen across states), not positive discrimination seen in NE.

  • Diganta

    1) It is. If you equate prices, then productive states lose the advantage of being productive. Assam (Oil), Bihar (minerals), Orissa(minerals) and WB(minerals) lost the race bacuase prices are going to be the same anywhere else.

    2) Applies to the whole country but industries are in Assam and WB. Result is the same ...

    3) It was stopped since partial claim of the Naxals were heard by the state govt. Had the mmovement been there it would not have been less.

    4) Calcutta Port is owned by Central govt as it conducts external trade.

    5) 150 meters is big enough for a state where population is 800+ per sqkm.

    6) Much much higher in number than NE. The problem is, they mix with us pretty nicely, that they don't in NE.

    7) I am talking about 1 Indian/a day. And cattle vendors are also human beings ...

    "but it is done by communist policies of
    Basu &co who came in power around then" - haha, now you see, how easily you blame our state govt for our downfall. The rest of India is habituated to do the same. The fact is, West Bengal did not have any ministers (at most 2-3) in center for last 30 years. The same problem as in NE. The lack of representation. As you blame govt of WB for our problems, we blame the local govt of NE states for their troubles.

    However, I am not trying to compare things at all. In case of NE states, the situation is worse since the presence of Army. Still, the bulk of the responsibility goes to State ... as per your own opinion. And we also vote for Left since we don't have any other option.

  • Diganta

    The point is, every state is looking for something from the Center. Whoever has more representation, wins the race.

    One small example, Dayanidhi Maran was the IT minister of India. He pushed all companies to open offices in Chennai. It's the same politics all around India. This is reality. If the state politicos cannot 'play' well in coalition politics they are gone. And in coalition, the tiny is also powerful. Let the MPs of AP come out with 'sway' politics and let them tell - I'd join your party if and only if you promise me these ...

    I think I have given my message and also understood the factors you have mentioned.

  • Buru

    "1) It is. If you equate prices, then productive states lose the advantage of being productive. Assam (Oil), Bihar (minerals), Orissa(minerals) and WB(minerals) lost the race bacuase prices are going to be the same anywhere else."

    -----are you arguing for arguments sake? A policy which is applied to you only but not to others with same background leading you to have a disadvantage is what constitutes a discrimination.While the said policy may have led to some loss in your productive areas it would have by same logic benefitted you in un-productive ones.
    You are mistaking govt economic mismanagement(national) with discrimination---which in NE I call discrimination cos' the logic is applied selectively here but not elsewhere.

    "2) Applies to the whole country but industries are in Assam and WB. Result is the same ..."

    -----see explanation above.Lose some gain some.


    "3) It was stopped since partial claim of the Naxals were heard by the state govt. Had the mmovement been there it would not have been less."

    -----how can you say 'would' or 'would not' for something which did NOT happen and 30years back??
    Anyway the point here is discriminatory &brutal practices which is actually happening in NE for 50years, not on speculations.

    "4) Calcutta Port is owned by Central govt as it conducts external trade."

    -----but where is the discrimination? For explanation go to 1.


    "5) 150 meters is big enough for a state where population is 800+ per sqkm."

    ------get your facts straight.The WB-BD border is patrolled continously by BSF and 1500kms have already been fenced--to be completed fully by this year.So what you say is an imaginary situation.

    "6) Much much higher in number than NE. The problem is, they mix with us pretty nicely, that they don't in NE."

    -----this will never be resolved for sure for illegals are by their definition beyond census.But for a low-demographic area like NE the consequences will be much higher than WB where as you say they merge in therefore disrupting society less.
    In addition the Indian Govt has illegally settled thousands of Bangladeshis in Arunachal Pradesh. Has it done so in WB?( I'm talking of phyically transfering them, giving them land and money to settle in somebodys land, not refugeee relief as in 1971).


    "7) I am talking about 1 Indian/a day. And cattle vendors are also human beings ..."

    ------hearsay again.Give me your sources.Even if true can you say tresspassers dont get shot elsewhere? So people may be suffering but because of their location not discrimination, cos' this principle applies everywhere.In NE you are shot even inside your homes.
    Additionally I said cattle-thief so don't mislead by saying 'vendor'.The fact is--you have legal crossing points at the border so if you want to go to Bangladseh for work/pilgrimage/tourism/relatives it can be done legally---it cannot be done legally in NE at pain of death.


    ""but it is done by communist policies of
    Basu &co who came in power around then" - haha, now you see, how easily you blame our state govt for our downfall. The rest of India is habituated to do the same. The fact is, West Bengal did not have any ministers (at most 2-3) in center for last 30 years. The same problem as in NE. The lack of representation. As you blame govt of WB for our problems, we blame the local govt of NE states for their troubles."

    -----ignorance has its limits. Nobody said the NE govt are good--the point was NE states are being hamstrung by discriminatory policies of centre got it? Even if you have 200MPs if Basu does not allow private sector to come up and strikes happen everyday it would have been same.
    Did the Centre prevent WB govt from building roads or from having cell or net connectivity? It was done in NE and that is disrimination.That hampers progress.You can make the point that even with non-discriminatory policies NE may lag--perhaps, but the situation would have been better at least.

    "

    However, I am not trying to compare things at all. In case of NE states, the situation is worse since the presence of Army. Still, the bulk of the responsibility goes to State ... as per your own opinion. And we also vote for Left since we don't have any other option. "

    ------I never apportioned the exact ratio of blame. To be developed or not developed is in future--but for that the centre must first show non-discriminatory practices or detach us from itself if it cannot.



    "The point is, every state is looking for something from the Center. Whoever has more representation, wins the race.

    One small example, Dayanidhi Maran was the IT minister of India. He pushed all companies to open offices in Chennai. It's the same politics all around India. This is reality. If the state politicos cannot 'play' well in coalition politics they are gone. And in coalition, the tiny is also powerful. Let the MPs of AP come out with 'sway' politics and let them tell - I'd join your party if and only if you promise me these ...

    I think I have given my message and also understood the factors you have mentioned. "


    ------I am least bothered about central handouts. What I want is a level non-discriminatory policy. Give us the capacity to develop ourselves by removing the restrictive and repressive policies rather than giving handouts every5-years.If not leave us apart.
    In addition, if representation is key to development as you imply, does it also not imply that we(with 1 or 2 MPs) have no future in India as long as it is 'democratic' ?

  • Diganta

    "You are mistaking govt economic mismanagement(national) with discrimination"
    - Not at all. NE is due to political mis-management. Discrimination is another face of mis-management. A long term mis-management equals disccrimination.

    "get your facts straight.The WB-BD border is patrolled continously by BSF and 1500kms have already been fenced" -
    Everywhere the fence is, you have to keep it 150m inside the border. That means whoever had the land, will lose it. That part of the land will go to BSF/Army. Farmers are allowed to cultivate, but they will face the BSF/BDR problems regularly. Now do you understand?

    "if Basu does not allow private sector to come up and strikes happen everyday it would have been same."
    - Strikes are not there in NE???? How many private sectors have been called to invest so far in NE?

    "Did the Centre prevent WB govt from building roads or from having cell or net connectivity? It was done in NE and that is disrimination."
    - References please. Let me know a few incidents where road building is blocked (not due to cost) due to discrimination.

    "In addition, if representation is key to development as you imply, does it also not imply that we(with 1 or 2 MPs) have no future in India as long as it is 'democratic' ? "

    - Most probably that is the point I wanted to highlight. In every democracy, minortities are strangled. On the other hand Goa and Puducchery are developed, but they have virtually 1/2 MPs. So, there are way outs as well.

  • BURU

    ""- Not at all. NE is due to political mis-management. Discrimination is another face of mis-management. A long term mis-management equals disccrimination.""


    ---------you seem to have a problem with basic English. I will do it for you, again:
    DISCRIMINATION:
    [noun] unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice
    [noun] treating people differently through prejudice: unfair treatment of one person or group, usually because of prejudice about race, ethnicity, age, religion, or gender

    -----if the Nehruvian-socialist policies of Delhi hampered economic development of WHOLE India ,by your definition Govt of India was discriminating WHOLE India ! !
    And Jyoti Basu was 'discriminating'WB LOL!
    It is the intention and not the result that defines discrimination.


    ""Everywhere the fence is, you have to keep it 150m inside the border. That means whoever had the land, will lose it. That part of the land will go to BSF/Army. Farmers are allowed to cultivate, but they will face the BSF/BDR problems regularly. Now do you understand? ""

    -----no I dont understand, where is the discrimination of WB here? Same fencing and rules apply in Pak border. In NE you will be summarily shot if you are found within 150metres of border ,forget cultivation. In WB farmers get ID cards to cultivate and what the heck they even get to cultivate in Indian enclaves INSIDE Bangladesh.So the land doess NOT go to BSF/army as you imply.
    So discrimination yes--but in FAVOUR of WB if you compare with NE or Kashmir!

    ""
    Strikes are not there in NE???? How many private sectors have been called to invest so far in NE?""


    -----context my dear context .I mentioned strikes and private sectors in context of discrimination and representation in parliament, go read again.
    Outside context any sentence can be hijacked to mean anything. You are going off-tangent .
    In addition an isolated, infrastructure-weak place like NE(because of discriminatory central policies)does not attract investors even if we try; but if Basu had allowed ,companies were knocking at the door of WB to set up base in WB( you dont 'çall'investors--they come calling if situation is right).



    ""References please. Let me know a few incidents where road building is blocked (not due to cost) due to discrimination.""

    -------I am tired of spoonfeeding you in every post.From now on you either find out yourself or don't open your mouth without cross-checking facts--
    ( Capitalizations mine):



    a)IndiaDefence.htm:
    INDIA’S NORTHEAST: Problems of Connectivity


    Dated 10/10/2005

    The political unrest in Northeast India has been both a cause and result of its poor connectivity both within and outside.

    Fifty-eight years after India's independence, the lack of connectivity within the region itself has emerged as the chief cause of the turmoil in the region, even pushing aside its other twin lack of connectivity with its outside, which has till now been noticed as the more serious, if not the only, hindrance to the process of national integration. This little connectivity characterizes both the physical landscape and the mental sphere while reinforcing each other.

    ------*****-----
    b)IndiaDefence.htm:

    Building Strategic Roadways in Arunachal Pradesh


    Dated 18/6/2006

    Travelling in Arunachal Pradesh without having to suffer from poorly developed roads is indeed INCOCEIVABLE. Existing roads by themselves are of the primitive 'potholed' variety, which is made worse by frequent landslides in the rainy season.

    This state of affairs not only disconnects the state from the rest of India but also proves hazardous for the Indian security apparatus operating along the country's borders with China. Given the presence of the Chinese military on the other side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Indian policy makers had hypothesized that it was strategically prudent to KEEP the roadways infrastructure in Arunachal WEAK . The rationale behind such a POLICY was that the inhospitable nature of the terrain would deter the Chinese from furthering their strategy of obtaining easy territorial access into a state in which China claims 90,000 square kilometres (34,750 square miles) of territory.

    Upending the above logic, India initiated a policy shift in May 2006 when the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) CLEARED the construction of strategic roads in Arunachal. This sudden change in Indian policy towards the border areas also reversed the post-1962 mindset, informed primarily by the military "logic" of keeping Arunachal Pradesh WEAK, in an infrastructural sense. Indeed, by enabling such an important policy shift, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has set in place the necessary groundwork for building seven strategic roads, including two inter-basin arteries by the Border Roads Organization (BRO). The importance of this policy shift is reflected in the fact that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was to undertake a visit to Arunachal on June 13 to inaugurate the 410 metre long bridge on Lohit river at Brahmakund near Wakkro as well as to receive first hand information on the proposed strategic roads linkage, but had to postpone his visit due to the onset of the monsoons. The recently published Arunachal Pradesh Human Development Report 2005 also stressed upon the NEED to improve road linkages within the state for sound implementation of development policies.

    This vital Indian policy shift in Arunachal could be seen as a
    REACTION to the Chinese build-up of roads to Aksai Chin in the western sector and to Tibet in the eastern sector. China's road link to Tibet is along the Arunachal border and consequently enables the easy movement of Chinese goods, services and military hardware to the border areas. China also established vital road links with Nepal in 2005 through the Kodari highway, which connects Lhasa and Kathmandu with a bus service, and with Pakistan through the Karakoram highway. In March 2006, China announced duty free access to Nepali goods into Western China. Indeed, China has successfully converted these strategic roadways into vital economic assets by encouraging rapidly GROWING border trade with Nepal and Pakistan. .

    The China-Nepal-Pakistan road linkages notwithstanding, the Indian policy of building strategic road links in its borderlands also reflects the growing confidence of the Indian state. It provides insights into the Indian vision of regional economic integration by improving infrastructural facilities in its border areas, an aspect in which the Chinese are FAR AHEAD of India. The current Indian policy refreshingly sets aside Indian insecurities arising on account of the 1962 war with China. Defeat in that conflict and Chinese incursions into Indian territory had made New Delhi sensitive to Chinese troop presence along the border. However, growing Sino-Indian ties in the economic, strategic, cultural, and military spheres have brought about a distinct sense of 'trust' in this historically complicated relationship. India and China have been termed as the rising powers of Asia and a positive engagement between the two is seen as benefiting both sides as well as the Asian region as a whole.

    Viewed within the context of the "2006 India-China friendship year", and positive current developments, one can safely predict a period of burgeoning relationship between these two rising Asian economic giants. The first ever Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Indian Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his Chinese counterpart General Cao Gangchuan on May 29, 2006 called for an institutionalization of the official and military exchanges between the two sides. Both sides have also agreed to hold joint military exercises and training, and increase confidence-building measures to resolve complex issues. By setting in a process of regular and sustained dialogue on defence and military affairs, the MoU has the potential to initiate a positive tone for engagement on the border issue, till now perceived as the Achilles' heel in Sino-Indian relations.

    Analysed in the backdrop of the MoU, New Delhi's decision to develop roadways in Arunachal is an important move, which sets in motion an evolving Indian strategy of greater engagement with China. It is also indicative of the current policy establishment's ability to chalk out new pathways to enhance the economic progress and infrastructural development of peripheral Indian states. The Arunachal case signifies the beginning of a new strategic vision of well-connected borders. Existential difficulties in border states like Arunachal demand better management of resources and infrastructure for efficient trade and transport. Good infrastructure would not only better connect the people of border areas but also ensure greater security. Well-developed roads in peripheral regions would further India's vision of greater economic engagement with neighbouring states and also increase its influence in the neighbourhood. Most importantly, such initiatives are likely to deepen benefits flowing from the "Look East" policy, which seeks to strengthen India's ties with the economically vibrant Southeast Asian region. India's Northeast can provide the crucial transportation link to Southeast Asia on account of its geographic proximity to the region. A burgeoning economic engagement with Southeast Asia through a well-developed transport infrastructure in the Northeast would result in direct economic benefits for the latter. In sum, vibrant trade corridors could uplift standards of living and entrench a feeling of "human security", so far denied to the people of India's northeast.



    -------need some more?

    It is obvious from above that not only the Indian Govt consider itself incapable of defending AP from Chinese, but also that its interest in AP is limited to keeping real estate for strategic purposes. It is glaringly obvious that the people of AP is of no import to Delhi and it was driven to reverse the policy by Chinese roads on other side tilting the military balance--it was not borne of any humanitarian concern and they would have let us rot for eternity if it served its purpose.Consequently we presume that Delhi by same logic(and from observing past behaviour) will sell us off if it gets a good bargain.
    Now tell me how does a state develop under such constraints? Show me a similar discrimination in WB.
    How many countries in the world keeps its own ‘citizens’ from getting facilities for 60 years??



    ""
    - Most probably that is the point I wanted to highlight. In every democracy, minortities are strangled. On the other hand Goa and Puducchery are developed, but they have virtually 1/2 MPs. So, there are way outs as well. """


    ------and what is the way out?Both states are close to economic centres AND has good national AND international connectivity---two things denied to the NE by discriminatory central policies. Communists in WB CHOOSE not to call in investors; we have no such choice Got it?

  • AG

    @diganta,
    "How many private sectors have been called to invest so far in NE?"--here I want to ask you one question, how many of the private investor would really want to invest in the region? I'm afraid with the little knowledge about the region and the outlook that these regions are infested with hostile people, private investor would indeed be investing in the region? This was what I came to observe during the recent North East Power Mart 2007 organised by CII at Kolkata.

    Anyways I'd be doing a post soon on how these region especially Arunachal would be indispensable part of the country to sustain this present economic growth.

  • Kangleipak

    Brothers of NEFA we are with you keep up your spirit.

    The Indian tyrants took away our freedom, mistreat us at home and in India, kill us at random and makes policies to deliberately keep us backward.
    After destroying our society they want to destroy you now be alert.


    The Myth of Indian Independence in Manipur
    By: Vikram Nongmaithem


    “Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny” said Jawaharlal Nehru on the eve of India’s independence, and “now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge”. That was sixty years ago and Manipur was not a part of free India then. Although the Maharajah of Manipur was cornered to sign the Instrument of Accession on August 11, 1947 under which Defence, Communication and External Affairs passed within the exclusive jurisdiction of New Delhi, it was only after the signing of the Manipur Merger Agreement that Manipur became a de-jure territory of the Indian Union. Prior to the signing of this treaty on September 21, 1949 and its consequent coming into force on October 15, 1947 the Manipur State Constitution Act, 1947 (here State implies Nation-state) empowers the Maharajah in Council to administer the state thereby installing a “constitutional monarchy” on the British model. The democratic constitution was scrapped with Manipur’s merger into India. The post-merger history of India is full of twists and turns, resulting from the imposition of the Indian way of democracy in north-east India and Manipur is, now, bleeding. Perhaps, Nehru’s ‘we’ might not have included the Manipuris and ‘our’ pledge has not been redeemed so far for the last sixty years.
    The hoopla surrounding Manipur’s integration into India soon resulted into a mushrooming of anti-India groups. It also brought forth politics of bad faith and internecine warfare into this land which has a history of its own spanning twenty centuries. Soon after the negation of its constitutional status from a sovereign nation-state into a Part ‘C’ state of India, Manipur had to permanently cede the Kabaw Valley to Burma due to Nehru’s strategic logic of strengthening India’s position in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. When India became a republic on January 26, 1950, with the enactment of the Constitution of India, Manipur was downgraded to a Part ‘C’ state. Subsequently, the Part ‘C’ states (Laws) were replaced by the Union Territories Act in 1956 and Manipur became a Union Territory much against the popular wish. Peasant mobilizations which were a feature of pre-merger Manipur turn into sporadic acts of violence and took the form of armed insurgency in post-merger Manipur. The birth of armed insurgent groups in Manipur was thus a direct product of New Delhi’s policy of alienating Manipur from the political centrestage of independent India. A policy of ‘divide and rule’ seemed more beneficial to the interests of the Indian political elites at the centre. As early as 1955, Z.A. Phizo of the Naga National Council had begun to wage a guerrilla war against India and guns were fired to make the deaf hear. Nehru, in order to appease the Nagas had carved out a state of Nagaland in 1962 by taking out the Naga Hills-Tuensang area out of the state of Assam but he still failed to quell the Nagas. But, in the case of Manipur, statehood remained a pipedream and it was rejected on the grounds that it was not economically viable. It thus added another psychological divide between the hill people and the valley people of north-east India. It was only nine years later that Manipur was lifted up from the status of a Union Territory into a full fledged state of the Indian union by the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971.
    The writings of British administrators and scholars show that Manipur was one of the most advanced and cultured civilizations among the peoples of the north-east India. But the denial of statehood to Manipur by the political elites of post-independent India for nine years after the statehood of Nagaland was considered an insult to the Manipuris and this naturally angered the newly educated elites of Manipur. The full blown insurgency that erupted in the valley of Manipur was partly a result of the misplaced faith that the Manipuris had on the neo-Gandhians of independent India. This is also one of the factors why Manipur has failed to produce stable governments in its post-merger political history. The political unrest and the conflict situation that resulted out of India’s incoherent policies of accommodation in north-east India created a fear psychosis among the Manipuri masses. The imposition of draconian laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 led to the killing of many innocent people rather than ending insurgency. The irony of the imposition of this Act lies in the very fact that, today, there are more armed miscreants roaming freely in the streets and shooting people than it was before the imposition of this Act and this clearly shows that AFSPA has failed to counter insurgency.
    Although the misuse of this Act by the security forces has been widely highlighted by many Human Rights groups, NGOs and the media, lack of a strong political will still keeps the Act in force and hence many atrocities continue under its mask. It has even created a situation where people develop a schizophrenic thinking about its repeal or its continuation. This was clearly evident in the last Assembly elections when not many people voted on the merits and demerits of the AFSPA even though they had protested against the Act in large numbers on many occasions. On the eve of the elections, not many people listened to the appeals of Sharmila, the prisoner of conscience fighting against the AFSPA, although she is now a national icon of the Manipuri people revered and respected by all. This is symptomatic of the festering wound in the political culture in Manipur. Today, many armed groups are alleged to be siding with the politicians and the nexus between them is creating a terrible situation whereby security forces have a chance to wreak havoc the innocent people. There is no peace; there is no security and there is no freedom from fear.
    On Independence Day, 2007 the streets of Imphal were lined with armoured cars and security forces in uniform were frisking young people of motorbikes and cars. On Independence Day, young people were made to raise both their hands and stand in queues waiting for their turns to be frisked upon and most of them had an angry frown on their faces. I cannot guess what they might be thinking in their hearts as they were detained by the men in olive uniforms while they were standing for hours facing the blistering sun of a hot summer day to prove their innocence.
    On 15 August, 2007, independent India is sixty years old and so is dependent Manipur. India boasts of a vibrant democracy, strong secularlism, strong economy and inclusive development while going “Sixty and Fullsteam”. I cannot but remember what B.R. Ambedkar said of India’s independence: “By independence we have lost the excuse of blaming the British for everything going wrong, we will have nobody to blame but ourselves”. But many Manipuris still ask who this ‘we’ is. Granville Austin wrote of the Indian Constitution, “With the adoption of the Constitution by the members of the Constituent Assembly on 26 November, 1949, India became the largest democracy in the world. By this act of strength and will, Assembly members began what was perhaps the greatest political venture since that originated in Philadelphia in 1787”. But, is the 21st century India’s Manipur the Red Indian inhabited wild, Wild West of the 18th and 19th century America?

  • Kangleipak Yawol

    Do you expect equal treatment?
    Do not beg from these racist people. You have to fight for your
    rights.



    Kuki protesters in court, sent to jail

    OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, Telegraph India

    A policeman escorts two of the protesters in New Delhi on Saturday. Picture by Ramakant Kushwaha
    New Delhi, March 24: The Kuki students who were arrested here yesterday on charges of “rioting” were today produced in court and subsequently sent to Tihar jail. Their bail plea has been fixed for Monday.
    The students today levelled allegations of “racism” against the police and accused them of “molesting” some of the girls who had taken part in a demonstration against the alleged abduction of over 300 Kukis from Manipur’s Chandel district by the United National Liberation Front.
    The students alleged that 30 of the 138 people arrested and produced in Patiala court were not even part of the protest march taken out by Kuki students from Jantar Mantar to Parliament Street yesterday.
    Grace Don Nemching, president of Siamsin Pawlpi, a Paite students’ organisation, alleged that after an altercation with policemen near Parliament Street police station, the police chased the fleeing protesters for about a kilometre till Connaught Place. At this point, the police randomly arrested people from the Northeast on the basis of their facial features. “This clearly indicates a racist connotation on the part of police and that is painful,” she added.
    Some girls in the procession have complained to Outer Manipur MP Mani Charenamei that the policemen on duty “molested” them, called them “Chinese” and told them to “go home to China”. They said policewomen were not seen controlling the protesters and young girls were pulled out of a bus and “sexually assaulted” by policemen.
    Refuting the allegations, deputy commissioner of police Anand Mohan said “sufficient number” of policewomen had been deployed during the protest march and the policemen did not “touch the girls”.
    “It was unprovoked hooliganism by protesters and as they were scattered amid teargas shelling, policemen had to chase the boys. There were girls, too, among the protesters, but the boys had to be arrested,” he told reporters. He said that 33 policemen were also injured in the clash.
    The Kuki Students’ Organisation today claimed that they had taken out a “peaceful march”.
    The demonstration, however, did turn violent with the students using the sticks on which they had mounted their placards to attack policemen. Sixteen protesters were seriously injured in the clash.
    Police have registered cases of rioting and damage to public property against the arrested students. Cases of dacoity and robbery have also been registered against five of them.
    Charenamei said the students had “officially given a memorandum” on the abductions to him on Friday. He will now raise the issue with the home ministry and the ministry of external affairs.
    Meanwhile, home ministry sources have said that the abducted villagers have been released and would be brought back under protection.
    Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh is also in the capital, but has allegedly not made any attempt to help the students

  • Kangleipak Mayek

    Indian govt and Indian people dont consider you Indians.
    Indian people consider you dirty and ignorant.
    So should we beg to be part of India?

    Careful--they just want your land for its resources.Dont let them destroy you like they have already destroyed our society.




    The Chinky Syndrome
    Courtesy: The Sangai Express 16th July, 2007



    If you have Mongoloid features, are one among the 45,000 odd students from the North East studying at Delhi University or any other institute at the National capital, loves the cuisine of the region and likes to wear jeans and T Shirt, then you are in danger zone.

    This is precisely the message that Delhi police tried to convey when it came out with its dos and don'ts for North East students studying at the National capital and what is more there is a clause in the code of conduct which states that the girls from the region should not move around in flimsy or revealing dresses and avoid lonely roads when thus dressed.

    The message that rings out loud from the do's and don'ts or social profiling drawn up by some fertile minds in Delhi police is that people from this region virtually go to Delhi to have a party, get high on drugs and drinks and move around in revealing dresses.

    On the other hand, there is also the explicit point that the food relished by the people of this region is poison to the people in North India or the term which has come to be widely known as mainstream India while, trying to draw the line between the people from the North East region and the people staying to the west of the Chicken Neck.

    When in Rome do as the Romans do, so as to avoid being groped or molested or even raped and not to disturb the neighbours and the landlords with pungent food such as Ngari or Hawaijar is the core message behind the suggestions put forward by Delhi police.

    Understandably, the stand of Delhi police has met with strong criticisms from a number of social organisations in the North East, notably from Meghalaya. It is only right that the Governments of the North East States should jointly take up the matter with the Government of Delhi.

    We really do not know what Delhi police meant by wearing revealing or flimsy dress, but this point by itself exposes the mindset of the police that so and so woman was raped because she wore provocative dresses !

    Such line of thinking can come from only a warped mind and it provides the perfect leeway to the would be rapists or eve teasers, for which Delhi is infamous for.

    There were reports of some girls from the North East either being raped or molested in the past few years, but were then so many other girls who were not from this region.

    Does this then mean that the girls from the other places were also provocatively dressed, as per the standard laid down by Delhi police ?
    Was the Swiss diplomate raped because she was in provocative dresses ?

    Stereotyping the students from the North East is not a new phenomenon and it has existed at the National capital ever since a large number of students from this region went for their higher studies at Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia and JNU.

    Coming as they do from a region far removed from the consciousness of mainstream India, it is not surprising to see how easily the stereotype description of the students from NE can become entrenched.

    As for the food habit of the North East people, no one seems to care that each region in India has it own taste bud. So while the tandoori chicken, with the blood still fresh in the bone marrow is a delicacy in North India then the unpeeled potatoes is accepted as staple diet in Bihar.

    So too the curd rice with a dash of pickles in South India and mind you, not every one agrees with the manner in which the curd rice is eaten.

    And how about the raw onions with all its pungency with chappatis or rotis and green chillies that one finds being eaten inside a train compartment in North India, that may be very irritating to the passenger sitting next ?

  • Loktak paibi

    Racism in North India
    by Aparna Pallavi

    As an undergraduate student at Delhi University in the early 1990s, Dr Renu (Gupta) Naidu took little notice when her friends routinely referred to students from the Northeast as 'Chinkies' or hurled obscenities or racial insults at them.
    "Any Northeastern student entering a college campus earns the epithet 'Chinky' on day one, and has to live with being looked at as, at the very least, an oddity, for the rest of her or his stay," says Naidu. "Students told me about being asked questions like whether they eat rats." This racial hostility comes unbidden from the non-Northeastern student community.

    Naidu had herself faced discrimination as a "non-Marathi" student during her post-graduation at Nagpur, and it dawned on her that Northeastern students, with their distinctive 'non-plainspeople' epicanthic features, behavior and dress habits, were in all likelihood confronting far more discrimination than she had. In June 2006, Naidu was awarded a PhD for her work on the lives of Northeastern tribal girl students in Delhi, with her research based on interviews with 200 students from 10 colleges in Delhi University's North Campus.

    The first disturbing fact - statistics compiled from official records of various colleges in the city - that Naidu's study has uncovered is that the dropout rates of Northeastern students touches 50 per cent, with more girls dropping out than boys. The reasons for this trend, according to Naidu, lie in the intense socio-cultural conflict, and the resultant stress, that impact all aspects of the lives of students from the Northeast.

    "For a student from the Northeast, irrespective of whether she or he is from an urban or tribal background, Delhi is like an alien land," says Naidu. "The language is unfamiliar, the cultural and social terrain is unknown. Even getting a letter of introduction to open a bank account is a mammoth task. What is more, their distinctive physical features immediately mark them out as outsiders among the local populace."

    Being cheated as a matter of course is one direct fallout of this situation. Angom*, a Manipuri student at Miranda House told Naidu, "Even rickshaw-pullers, auto-drivers, vegetable vendors and bus conductors cheat us because they know that we are not aware of the price of things here, and are not in a position to drive hard bargains."

    For girl students, the situation is worse still: in the conservative Delhi milieu, their Westernized style of dressing and easy camaraderie with the opposite sex - owing in large part to their liberal tribal culture - they are seen as 'fast' or 'of easy virtue'. This imperception exposes girls from the Northeast to the worst sorts of sexual harassment, both within campuses and without. Diana, a Mizo student at Indraprastha college, said, "Delhi men believe that north-eastern girls are easily available. They look at us with only one thing in mind: sex. If we protest, they warn us to clam up, because we are alone and there is no one we can turn to for protection."

    The attitude of college authorities and the local police to incidences of sexual harassment and teasing is usually nonchalant. "Incidents of this nature are treated as routine, and often the girls are blamed for them." Furthermore, she says, "Police stations refuse to provide data on the sexual harassment of Northeastern girls." One police official, in fact, told Naidu: "Yeh to in ladkiyon ka roz ka naatak hai, kahan tak complaint darj karien? Aur waise bhi bina chingari ke aag nahi lagti (This is a daily drama these girls play out; how many complaints do we register? Anyway, there's no smoke without a fire)."

    The vulnerability of the girls is underscored by the fact that most Northeastern girl students live in rented accommodation. Nine colleges of the 13 (three are women's only colleges) in the North Campus have hostels; only four of these have girls' hostels.

    "Rented accommodation exposes girls to different kinds of harassment," says Naidu, "They are subjected to sudden and arbitrary hikes in rent, and threatened with immediate eviction if they don't comply."

    Here, too, sexual harassment is omnipresent. During their conversations with Naidu, many Northeastern girls confided to being harassed for sexual favors by landlords and their families. "The son of one landlord's family even offered a rent waiver in return for sexual favors!" exclaims Naidu.

    Apart from sexual harassment, Northeastern girl students have to face discrimination at other levels too, and this impacts their education adversely "The general impression is that these students are not good at studies and are [here] just for a good time. The stamp of 'reservation' sticks to them, and the resentment that comes with it has to be faced," says Naidu.

    According to her data, of the 200 students interviewed, only 10 per cent said that their classroom participation is high, while around three-quarters registered below average classroom participation. A sizeable proportion felt that teachers' attitude to their classroom participation was either neutral or discouraging. Of the 200 students, 111 said their participation in co-curricular activities was 'minimal'; 107 felt discrimination during co-curricular activities; 58 felt 'isolated'; 167 students registered feelings like helplessness, discouragement, irritation and stress in academic activities.

    This overall pressure drives many students to drop out, Naidu feels. Those who stay on find it difficult to meet academic goals burdened with so much stress.
    Consequently, most Northeastern tribal girl students are not particularly keen on getting jobs in Delhi after completing their education. "Coming to study in Delhi, for most Northeastern students, is a matter of prestige," says Naidu. "The unstable political situation in the Northeast has caused educational standards to drop, which makes it very easy for Delhi-educated students to get the best jobs once they return. This, coupled with the fact that the atmosphere does not offer much by way of encouragement to reach out and mingle, causes most students to see their student days here as just a stopover."

    Students told Naidu that social work interventions, such as the presence of social workers in colleges in enabling and facilitating roles, and steps to fight discrimination and enhance socio-cultural exchange between communities of students, could help alleviate the problems. But the single-most important step that Naidu feels needs to be taken with a sense of urgency is arranging sufficient hostel facilities for Northeastern girl students. "This one step will go a long way in providing stability and security to their lives and help them concentrate on their academic goals," she says.

    This is why Naidu is currently working on a policy paper to call attention to the issue of this manner of student discrimination, which she wants to send to the ministries of tribal welfare and social justice. "The problem of Northeastern girl students needs recognition in the right places," she says. "At present, the different kinds of stress that these students have to put up with is impacting their studies seriously, and every effort should be made to ease the situation."

    (* Names of all students changed.)

    September 10, 2006



    Dear NEFA bro&sisters:
    Does this happen to a Tibetan in China?
    To an INDIAN in Singaore?
    To an Indian in USA?

    No it happens here only to us.
    Since our physical features are not going to go away there is no hope for us mongolian people her(unless you want 3rd class citizenship---Bagladeshis &Nepalese are given 2nd class ok).

    Racism in North India
    by Aparna Pallavi

    As an undergraduate student at Delhi University in the early 1990s, Dr Renu (Gupta) Naidu took little notice when her friends routinely referred to students from the Northeast as 'Chinkies' or hurled obscenities or racial insults at them.
    "Any Northeastern student entering a college campus earns the epithet 'Chinky' on day one, and has to live with being looked at as, at the very least, an oddity, for the rest of her or his stay," says Naidu. "Students told me about being asked questions like whether they eat rats." This racial hostility comes unbidden from the non-Northeastern student community.

    Naidu had herself faced discrimination as a "non-Marathi" student during her post-graduation at Nagpur, and it dawned on her that Northeastern students, with their distinctive 'non-plainspeople' epicanthic features, behavior and dress habits, were in all likelihood confronting far more discrimination than she had. In June 2006, Naidu was awarded a PhD for her work on the lives of Northeastern tribal girl students in Delhi, with her research based on interviews with 200 students from 10 colleges in Delhi University's North Campus.

    The first disturbing fact - statistics compiled from official records of various colleges in the city - that Naidu's study has uncovered is that the dropout rates of Northeastern students touches 50 per cent, with more girls dropping out than boys. The reasons for this trend, according to Naidu, lie in the intense socio-cultural conflict, and the resultant stress, that impact all aspects of the lives of students from the Northeast.

    "For a student from the Northeast, irrespective of whether she or he is from an urban or tribal background, Delhi is like an alien land," says Naidu. "The language is unfamiliar, the cultural and social terrain is unknown. Even getting a letter of introduction to open a bank account is a mammoth task. What is more, their distinctive physical features immediately mark them out as outsiders among the local populace."

    Being cheated as a matter of course is one direct fallout of this situation. Angom*, a Manipuri student at Miranda House told Naidu, "Even rickshaw-pullers, auto-drivers, vegetable vendors and bus conductors cheat us because they know that we are not aware of the price of things here, and are not in a position to drive hard bargains."

    For girl students, the situation is worse still: in the conservative Delhi milieu, their Westernized style of dressing and easy camaraderie with the opposite sex - owing in large part to their liberal tribal culture - they are seen as 'fast' or 'of easy virtue'. This imperception exposes girls from the Northeast to the worst sorts of sexual harassment, both within campuses and without. Diana, a Mizo student at Indraprastha college, said, "Delhi men believe that north-eastern girls are easily available. They look at us with only one thing in mind: sex. If we protest, they warn us to clam up, because we are alone and there is no one we can turn to for protection."

    The attitude of college authorities and the local police to incidences of sexual harassment and teasing is usually nonchalant. "Incidents of this nature are treated as routine, and often the girls are blamed for them." Furthermore, she says, "Police stations refuse to provide data on the sexual harassment of Northeastern girls." One police official, in fact, told Naidu: "Yeh to in ladkiyon ka roz ka naatak hai, kahan tak complaint darj karien? Aur waise bhi bina chingari ke aag nahi lagti (This is a daily drama these girls play out; how many complaints do we register? Anyway, there's no smoke without a fire)."

    The vulnerability of the girls is underscored by the fact that most Northeastern girl students live in rented accommodation. Nine colleges of the 13 (three are women's only colleges) in the North Campus have hostels; only four of these have girls' hostels.

    "Rented accommodation exposes girls to different kinds of harassment," says Naidu, "They are subjected to sudden and arbitrary hikes in rent, and threatened with immediate eviction if they don't comply."

    Here, too, sexual harassment is omnipresent. During their conversations with Naidu, many Northeastern girls confided to being harassed for sexual favors by landlords and their families. "The son of one landlord's family even offered a rent waiver in return for sexual favors!" exclaims Naidu.

    Apart from sexual harassment, Northeastern girl students have to face discrimination at other levels too, and this impacts their education adversely "The general impression is that these students are not good at studies and are [here] just for a good time. The stamp of 'reservation' sticks to them, and the resentment that comes with it has to be faced," says Naidu.

    According to her data, of the 200 students interviewed, only 10 per cent said that their classroom participation is high, while around three-quarters registered below average classroom participation. A sizeable proportion felt that teachers' attitude to their classroom participation was either neutral or discouraging. Of the 200 students, 111 said their participation in co-curricular activities was 'minimal'; 107 felt discrimination during co-curricular activities; 58 felt 'isolated'; 167 students registered feelings like helplessness, discouragement, irritation and stress in academic activities.

    This overall pressure drives many students to drop out, Naidu feels. Those who stay on find it difficult to meet academic goals burdened with so much stress.
    Consequently, most Northeastern tribal girl students are not particularly keen on getting jobs in Delhi after completing their education. "Coming to study in Delhi, for most Northeastern students, is a matter of prestige," says Naidu. "The unstable political situation in the Northeast has caused educational standards to drop, which makes it very easy for Delhi-educated students to get the best jobs once they return. This, coupled with the fact that the atmosphere does not offer much by way of encouragement to reach out and mingle, causes most students to see their student days here as just a stopover."

    Students told Naidu that social work interventions, such as the presence of social workers in colleges in enabling and facilitating roles, and steps to fight discrimination and enhance socio-cultural exchange between communities of students, could help alleviate the problems. But the single-most important step that Naidu feels needs to be taken with a sense of urgency is arranging sufficient hostel facilities for Northeastern girl students. "This one step will go a long way in providing stability and security to their lives and help them concentrate on their academic goals," she says.

    This is why Naidu is currently working on a policy paper to call attention to the issue of this manner of student discrimination, which she wants to send to the ministries of tribal welfare and social justice. "The problem of Northeastern girl students needs recognition in the right places," she says. "At present, the different kinds of stress that these students have to put up with is impacting their studies seriously, and every effort should be made to ease the situation."

    (* Names of all students changed.)

    September 10, 2006

    ------

    Dear NEFA bro &sis we are treated as outiders and 3rd class citizens; even Bangladehis get 2nd class treatment.
    Be awake.
    Indians may prop up various armed agents like in Kangleipak if you raise your voice.

  • Kangla

    A Foreigner In Own Country

    By: The Third Eye / Jimmy Wahengbam *



    The step-motherly treatment meted out to the NE-ers (Northeasterners) doesn't stop in the mainland India but continues throughout the northeastern states. The states are being ignored by the centre for quite a long time. Unemployment is on the rise. The youths are compelled to take up arms. Instead of solving the insurgency problem through peaceful negotiation, the centre is trying to curb it with brutal force.

    The entire area has become a war zone with security forces everywhere. And the atrocities committed by them are innumerable. The centre is turning a blind eye to the whole situations. Because of the prevailing situation in the NE states, most parents prefer sending their children to the metropolitan cities; particularly Delhi. Who would have thought that the capital city, which is supposed to be the safest city in the country, would turn out to be so unsafe? Every day is a struggle for the NE-ers in Delhi. The problem starts from the railway station when they arrive in the city and continues on.

    Right from the porters to the auto drivers, fleece them to the hilt. The melee doesn't stop here. Searching for a house to stay is another headache. The property dealers who are always on the lookout for an easy prey find them as free fodder for exploitation. The landlords are more concern about the rents than the safety of tenants. The rents are hiked on a regular basis. There is no system or organization to check the ever-increasing rent, which the students find it hard to cope up with.

    One of the biggest problems the N-E students face is the language problem. Most of the people in the capital try to take advantage of it, be it the landlord, the shopkeepers, the auto drivers or sometimes-even people whom the NE-ers consider friends. It's hard for them to trust anyone in the city. There are instances in which even the police are not willing to help the students.

    The recent rape incident, which occurred in Dhaula Kuan, was just a tip of the iceberg. More than 95% of the incidents that happened in the capital city went unreported. Snide remarks are made everywhere the NE-ers go. Girls are often teased or molested and guys are intimidated which often leads to fight. And when a fight takes place the locals are likely to side with the intimidator. They hardly see who is at fault. What they see is a foreigner fighting an Indian. The NE-ers are always seemed to be at the receiving ends.

    The northeasterners have been labeled as uncommunicative and reticent by some section of the public, which is utterly wrong. The truth is, we are as friendly as anyone can be, but when people starts taking advantage of your friendship you stay away from him or her. That's what most of the northeasterners are doing.

    Some of the NE-ers have had very bad experiences regarding being friendly with other people. For instance, a northeast student had a Delhitte friend from college. He used to confide almost everything to him until one day when his so-called friend's true intention came to light. His Delhitte friend wanted him to be introduced to N-E girls. Not only his friend had dirty intentions but also he was talking bad things about the northeasterners to his local friends.

    This is just one example; there are several similar stories. This is the reason why the NE-ers prefer staying in their own circle. The locals also perceive them as party animals, which is totally baseless. It may be true with some students but it will be completely wrong to generalize the whole community. "Every tree has some bad leaves and you don't cut down a tree just because of some bad leaves".

    The NE-ers treat women with utmost respect. Cases like molestation and rape hardly take place in the northeastern states. There are several outsiders residing in the NE states and they are treated with equal respect. Incidents of rape or molestation of non-NE women are unheard of. Women are treated equally, no matter from where they come. On the contrary, the northeast women are mostly seen with contempt, elsewhere.

    The media should play an important role in bridging the gap between the locals and the northeasterners. The misconception and misunderstanding should be cleared. There should be unity among the student unions. Help line should be established to aid the students in distress on time.

    Better cohesion with powerful, responsible NGOs and human right agencies is a must. Strong tie-ups with concerned government bodies and lawmaking units will be another big boost to them. Last but not the least the students themselves should be wise and aware enough to avoid such kind of social malice.

    ***

    See? not just you but all NE people are looked down upon. So it is by design of Indians not accident.

  • Dzuko

    Each and every one of us has gone through the experience you people are undergoing.
    No point begging such a country to accept you---they will never consider you equal.besides its shameful.
    We are a group of students here but using same computer so dont be confused please.





    India No Stranger to Racism
    By: David Buhril


    As a person from the North East of India, bearing Mongoloid stature, feature and colour I cannot help but say that my personal experiences in Delhi, the capital city of India, have witnessed numerous slurs of racist fork. They were not soft ones. I am not alone to be subjected to such indignities.

    Everyone from the region has his or her own stories and experiences, which have been rather silently buried. I know such vocal attacks have, on many occasions, resulted in violent anger, arguments and fights between the so-called “mainstream” people and the people from the North East. Mother, they are racist lot. Unfortunately, I have actually accepted the inhumane practice as a part of the culture of the “mainstream” people. A culture cultivated by the “sink of localism and den of ignorance”. But that doesn’t mean I accept racism.

    The outrage explosion over the “racist attacks” on one Bollywood actress, Shilpa Shetty by her white housemates on British reality TV show are an exaggerated one, even when racism ought to be condemned everywhere. The drama that has been unfolding for about two weeks made it obvious that Indians are ready to talk about Indians being racially discriminated outside India. But what about the equally serious condemnable racial discrimination within India?

    Did we ever care to raise the issue and put a question to ourselves? Are we blind to it because we practise it indignantly? If Shilpa Shetty was called a “Paki” by her white’s housemates, the Indian citizens from the North East states are still called “Chinese”, “Chinky”, “Japanese”, “Koreans” or “Nepalese.” If Shilpa Shetty was poked for her poor chicken cooking style, the North Easterners are poked for their “dirty”, “foul smell”, “stinking”, and “junglee” food habits. There were times when North East students living in the Capital city of India had to actually ask their landlords or hostel warden, “What smell is allowed to cook and what is not?”

    Through all these years, it was not an easy ride. I realised that it resulted out of the much-celebrated diversity of India, which is quenched by ignorance and chauvinism. As culture clash, the ride demanded tolerance and understanding, which was not an easy one. I have accepted the discrimination that is, otherwise, getting negatively popular in the ancient city. Day in and day out, friends, acquaintances or people who are new to the city would narrate their experiences, which are more than enough to put the nation to shame. I was lately wishing there was some sort of reactive internal ministry, like the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) that reacted immediately for Shilpa Shetty, to look into the disturbing situation of racial discrimination in India.

    I wonder if the media, general public who overflow with sympathy and empathy for Shilpa Shetty, or the authorities in the government are aware about the pubs, restaurants and discotheques in Delhi showing no entry to people from the North East of India? The grim situation does not care even if you have money. They care about your colour. That’s how they made the judgement and decision. You bear the Mongoloid look and the door is closed before you. So don’t be surprised when those bouncers did not let you in. India’s democracy has too big a space that it grows racism too.

    When I was first told about these public places and their sick practise in Delhi some four years back, I was taken aback. Shocked actually. But I said to myself who cares when I will never be seeking comfort or chilling out at these places even if I have money for the purpose. On the other hand, my second thought resulted in anger, desperation and helplessness over such harsh inhumane practice. It is still alive and going strong. For me it is not about these places, but the racial discrimination practised in these places, which is getting more popular than before. It affects me as I also bear the same colour, feature and stature, which are used to judge a person. If you don’t fit into their scheme of colour, you cannot be a customer. In the growing urban Indian market the password is defined by the colour of your skin. I thought it would be colourblind. I thought it would be race-blind.

    So I asked how they made their options. They told me that they have to find a place that accept and admit them despite the colour of their skin. Even then, how can we enter, eat, sit, and dance away as if we never care? As if it is nothing. Is this a surrender to racial discrimination? When we learn to accept that one cannot enter that place, eat there, dance there, or sit there because the colour of one’s skin is different, we realized that the other Indian is much alive. The others in the village.

    The situation is grimmer for the girls and women from the North East. Due to the colour of their skin, they were popularly believed and supposed to be an “easy” and “cheap” sex prey. They were victimized lot. Delhi is a living witness to that. Asked them? Everyone has a story. A story untold. A story filled with shame and anger. They represent the silent untold stories. My cousin’s white husband was shocked and surprised when he found that his wife and her friends, all from the North East of India, were not allowed to enter to eat and dance in one of the city’s public places during one of their visit to Delhi recently. The reason was out of a judgement where the colour of their skin was already used to decide them to be a customer or not. Delhi never seems to care as places like these multiply with inhumane norms and rules defined by race and colour.

    I am not talking about stray or isolated incident. This is about everyday life and struggle in Delhi. Shilpa Shetty’s experiences and the feelings and sympathy that we have, as concerned citizens, exported to England should be immediately imported back to Delhi to understand and redress the racial bruises of the other Indians. They are being discriminated more than what Shilpa Shetty could imagine. Worst, they are not paid for it. It is beyond the MEA’s jurisdiction to talk about the racial discrimination that is seriously taking place in India. But on moral and humanitarian ground, it could if it is so concerned about racial discrimination and not just Shilpa Shetty. If not, authorities of the several internal ministries, media, NGO’s and concerned activists should immediately step in to kill the colourful game that has already become shamelessly popular and dirty. The celebration of diversity has no meaning if the nation remains silent to the domestic realities of racial abuse and discrimination. India is no stranger to racism.

  • Dzuko ao

    This is cut from a blog(www.nitawriter.wordpress.com):
    So even Indians are testimony to our low-caste treatment.
    So the post should be re-named:WHAT IS COST OF NE?


    Nita,

    It’s not just in Delhi, these prejudices against people from the North-East are common in other parts of india too. As recently as 7-8 years ago in Ahmedabad, my colleague from Meghalaya who went to open a savings account in a nationalised bank, was turned away by the Manager (surname Tiwari or Chaube or Mishra) on the grounds that “only Indians can open a bank account here”.

    Another colleague, a young woman from Assam who did not even have “different” features, tells of her experience of hunting for PG accommodation in Pune 10 years ago (before the BPO-IT boom which brought in young people earning big bucks). In DG and Prabhat Road, Maharashtrian landlords suddenly became very cagey when they learnt where she was from, and even when she did finally find accommodation, she was constantly looked upon with suspicion.

    In the North-East itself, where I have been to Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur and Sikkim, the boorish “mainlanders” are no better in their behaviour with the locals. The worst are the Indian paramilitary forces, supposedly keeping insurgency in check. Their treatment of ALL locals is outrageous. It does not surprise me that the North-East is not exactly enamoured with being considered a part of India.

    Vivek

  • Japvu

    No country has permitted its security forces to rape and kill its own people for so long. obviously they dont consider us humans.



    North East: Special Powers Act not a solution
    Thursday, July 19, 2007

    Six decades of insurgency in the north-eastern states, inherited at the time of independence of the country has grown manifold by now. But instead of acknowledging the situation as a failure of political process and lack of effective governance, the Centre continues to believe, as it does with regard to other insurgencies such as the Naxal and Maoist movements, that it is a law and order problem. The centre believes that the deployment of army and para-military forces in these states is merely to assist the law enforcement agencies.to tackle insurgencies. But the deployment of armed forces and their alleged excesses without accountability under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) has led to an alienation of the local populace of the region which warrants emergent steps to stem the tide of growing number of rebellious organizations.
    Way back during 1958, the Parliament enacted the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Act which was preceded by the promulgation of an ordinance aimed at dealing with the Naga insurgents through lending armed forces' support to the local law enforcement agencies in the state of Assam as it then existed and the then union territory of Manipur. After the carving out of the new states of Arunanchal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura during 1972, the Act was appropriately adopted to apply to all the seven states of the North-East and the enactment came to be christened as Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). This has become a topic of hot debate in recent years on account of the alleged unwarranted use of power by the army and para-military forces under the pretext of fighting the insurgents and terrorists.


    The allegedly excessive use of power by the army and para-military organizations, collectively called the security forces, has the sanction of law which operates in a manner which over-stretches the parameters of the Constitution as law and order is a state subject and armed forces have no role in normal situations. Under the AFSPA, initially certain areas are declared 'disturbed areas' under the Disturbed Areas Act by the concerned state and such declaration is then endorsed by the Centre. In areas so declared as 'disturbed', even the non-commissioned officers of the army are empowered under the AFSPA to fire or kill any person indulging in contravention of law or carrying any weapons, if in his opinion, the situation warrants such action.

    n view of the alleged excesses committed under the garb of AFSPA, the enactment was challenged in the Supreme Court by the Naga groups under Article 32 of the Constitution during 1982 on the plea of discrimination. The case was finally heard after one and half decades during 1997 by a constitutional bench headed by the then Chief Justice J S Verma and by his Lordship's companion Justices M M Punchhi, S C Aggarwal, A S Anand and S P Bharucha. In their pronouncement on November 27, 1997 in the Writ Petition titled Naga People's Movement of Human Rights etc.etc. v. Union of India & Ors, their Lordships held that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 was not unconstitutional. The apex court said that the "deployment of armed forces is to enable the civil power in the State to deal with situations affecting the maintenance of public order" and that "the Parliament was competent to enact the Central Act in accordance with its legislative powers as per Entry-2 of List-I, Article 248 read with Entry-97 of List-I and Entry-I of the List-II of the Constitution".

    Commenting on the protests by the civil society groups and increasing resentment on the issue of armed forces deployment in the north-east states, the Defence Minister said that "there is a clamour by some civil rights groups for implementation of the Reddy Committee recommen-dations," but added that "the army is strongly opposed to doing away with AFSPA on the ground that its soldiers are engaged in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations and need adequate protection against being dragged to the courts."

    Meanwhile, the situation in the north-eastern states simmers with discontent over the issue of the deployment of armed forces and para-military personnel to handle law and order problem which needs to be addressed with effective governance through a correction of the political process and not with unbridled draconian powers in a democratic set-up with a written constitution.

  • Lunglei Htay

    It is there everywhere.Each one of us--Kuki,Naga,Mizo,Manipuri,AP,Khasi etc. These people dont want us. Should we run after them shamelessly to 'listen to us'?




    Friday, August 3, 2007
    On discrimination in Mainland India



    By Hahat Melchior *


    This is especially for those who live outside the NE India but within India and perpetually feel sidelined and discriminated for being perceived as so 'different'.

    I spent almost 12 years in Delhi for various reasons - student, non-student preparing for various national exams, working woman and finally a married woman and a mother before we moved to Zurich, Switzerland early last year.

    During most part of my stay there, I had a lot of reasons to not like mainland Indians. I hated the word 'chinkies' in reference to us. I hated having to face harrassments when having some work at DU main campus, especially upon seeing the clerk not giving me attention.

    Maybe the clerks are lazy in general but to a naive student, it was easy to infer that it is an act of racism. I hated it when our girls in particular are perceived as immoral because of what we wear and our outspoken independent nature.

    Well, wearing shorts, sleeveless shirts, minis etc were not new to us. We've worn them for ages. And now if you go to nightclubs in Delhi, you think you're wearing too many clothes cos' Delhi girls wear almost nothing. These are the same people who pointed fingers at us over a decade ago.

    O! how I also hated being touched or pinched at in public buses and at Pragati maidan during trade fairs. But the most overrated insult is when I would be asked where I am from, and then I'd say 'from manipur' and they'd implore 'where is Manipur?

    Is it in China?' or 'Are you a Nepali?'. Aarrgghhhh!!!

    I just wanted to scream 'which school did you go to? In Manipur we know so much about your place, your little towns, your dams, et al.'

    I like Nepalis and I respect them for their humility and independence of willing to work as house helpers, drivers etc. but when mainland Indians refer to us as Nepalis, it is usually in a derogatory term.

    Fast forward that to today, in Europe, in Zurich in particular. I have this gift of people, that people love to come and chat up with me (maybe I look friendly and maybe out of curiosity).

    My church in Zurich is very international, people from around 100 nations so I get to meet alot of them. When they come down to the point of asking me my native land, I always wished I had a camera with me to capture their expressions of "What!!!! you're from India?!!.

    You're too nice to be an indian. Your English is too good to be an Indian. No! its not possible" and so on....

    It sounds like a compliment to me but its not. I feel sad that people are surprised to know that I am an Indian. I am very much an Indian.

    So now, can you clearly sense that the Indian govt is doing nothing much to let the world know about us unlike Malaysia or Singapore who clearly let the world know that they have people of Indian origin there too.

    Isn't it sad? Maybe and maybe not.

    I just have no regrets about being from Manipur and the NE India. Maybe we're not loved in India as we have wished but the world over loves us which is a more comforting feeling. And one of the things I am really proud about our uniqueness is that people identify us more as south east Asian but with good communication skills because of our fluency in English (majority of SE Asians are still poor with their English spoken skills).

    At the same time, we can also dwell in the glory and greatness of India because thats what we actually are - Indians. I am just so happy to have belonged to where I belong.

    On a light hearted note, I am also proud to admit that much before MTV came to India, we were already so updated with the latest bands and best selling albums (one of the many things we excel in).

    My husband who is a Swiss also have deep respect for our modern yet traditional cultures. And he is so proud to tell people "My wife is from the north east India. They're very unique, friendly and different".

    So now, whenever you feel you are being discriminated or harrassed by a Mainland Indian, dont get mad.

    Just smile and remind yourself of how much the rest of the world embrace you.

    And also that there are many good Indians who love us very much too.

    PS: Can anyone of you tell our local politicians that I am willing to continue speading the goodwill work for our region as long as they also give the world and the country a good impression about us all.

    Have fun.

    Go look into the mirror and say "Thank you God for being from the NE India".

    God bless you all.

    If anyone of you knows someone from our place living in Switzerland, please do let me know.

  • Mautam

    Brothers we are riding in the same boat of Indian discrimination. Time to say enough is enough-If you dont want us then leave us alone.




    Somewhere I Belong

    How can I tell him that I ‘belong’ to a place where I never ‘belong’? A place that is so alien to me!

    ONE EVENING, I boarded a blue line bus to meet my cousin brother residing in North Delhi from Satya Niketan bus-stand. He called me the previous night telling me come and get some important papers from him. As usual, the moment I got into the bus I heard someone calling out "Hey, Bahadur!" I pretended hearing nothing, and didn't bother to know to whom it was addressed. Such insulting words hurled at us, northeastern tribals is now quite a common experience. I'm beginning to grow up with it now. My take here is that it's all part of a modern city life!

    However, calling someone by the name of Chinky, Nepali, Bahadur or whatever, just because of a facial difference is awfully difficult to comprehend. You may be a Khasi, a Naga, a Mizo/ Zomi, a Kuki or a Meitei, but you face the same humiliation all in all, here in Delhi. I wonder what may be the situation in the other cities of our mainland India. Whether you subscribe to it or not, the mindset of the mainland Indians are transfixed to the belief that we, northeasterners, are inferior to them in every way and this has a deep psychological root in the minds of the people from generations past and would continue through generations to come. I often asked myself, why don't they call us Japanese, Chinese or Korean instead? Why Nepali? Why Bahadur?

    As I rode on the bus, my mind got wholly taken up with reminiscences of all the past experiences I had gone through. From the moment I stepped down at the New Delhi train station in June 2004 - the sneaky auto-driver, the brutal bus conductor, the first day at my college where I was ragged thrice, the cunning landlord, etc. - to this day I had been going through innumerable mental distresses as a result of treatments meted out by the brute majority for the sole reason that I'm from the Northeast. All these reminiscences made the blood in me boil. But I could not do anything about it. Nor do I have the power to change the past now.

  • umsnong

    No person wants to live in a place you are not wanted.





    Revealing The Marginalization Of North East India
    H. Vanlalhruaia, University Of Hyderabad
    A national seminar on ‘North East in the 21st Century’ was organized in 2005 by the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Hyderabad. Various important issues, questions, suggestions and concerns pertaining to all North Eastern states (the “North East”) were raised and discussed. Surprisingly, the seminar did not cover Mizoram on the ground that there are no problems worth mentioning in Mizoram. Considering this, one can hastily presume that scholarly and intellectual concerns should not cross the limit of problems in the society. This view also reveals how the positive aspect of institutional development has been largely ignored by various discourses in India.
    In this article I shall briefly deal ‘North east’ in a larger Indian context. This theme simultaneously is so complicated that here my intention is not to present any final picture of it but instead to open some points for discussion. My presentation has one major point, i.e how North East has been marginalized in the larger Indian society.
    It has been more than 50 years since India has been playing around with different paradigms in the North East such as ‘exotic cultural paradigm’, ‘security paradigm’, ‘join the mainstream paradigm’, ‘politics paradigm’, ‘economic package paradigm’, and so on. Despite efforts and possible solutions suggested by officials, intellectuals, medias, scholars and NGO activists, many questions are still left unanswered. Why is it so?
    The North East has been a part and parcel of South Asia since time immemorial. Assam, Manipur, Tripura have been known since the earliest times. Hill tribes maintained their commercial contact with the plain areas of Assam and Bengal. Even the minority group of Chakmas had trade relations with the Mughals. Contact between Nagas and Assamese produced a new hybrid language called Nagamese. The sacred literature of Ram and Sita was known to the Mizos many years before the British colonialism held sway in the North East. Therefore, the region is not an isolated entity. The term ‘isolated region’ could validly be interpreted only in terms of India’s policy towards the development of technology and means of communication in the region. The distance between Delhi and Assam or Nagaland in the North East is perhaps lesser than distance between Delhi and Andhra Pradesh of southern India. But why do we still talk about North East as being isolated?
    Discourse on the concept of ‘North East’ by mainstream officials, scholars, medias and social scientists have always been an enterprise implicit in the agenda of India’s nationalism. The term ‘North East’ was invented by the colonialist to identify a geographical area, later on adopted by Indian officials, intellectuals and medias. But, the ‘reality’ is far from this categorization. In sharp contrast to this concept, various ethnic groups in the North East prefer to identify themselves under their own specific group identity such as Assamese of Assam, Nagas of Nagaland, Mizos of Mizoram, Bodos of Assam and so on and so forth. The local people do not use the term ‘North East’ and it has no viable meaning to them since there are apparent traits that mark a clear cut distinction between the various groups under discussion. One should not forget that North East India depicts diversity of languages and cultural practices. This diversity within the North East has to be highlighted in its context, rather than portraying the region as a ‘homogenous’ entity.
    The Post-Independence era was a period of confusion in the North East which also initiated various movements within or from outside the region. Because of negligence, people have been and are confused about their future and identity. Continuous marginalization has fuelled up discontentment among various ethnic groups ultimately leading to the formation of many insurgency groups. Initially, the only result or answer they got for their demands from the Central government is the Indian army. But, we can see clear evidence of its failure in 56 years of independence. The Indian army, the second largest in Asia is still unable to contain the insurgency groups of the region which are much smaller in numbers. The army has not provided a solution but merely infested the minds of the people with confusion and hatred. All northeastern states have shown resentment towards the occupation of the army in one way or the other. Retaliation is never the best solution. Everyone wants to live a normal life but why do young men still want to risk their life by joining insurgency groups is the real question here.
    The term ‘insurgency’ which becomes an officials’ and intellectuals’ categorization needs to be explicated here. There has been little attempt to clarify the concept of ‘insurgency’ in the context of the North East. Currently, the term has been applied from one particular angle alone, which is that of a rebellious nature. The term insurgency etymologically comes from a Latin word ‘insurgere’ which means to ‘rise up’. In English, the word could mean a ‘rebel’ or a ‘revolutionary’. Therefore, the official Indian perception or interpretation actually comes from the latter and is one sided. Explicitly infused with the English word, officials, media and social scientists have branded ‘North East’ as being infested by various ‘insurgency groups’ or ‘rebel groups’. On the contrary and taken from the original word, it can be concluded that people have ‘risen up’ against marginalization. The Mizo National Front movement in (1966-1987) Mizoram which was an autonomous district council under the state of Assam (1965) is a good example of such where people have ‘risen up’ against negligence of the state towards a devastating famine that ailed the region. This case could also apply to many parts of the North East. Can we consider that some of the demands made by the local people are genuine?
    The media has shaped the mainstream Indian’s perception of the North East. Insurgency, weird cultural practices and dirty politics has been the favorite topics of mainstream reporters. They frequently fail in accurately reporting on the communities of the region. There have been a few efforts to change the situation. These images soon become ingrained in the consciousness of every Indian citizen. Occasionally, stories about cultural activities appear on some news paper but these are usually given only a passing mention. Insurgency, ethnic conflicts and crises get reported, genuine people stories rarely do. There are an awful lot of good things happening that are not reported in the mainstream media, unless somebody pushes to get them there. This has sowed the seed of suspicion and hatred in the minds of people of the region. And they outwardly reject any suspicious attempt to sabotage their cultural prominence. The Naga Students’ Federation who had forbidden a non-Naga to write on Naga history without their prior approval (Frontline, Sept. 2003) is a good example.
    Marginalization of the North Eastern region could be seen in the trend of historical writings in India. Well known intellectuals of the academic world such as Peter Burke’s ‘Popular Culture’, E.P Thompson’s ‘Unsung Voices of History’, Genovese’s ‘Objects and Subjects of History’, Hobsbawm’s ‘Social Banditry’, Ranajit Guha’s ‘Subaltern’, Said’s ‘Orientalism’ and many others question the existing orthodoxy of historical discourse. This is also true in the context of the North East as the region has been ignored by the academic community till of recent. The greatest challenge to the Indian historian is to incorporate regional histories in the broader framework of Indian history. This indifferent attitude towards the North East is evident in national curricula. The cultural history of various communities of the North East has hardly found space in national curricula. Their heroes are forgotten and instead fed with the stories of kings and kingdoms of the rest of India that largely does not appeal to the people of the North East. The struggle of Khasis, Mizo Chiefs, Jaintias and Nagas against the British have no place at all in the history of India. This is not only sad but also extremely unfair. The question remains the same with when Spivak asks ‘Can the Subaltern Speak’! (‘Can the Northeasterner Speak’).The answer is still ‘No’ in Indian history unless a comprehensive change in the historical discourse of India takes place.

  • banteilang

    Most important of all--Indians dont respect us as humans. To them we are subhumans.If they say 'AP is integral part of India' they actually mean we want to keep you as a zoo.




    The Clogged Space - I

    By:- David Buhril *


    On enquiring the "To Let" board for a friend who is looking for a room in Munirka, New Delhi, the landlady who owned the vacant rooms showered us with too many questions.

    The questions left me feeling like we stole the last apple from her garden. But we didn't pluck any apples from her garden. Nor Eden. Most of the questions were unnecessary.

    Some were smeared with contempt. Some were interesting. Some were surprising. Some were not easy to tolerate. Some were demeaning. Some were quite digestible. We served her answers after answers to questions like, what's your religion?

    Do you eat dog's meat?

    Beef?

    Do you have girlfriends? Boyfriends?

    At last she asked where we belong?

    With overflowing pride about our beautiful place, we told her that we are from Manipur. But oh! She told us that she did not want any tenants from Manipur.

    With a stern look that seem like the coming of a big storm and firm haughty face she closed the door abruptly. In silence we navigate buildings after buildings looking for a sign that says 'To Let'.

    The silence was painful. Shameful too. Some rooms were available. But most of the rooms were far from habitable. No windows. No Ventilations. No room for air and light. The rooms were too small. Otherwise the bigger ones are expensive again.

    Worst is that they are not taking anyone from Manipur. We speak Hmar and Mizo and could easily slip off by saying we come from Mizoram. But we just did not want to do that. We did not want that to be a trick. Or a lie. Or a password. Our sense of belonging is not to be tested with any of those rotten apples.

    Another couple of landlords, again, told us that they are not taking anyone from Manipur. We argued about the fact that everyone is not Adam or Eve. Or Judas.

    But it was not making any sense. I asked myself what the hell must have gone wrong with us from Manipur? Is it because of the Armed Forces Special Power Act? Silly. Is it because we are addicted to bandhs, protest and all those past time?

    Or is it because they saw our women protesting naked in the street? Some said they are not keeping non-vegetarians. Is PETA winning here? They don't seem to know a thing about PETA. But we don't eat human flesh.

    We won't. Besides we won't be sharing any pots or utensils. Not even the kitchen.

    Well, we don't look that poor, needy and broke not to be able to pay the monthly rent. Looks are deceptive. But that's not the reason again. They owned TVs to have witnessed the economic boom in China, Japan, Korea and the East.

    So what? We look like them. That's what they say. So we must be looking like rich and booming too. That's what I mean.

    Otherwise our skins are not that yellow to look like jaundice infested tenants. My friend is healthy. Me too. Besides people from Manipur are sportive and strong. So that's not the reason again.

    What then? Oh, my friend is not as ugly as Abraham Lincoln. He could become a model for some Burmese eatables industry anytime. Besides, there are quite a number of girls who likes him.

    He's been, rather, facing the problem of choosing the right one. That's not the reason then. Of course we are Christians, but we won't do that conversion mission here. We did not come for that.

    That is not what is expected of us too. We don't have time for that. We are not really interested in that mission. At least not now. We don't look dirty too. We do not even smoke.

    We are not gays. We are straight. Our inclination is towards the opposite sex, anytime. Despite all that we were compelled to move from door to door. It wasn't fun at all.

    Of course Ibomcha drinks and partied. Kimi hangs out everywhere with everyone whose skin is darker than anyone from Manipur. Athuiliu's skirt hangs too low. Chingnu may be overdoing her makeup in the evening.

    They actually wonder where she goes. Khuplian seem to find difficulties in opening his eyes. He is getting thinner everyday. I was also told many of the pubs; discos and restaurants are not allowing people from the north east to get inside.

    Looks like it is not all about money anymore. So what with all this happenings? True we all are from Manipur. But that is not to say that we all are doing the same thing. I am sorry for what must be taking place, but I am not my brother's sinner. And it is never right to generalize the assumption to a firmer ground.

    I have been asking too many questions since then. I cannot answer them all. Is this discrimination? If then, is it racial or regional? Are we the others outside the "mainstream"?

    Or are we the outsiders? Is multiculturism dead? Are the hands of diversity paralysed? Is secularism in the grave?

    The adhesive, that is, understanding, seem to have waned. Or have we become the untouchables? In the face of differences creating indifferences we were left with few choice. My friend and I find it difficult to maintain that polite gentility. On the other hand we dare not be mean and hot tempered.

    Oh Sanaleibak! What is in your name?

    In this pallette like multicultural existence we need to negotiate with respect for one another. Cultural pluralism is a quintessentially modern phenomenon As a global pattern, it is a creature of the present century.

    Maybe 'we' and 'them' are walking the road trying to learn. But the space is already getting clogged for us.

  • khonoma

    The Clogged Space - II

    By:- David Buhril *


    We have been squeezed into a clogged space. That is what it is. But as I am, at least, allow to celebrate my liberty. So I took the opportunity to write about me and my friend's experience, which I believed, has more to do with us as a people than merely the two friends.

    I have bought the belief that innocence has no color. I paid a big price for it. So come down here, you won't be spared. Or leave, the leftovers won't be spared either. Otherwise stay and bear it. You will certainly become tougher and tolerant. Patient.

    Understanding too. If that is what it takes to identify with the "mainstream", the path is far from right. We ought to have a sight. Maybe for a side. Or a site. Or a sigh. Its OK if we are leaving them today. But its never OK if we still have to live with them till tomorrow.

    If this path will lead us to "integrate" with the billion races, the race will be too painful. It is no longer about grazing in the green pasture of conscience and reason. Rather, we are being hurled with the unwanted distortions of conceptions and interpretations.

    That's the image. Yours and mine. There is no point complaining that we did not start the fire. The situation is already like reading a bad translation of the Bible. So we failed to deliver the meaning of our existence and us. We are not a mistake.

    But we are already mistaken. We are not a blot. But we are already blotted. The slice of unrotten corner is occupied by pretension and their best affordable "goodwill". Of course their financial thirst too. That ground beneath our feet is not safe. We need to negotiate.

    We need education to affirm and accept the diversity. Through a designed system we are imposed with thick syllabus that have big chapters on sick caste system and other sicker subjects that were taught in schools and colleges nationwide. Nothing about us. Nothing about our values. There's no trace that reflects about us.

    Our coming here and there is a challenge to their domain of understanding. We exist outside them. Outside their geography, history and culture. While our politics is their hands. So the call has been to "integrate" and "assimilate". Our perceived image is that of the man whose frame never seem to relate to any other man they have come across.

    We still exist as a big question. Even after paying big money for their caste ridden like small airless and lightless rooms, we were taken in, they said, with "grace", "mercy" and all those sweet butter flabs. I am a little tired already. For I cannot be strong and tough forever. I don't believe in superman.

    And my tolerance can no longer be a courage that silently suffers all their ignorance and indifferences. I am tired of putting my rationality's strength to test. Is this a result of our non- affront ability or non- confrontabity?

    I must mention another interesting experience where I emerged like the winner after a battle. It was in the hot June of 2005 when I landed in Delhi with my brother and sister for their admission to the University of Delhi. I happen to encounter this good man, Mr.Sharma, who is now the landlord of my folks.

    He owned a room that can easily accommodate two people. We paid the security, and the advances. But then he said he wouldn't allow my sister to share the room with my brother. I told him we are brothers and sisters. I even showed him their certificates bearing our dear parents names. He told me his side of the story. He told me that this has been his "practice and tradition".

    Besides he told me about "the girls from northeast". I was again in pain and shame. He thought my sister would be just like that too. He narrated stories, news, and all that crass that is designed to deliver the message that our sisters and girls are "cheap". Try to read all the meanings inside that word. That's the picture about our sisters.

    That is how we are understood to be. I took my turn to tell him my side of story. I began by telling him that the issue is not about "cheap girls from Manipur or north east". I told him it is rather about the diverse culture and the big gap we are living with. I told him we failed in the negotiation. So we are fed with assumptions that are plastered with deliberate distortions and exaggerations.

    I lost my temper in the hours of negotiations for the one room we are looking for. I raised my voice. His sons and daughters thought we were already in the middle of a fight. But he was an old man who has lived enough years to understand.

    He was once a student of Hindu College. He is a retired government servant. Besides he owned a house in the heart of the Capital of India. So I told him he ought to be different at least. Not like all the others. So break free. I told him about family.

    I told him we are from Manipur, but we come from a family where there are boys and girls, mother and father living together. So my brother and sister have also to stay together again, for all convenience sake too. He asked me silly questions, which I don't think is silly for him and his society. What will my family say? What will my neighbors say? "Actually you know", he said, "I never do that".

    In the long heated negotiation, I did not really care for the room anymore. I was taking the pain just to deliver my side of story which seem too new for him. And when the sun has set long ago, unexpectedly, he told me that he is impressed and convinced about my explanations.

    So he allowed us to take the room but on a long list of conditions over which I signed my name. Since then, everyday we live to prove and to reveal the immense values of humanity, which we also have been treasuring just like them.

    We live everyday to be acceptable and to be accepted like them. We are not supposed to make a mistake. But that's not human. Although that's expected of us. Otherwise we can be down and out anytime.

    If this popular belief is what the democratic population is hatching, the whole chapter of democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, secularism, etc., has to be redefined so that we can all come closer to understand its pragmatic aspect.

    Culture should act as the filter of our understanding. The present progress did not reflect anything towards that. The myth of superman and his superior culture cannot be a valid standard of acceptance where we are seen as the lesser, weaker, inferior, mortals who are expected to bow to their will.

    At such moments, I decried over the artificiality of the collectivity and grow doubtful over the possibility of the diverse unity. We don't seem to be representing ourselves anymore. Rather we represent the fixed image they shaped for us.

    This ought to be contested and challenged. With our march into the modern state as "equal citizens", we are bounded by the reality shaping power that is exercised in multiple ways: fixation of the image of a citizen, patterning a popular culture, containment of population movement, etc.

    That has been quite successful. Ask anyone if you and I look like one of those from the "mainstream". True, they say we did not look, act, react, or think like them. Mr. Sharma was right.

    He is brave enough to say that, " We failed to understand the culture of the people from the north east". There is a missing. There is a gap. These are not isolated examples.

    They are everywhere. Worst it lives in their minds. It will not leave





    The Clogged Space-III

    By:- David Buhril *


    A friend asked what "The Clogged Space" is all about. He is from down south of India. Science has nursed him during his graduation days. So I told him that it is about the need for a big bang when the clash of civilization occurs. That's the easiest explanation I can manage in a sentence.

    It doesn't make much sense to him, but I deliberately did that for the need of brevity. Brevity is essential. That's what I have been realising from the clogged space. Explanation is never always an answer. Sometimes I felt like an old whore. I cannot sell (explain) anymore.

    Worst they won't but it anymore too. Unfortunately, the old whore did not believe in delivering anything free. That's me, I suppose. So I was not very ready to repeat the long story for my friend that might go like another uncatched raindrops. This is not about a dwell in the island or the village.

    If anyone thinks it is about that, their sight can be the prodigal sons and daughters of the view from the pond. If not they must be racist. Otherwise, they thought that we are the unreasonable tribe who deserves this clogged space. But I must assert again that we are not lesser than anyone.

    We are a little fortunate not to be grouped into the class of 'untouchables'. Our food culture, they say, could have granted us that membership anytime for free. With our taste buds wetted and wedded to unique smells of 'Imagi Ngari' (fermented fish), fermented pork lard (sathu in Hmar) and fermented soybeans, they just cannot imagine any civilized palatable dish out of those smells.

    These are Home's signature smell for us. They are one thing that comes closest to defining Home for us. However the absence of understanding, of the need and importance of these smells, have been another big reason of our step into the clogged space. The smell is no longer about good or bad for us. It is already rooted to our historic culture.

    They already flow in our blood. We are eating them not in celebration of the glorious inheritance. But just because of the simple fact that we like them too much. If they expect us to omit the smell from our food, this is a big asking. How can we live chopping our tongue?

    The inheritance is from the past where we cherish the smell as the stamp of our popular food culture. They are one thing we dearly share in Manipur. Who knows, they might be the bonds that keeps us faithfully together in Manipur. Imagine Manipur without 'Imagi Ngari'.The picture of differences pops us with the people sharing just indifferences and really nothing. Maybe that is where our "unique history" begins.

    I remember the first day in Delhi's kitchen where I was told by my uncle to be very careful when burning the treasured fish I brought from Home. I burnt the fish feeling like I was doing something sinful. Something sexy …you know that kind of thing. Something not acceptable.

    Just because they set and said that it is not the right time and the right place anymore. But can it be like that? Should I allow it? Or should I let them win? I was hoping to feed myself with Home's food and then slumber off to dream about home. I was too sick for Home then. "Imagi Ngari" was supposed to be some sort of panacea.

    But I was feeling like Judas, for the silly reason that our landlady who lives in the first floor did not allow us to burn anything with those "dirty smells". She would call us "dirty children" which we used to miraculously tolerate.

    I must confess now that I succeeded in seducing her son to like the wonderful foods from Manipur with that smell for which he still dearly remember me. The poor boy has grown up. But he hasn't grown out to like what he likes. I remember giving a long lecture to his mother about the importance of what comes out than what goes in.

    She was right. She said that it is not their practice. They stuffed butter and sweets inside that is converted into flab. What come out are the thorns of evil caste and narrow class that we are confronting. Unfortunately it seeps inside Manipur too. They never seem to leave them and us free.

    Sir Charles J.Lyall, an Englishman and a scholar, seem to be in a very sorry state when he wrote in May 1908, that "… while Burma has accepted the mild and gentle religion of Buddha, and thus profoundly modified the original animistic cult, Manipur has been taken into the pale of Hinduism, and has imposed itself burdensome restrictions of caste and ritual from which its greater neighbor is happily free".

    The clutches clogged us in every way. Not the religion. But the sub-culture that has borne out of it. And out here, the foods that we so much love have become an instrument to corner us to that exotic group. I must tell you this again.

    When I joined JNU in the year 2000 for my masters programme, I was told of this beautiful and painful true story that took place in one of the hostels in JNU.The monotonous menu of the hostel was designed to suit the taste buds of the democratic population whose culture and every other thing is closely interrelated to it.

    For a relief, as well as to eat what he likes, Ibungo was burning his treasured Ngari, which he managed to export with great difficulty from Sanaleibak Manipur. To his surprise, his neighbor and floor mate knocked on his door to complain about the "foul smell." I was told they had a heated argument.

    But the dry fish was never save from further burning. So this man went to the warden to complaint about the fortunate smell. The warden and a good gang knock on Ibungo's door again. After another argument, Ibungo told them that he is already tired with the imposed "food imperialism".

    His final question to the warden will always remain beautiful. He asked, " Sir, now tell me, what smell is allowed in the hostel and what smell is not allowed?" If I were in the authority, I would have nominated him for receiving the bravery award in the coming Republic day.




    ********
    Goodbye brothers and sisters.
    Let us make our new future together.

  • Hailyang

    It is sad to hear that Arunachal is considered as a parasite to the country. India, which often boasts of its rich diversity of cultural heritage should be proud to have a culture which goes to the Tibetian origin.

  • Buru tapu

    Diganta where have you gone to hide;) ?
    I am waiting for your replies man.

  • Anonymous

    Recently saw 'Rambo 4' which though dramatised shows whats going on in Burma and Karens(Btw the 'Tatmadaw' does not even spare Burmese). Thanks to Mr Stallone and the world is taking notice. Think that takes care of the effectiveness of media in todays modern world. Its a war of stronger group "Burmese Junta" versus Karens. Karens are suffering because they are not independent. They were promised that by the British but the promise was not honoured - same as our Nagas. Today its more to do with economic independence. Of course in Burma its still old fashioned 'Gestapo type' military oppression. So if Rambo wipes out an entire Burmese battalion what can the US army do?

    Anyway what is important that all peoples in this region like Arunachal gain political independence so that they can develop and become economically independent too. Amalgamating with either India or China is disastrous. Look at the Yunnan province tribes in China assimilated forcibly into Han culture under Mao's policies. And you know about the bloodbath in Tibet.
    India will not accept us because we are different from its majority people and its not in our best interest. So I guess political freedom is the first step and unfortunately that does not come without some violence even though we are in the space and knowledge age today. Human minds are still primitively wired!

  • yasiyalow

    Rabble rouser !!! BE AWAY. We Arunachalees are happy, peaceful and contented lot and judging by the pace of development, I can confidently say that we caught up 5000 years of civilisation in one generation only because of peace and stability that was provided to us and also which has been hallmark of our society. We may trip sometimes, falter somewhere, slip somewherelse, but by God we are moving ahead. Violence begets violence, strife begets strife, peace begets peace. So,BE AWAY my dear ANONYMOUS, Be AWAY. Do not sow seeds of strife and violence among our peacefull and progressive people.

  • Buru

    Yasiyalow,
    mr/ms anonymous is entitled to his/her views--the www is a true democracy in that sense.To each person their opinion is nothing but the truth--and one cant bully them into submission but need to understand why they say so .Except for some peace and stability I dont think your other statements hold water.
    The contentment & happiness of the ignorant is what defines Arunachal--being one of the least literate among all Indian states.And how will you bother going to school if there are no roads ,no books, no mass media, no FOOD. Unbeleivable to many, a large number of Arunachalis eat only (i.e. no rice to eat)Tachi, Yam, Taro ,Sweet potato,wild vegetables, wild animals and the like for a large part of the year.Apparently some old people in remote areas are yet to see an automobile in their lifetime.Of those who get to eat rice, it is usually the rejected CPO rice.These people have no time to fill their stomach, less to study.And the GoI by keeping us caged inside three International Borders and putting secret legislations banning road building has created the perfect conditions for such misery.

    I am not sure what pace of development you are talking about? Other than our corrupt babus and politicians how many of our people have enough food to eat, safe water to drink, roads to travel on, schools with books and desks,access to independent newspapers and internet, safe modes of travel, connectivity within and outside state,health facilities of any sort, a proper house to live on , a productive occupation? Every year people in the roadless interior die in swarms like flies from common diseases like Diarrea, whooping cough ,measles etc etc because of non-existent hospitals and non-existent roads. This situation in turn has given rise to a curious but tragic consequence--Christian Missionaries from Kerala, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya , Tamil Nadu etc have filled in the vaccum left by the GoI --do you know these missionaries eat, sleep and live among these abandoned and isolated people in inaccessible areas like Kabak/ Parsiparlo/Tali/Koloriang/Sarli/Nacho/Tato/Yapuik/you name it ,providing them 'eductation'(we all know what),food, monetary help and Medical care.Consequently even as we pat ourselves on the back for 'development' the whole GoI-abandoned upper tract from Sarli to Upper Siang is now overwhelmingly Christian. If these missionaries preach politics tomorrow (as they are supposed to have done in insurgency-affected NE states) who is to blame for such a condition?Of course we are partly responsible, but the GoI has made sure that we cant elevate ourselves even if we try to .
    As they say man does not live by bread alone. So also man does not live by 'democracy' alone.Nor by sugary statements like 'our land of rising sun' when acts dont match words.
    I do however agree with you fully on the need to escape violence, even if means being ignorant of your rights.But it may not remain so forever--e.g.I have seen an Arunachalis blog who has made a clearcut agenda for independence.

    To Anonymous,

    I am not sure you are an Arunachali or from NE.I believe in the right of every nation to secede by referendum , but it may not be a wise decision at this stage .Small nations ,if from NE would become a dirty playground for the larger nations and will never be truly independent.Not to talk about economic viability. An increased amount of autonomy within India may be a good idea.

    If you are talking about AP--forget the idea of independence. Because the big powers India & China wont let you be. Besides it wont be viable at this moment.The only 'option' we have is to be with the side who holds it in territorial control--presently India but who knows what the future holds? But as Arunachalis our job is to make sure we are not made the sacrificial goats to Indian(or Chinese)strategic interests but ask what is due to us.This wont come about unless we get out of our ignorant stupor and false patriotism and make our voice heard .Otherwise the GoI will continue sacrificing us for 'national interst'or 'national security'.

  • rome

    @Yasiyalow...
    Your comments perfectly fits in the aspirations any Arunachali would keep, maybe for, sustained development much on the utopic reflections. But, can we really rate the developments we've seen in few last decades, sufficient enough for atleast the majority of arunachali?

    As for the view I had been keeping for years,(infact I still keep)the so much lauded developments has always been a localized one, utter impoverishment for many and abundance for the few.

    I felt, some part of your statements pertinent to paced developments, were indeed true, but that would be again in the context of comparatively few super rich people.

    Well, amassing wealth was a thing which was very humane, centuries ago and so is it now. So I don't see where or in which parameters our developments have been significant one.

    As one can see through the nature of comments in most of the arunachali blogs; they are vitriolic and much more on the anger side, maybe, our inability and imposed disabilities to change or contribute to the changing of system equation(in healthier context) seems to oversweep the sugary words one could keep for AP system of governance and the developments it has bargained us with.


    I agree with you, being peaceful in every actions of ours will get us peace, so much obvious... but still sounds elusive.

    Struggle for Independence, seems to me like a vague concept.

    Lets see how the drum rolls when we get the mantle to bring in some changes.

    Lets bring in social changes within the social circumference we've influence over.

    Rest will take its own course....

    :)

  • sangos

    Wops first off I profoundly apologise if I said something completely audacious as some of the reactions above..that was not my intention..Ok you can call me sangos..(i dont want to picked up by indian security forces huh!..they cant neway am in europe :)..btw way they look like sesame street barbie dolls compared to the Tatmadaw - Rambo again hey guys see that movie kinda mind blowing especially since its set in Burma)..ok am from the NE..so dudes I know very well where you are coming from...and i agree that currently we dont have many options..Angry dragon to the north..Crazy junta to the east..cant understand Bangladesh neway whether friend or foe..most importantly we are not much in the development thingy right..just google 'Chengdu' and see the images of that city..well folks thats under 300 km from arunachal border..dont blame india..we only got ourselves 'smart asses' to blame if we'r still in "stone ages"..i recently had my friends from norway and the usa to Ledo..(that is famous for WW2 and stilwell)..i cant believe that things are still like when the British left or worse as in 1942-45. What have we been doing for 60 years..it is so embarrassing! Dude i dont care which state you belong...its the same story all over this region(mind you I dont say NE...thats Indian terminology). Dont you think its ridiculous that we have absolutely zero trade and commmerce and other relations with countries with whom we share 99% of 4300 kms international boundary and are totally dependent on people who care two hoots connected by a chicken's neck. Seriously man if we continue in this screwed up fashion we would cut a sorry figure in the region. I am no China lover but they are moving like champs. India is doing ok too. You cant compare the two as they have different national mind sets. But forget others lets seriously look at ourselves today when the world has become small and see what is the best way for us. I may sound very aggressive and harsh...my apologies again.. but then my friends its important to make the right effort at least!

  • Buru

    Sangos,
    "btw way they look like sesame street barbie dolls compared to the Tatmadaw "

    maybe, but they do kill civilians just as happily(under AFSPA laws).

    "i recently had my friends from norway and the usa to Ledo..(that is famous for WW2 and stilwell)..i cant believe that things are still like when the British left or worse as in 1942-45. What have we been doing for 60 years..it is so embarrassing!"
    True enough. May I tell you that Ledo is one of the more 'developed' areas and you gotta see the interiors to see what is 'not developed'--provided you can walk on foot in leech and dam-dim fly infested forests for 1-2weeks continuosly--courtesy the Government of India.

    "Dont you think its ridiculous that we have absolutely zero trade and commmerce and other relations with countries with whom we share 99% of 4300 kms international boundary and are totally dependent on people who care two hoots connected by a chicken's neck"

    Absolutely pal! This has been my contention all along .For generations our ancestors have been doing commerce and social interaction with the neighbouring societies till one fine day a new country popped up and prevented us from any interaction with our sister societies at the pain of death--thus impoverishing us economically, socially, culturally and politically. To add insult to injury we are derided for our backwardness when we venture beyond the 'Chickens Neck' ,not to mention the racial treatment.

    "Seriously man if we continue in this screwed up fashion we would cut a sorry figure in the region."

    NE in general and AP in particular has already become sorry figures pal.


    ***
    On a related note, did you fellows see this bad joke in papers played by our Governor?
    >K.P. Narayana Kumar
    New Delhi: If they can’t travel in trains, they should at least be able to look at them.
    That would appear to be the reasoning of Arunachal Pradesh governor J.J. Singh, who has asked railway minister Lalu Prasad for some heritage locomotives and coaches that can be displayed at public parks in the state.
    It’s about time the man (or woman) in the street in Arunachal sees what trains look like, says Singh. <
    This reminds me of the infamous Marie-Antoinette statement: "If they cannot have bread, let them have cakes">

  • sangos

    This is so F***ING frustrating! The only way out I see is the capabilities of the super cool,educated and talented youth of this region. And we got to find a way to achieve our full potential considering our resources, by using the means at our disposal. Such as the media and world awareness. We already have a leverage because this region was in WW2...India was not. Many westerners know where we are coming from because of this fact. We got to have the attitude of Col Lewis A. Pick 1943,the American who built Stilwell Road quote "I have heard the same story all the way from the States; it’s always the same; the Ledo Road can’t be built. Too much mud, too much rain, too much malaria. From now on, we are forgetting this defeatist attitude; the Ledo Road is going to be built mud, rain and malaria be damned!" Thats the stuff our forefathers had when they toiled in this difficult region...lets bring that spirit back.

  • Abotani's Daughter

    A catch 22 situation, you either stay with the Chinese. They are developing a lot faster than the Indians and subject yourself to sunjugation like the tibetans or other ethnic minorities in a communist country.

    Not a better situation with the Indians either. Why would you want to cosy up to someone who considers you a chink, if you ask anyone in Northern India. They wouldn't know where Arunachal Pradesh is AP? Who lives there? They are still under the impression that it is inhabited by Neanderthals.

    Pros and Cons to both but I don't think rambo style violence is encouraging to developement of any kind. Most people are just too busy getting on with their daily life and not having to deal with such issues. That is the mindset of most arunachalis and yasiyalow has voiced that.

    " If you don't get to travel in trains the average arunachali should at least have a look at what they are"

    That is ironic and unfortunate to say the least considering that we have come out from the industrial age a long time ago and fast forwarded to the IT age.

  • Sangos

    My heart goes out to Arunachal. Till China gives up its claims especially Tawang the hearts of the people will always be gripped in fear..because anything could happen in the future. Arunachal will continue to suffer uncertainity which itself blocks human progress. Meantime there are major good news for the rest of NE. 1. Stilwell Road to be operational in two years joining up with entire SE Asia Highway 2. Railway link through Manipur to SE Asia Railway. 3. Road/River accces through Mizoram to Sittwe seaport for World Trade.
    Its a mixed bag for NE. But we have to continue pushing for the good stuff including complete settlement of Arunachal status...Cheers!

  • Sangos

    Am just back from a reality check tour vis-a-vis the claims made above and I would like to post my findings here with your permission. The situation of Arunachal is still very unclear because of the unsettled boundary issue between India and China. The game of incursions cat and mouse is still going on and this does not do any good to the relations between the two countries notwithstanding the increasing trade volumes. Really it must be tough to be an Arunachalee with such an added burden of psychological pressure.
    Moving on to the NE no 1. the Stilwell road is unlikely to happen because of security fears of India and Burma from insurgent groups and Kachins. The road in India side is NH 153 but Burma side is in very bad shape - just a dirt track! ESCAP will have to fund millions of dollars to make it an international highway.No. 2 the Railway link through Manipur is not happening because of the very bad security experience of India after opening the road through Moreh-Tamu to Kalewa. No 3. The Mizoram to Sittwe port link is running into rough weather because of Chinese interference. They want Sittwe for pumping oil to China. And Bangladesh has refused any transit to NE.
    The situation is very bleak and grim as usual for us. If you agree I think this is the time to examine ourselves to introspect what we did wrong. It very difficult to survive in the modern world cut-off from all our neighbours without any economic co-operation. But we have to be strong like our forefathers and find a way. We will have to find solutions to our own problems. We cannot expect outsiders to do things for us. Btw its fortunate that we have WW2 history in our home where men from faraway lands came here and turned 'Defeat into Victory'. When I told some American friends about the most amazing 'Stilwell Road' they were very surprised and inspired and want to know more. There are enormous challenges in this region of the world and though I dont like Stallone's way of solving them, I think I still like when John Rambo says "Live for nothing and die for something".

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