Monday, June 26, 2006

Terrorism in the N-E

The government of India is contemplating whether they should bring ULFA to the dialogue table inspite of the recent blasts in Guwahati which were allegedly triggered off by the ULFA.The ULFA's representative in the talks with the government Ms. Indira Goswami has already threatened to pull out of the talks if they continue with their violent ways.Everyone knows that the ULFA enjoys support amongst the backward classes of Assam.The poorest of the poor,who sadly,are in a large majority in the North East,thanks largely to the lack of development efforts on the part f the union government over the last 50 years, do support the insurgents to a certain extent.No insurgent movement can last for as long as 20-25 years without any grassroot or local support.The government cannot hide behind the hogwash that the ULFA is supportd by China,Bangladesh,ISI in a clandestine manner.Yes,it is true that they are supported by the enemies of India who many times are disguised as friends.But, India has itself to blame for this mess.There were hardly any developmental efforts in the N-E after independence.Some of the factories which were set up by our erstwhile colonial rulers in that region,were blowm up by the patriots led by Netaji Subhash Chandra.These short sighetd measures have only caused harm to the Indian public.Our foreign policy has been a complete failure to say the least.Bangladesh,which once upon a time was an ally,after the 1971 liberation from Pakistan,has turned hostile due to the lack of vision on the part of the government.The Indian government like the US likes to act like th big brother in the subcontinent.We already have a lot of enemies within the country.The last thing we need is hostile neighbours.Thanks to our foreign policy,or should I say the lack of it,even that gap has been filled.
We need to win back the trust of the people of the N-E if we are to win this battle against the terrorists.The Indian army alone can't tackle terrorism in places like Kashmir,N-E etc.We have no doubt over their capabilities,but there has to be a realistic view over this.The army is doing the job of the police.The army is always for fighting an external enemy either on foreign land or on the homeland against foreigners.In this case they are being forced to fight against their own people.
The people of the N-E have lived in abject poverty for many years.They are our own people.We need to win back their hearts.This can't be done by guns alone.The government has to remove the enemy from within- which in this case is poverty.Once this is taken care of the external enemy can be taken care of either by dialogue or by force,if necessary.


Blogger Vivek said...

beautiful post. Rather hard hitting as well. I would like to comment that shouldn't the ULFA also take up some of the blame for the lack of development in Assam in particular and in the North-East in general. After all, they have always said that they want an independent state, and haven't even tried to consider autonomy along the lines of that accorded to J & K.
Again the Assam Accord signed by the late Rajiv Gandhi did provide for some development, but then taali ek haath se hi bajti nahin hain. The creation of IIT Guwahati, the Numaligarh Oil Refinery are all initiatives the Government of India undertook.
I agree that we need to win the trust of the people. We need to convince them of the need to handle this matter in a democratic and sensible manner.
More than foreign policy, I guess it has been our Gangetic-plain centric development policy that is to blame for our troubles in the North-East. A small murder in Kanpur becomes news for most of the television media, but a demonstration on a serious issue in the North-Eastern States is somehow ignored.
We have to get our priorities straightened out before we embark on any endeavour for peace. Else our efforts will be in vain as peace will be lost again should the current attitudes persist.

1:50 AM  
Blogger Pranav said...

Well Vivek I do agree that the ULFA also is to blame for this mess.But, look at the cadre that ULFA has.They are all Indians.They aren't mercenaries from other countries.They are our own people.Problem is that the N-E is not imporatant for any of the political parties because most of it is covered by forests and very few people live over there.As for the refinery and IIT,those are some positive steps which have been taken by the government.Hope they do give some positive results

4:03 AM  
Blogger Neeraj said...

Hey Pranav,
Can't describe in words how proud you make me feel by writing about such issues. Too few of us(except Geography students!) really think or bother about the North East. Great job. Keep up the good work!

Regarding Bangladesh, we might be a bit hard on the government which has tried its best to sell the idea of economic prosperity to Bangladesh in return for peaceful relations. It's this strategy that has worked with Sri Lanka and perhaps Nepal too. For some reasons, it hasn't in Bangladesh(I admit I am not an expert in foriegn relations!)

As regards our experience in dealing with the Naxalite problem has shown, government handouts to reduce poverty have often percolated to anti-national elements thereby strengthening their hold.

Regards the North East, we need to integrate them into the Indian economy and make them stakeholders in the Indian state. Promoting industrial investment in the north eastern states is a step in the right direction. We need to identify ways to tap local skills so as to make them saleable in the conventional marketplace..

Funny how economics props up in solutions to most problems!

11:32 AM  
Blogger Pranav said...

Thanks a lot Neeraj.I do agree that economics is the solution to most of these problems.But,in Inida the rural-urban didvide is really a big one.Wat we all see in Bombay,Delhi,Bangalore is just the artificial growth or shine which is projected as "Brand India" or whatever.The real India is in the villages.The backward states like UP,Bihar,North Eastern states,Chattisgarh,Jharkhand will show us the real picture of the progress India has made.Most of these states are either hit by Naxalism or by other extremists like the ULFA,Naga extremists,BODO's etc.I feel the govt needs to bridge this gap between urban and rural India.As for our relations with our neighbours.Wat can I say?Pakistan-forget it.China-Today a friend but tomorrow...? Sri Lanka- remember the LTTE.I better not talk about who trained them.Nepal-we just didn't help them with the Maoist problem which has also afftected most of our states.Myanmar-its a haven for drug lords and is mainly controlled by the Chinese.Who's left Neeraj?Bangladesh was once a friend but now it is a bitter enemy.Its the attitude of the govt. of India that has made us our enemies.Our govt always tries to talk democracy with these states.They always keep harping about the "brilliant" and "vibrant" democratic society we have.Wat crap man.We all know that just because we have voting rights doesn't mean we are a democrartic society.Even today the people are afraid of speaking out against a leader of any political party.We can't openly critricise any leader the way they do in US.So wat right do we have to sell "democracy" to our neighbours.We must learn to keep away from the internal affairs of our neighbours and stop acting like a big brother.This will help us gain more friends rather than enemies

2:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as long as there are muslims in india and as its neighbours, india is going to have many, many problems!

islam, the so called "religion of peace" is a problem. to be fair, not all muslims are bad, but a lot of them are.

10:15 AM  
Blogger aruni kashyap said...

The discussion here is quite good.Just one thing-everyone talks about the violence perpetrated by ULFA, buyt what about the reasons behind this agitation?-no one talks abou them.

4:14 AM  
Blogger Pranav said...

Aruni,I have already mentioned in my post that the main problem in N-E is poverty,unemployment and lack of development.As for tackling those issues the main idea behind me writing the post was to highlight the lack of governance in the NE.

10:05 AM  

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