Improving tribal relations in NE India

The Northeast India is a home of tribals with similar problems and aspirations. The socio-political and economic advancement is in a progressive stage of development.

As such, in course of their multifarious pursuit of interests, clashes come on the way hindering smooth relations among themselves.

In the past, various agitations and economic blockades by tribal groups in Assam to meet their demands had affected the states of Nagaland and Manipur. The basic disturbing aspects of our region require proper examinations in identifications of their basic root causes and find out better options in lieu of economic blockades or self-inflicting trouble in our regions.

It is an accepted fact that there is no better option for the Northeast people to live together in peace and harmony than anything else.

We all deserve good relations in the common interest of our people and in humanity. Accordingly, promotion of good neighborly relations should be the focus of our people.

However, there are some irritants which create problem to the Northeast people.

Firstly, as long as the Naga tribes are left attached to the state of Manipur, differences between the Meities and Nagas of Manipur are bound to exist on various counts including integration of the Naga people.

This issue will hang on till the final Naga political settlement with the government of India. Secondly, whether the Naga areas of Manipur are integrated with the state of Nagaland or not, the problem of colonial legacy of boundary demarcation inherited by the present Manipur government is likely to continue till the Nagas have their own separate administrative unit apart from the state of Manipur. This compromising solution if provided will generate better relations in the region.

As a matter of fact the government of India has the constitutional provisions to re-organize the state. It is true that the national leaders and political stalwarts like Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel were against states reorganization on communal lines.

However, situation has changed and the needs of the country are also required to change from time to time. Needless to say, two third members of the parliament can make suitable constitutional amendments as in where necessary. This infact requires the political will of the government of India.

The problems besetting the tribes of Assam specially the Karbi-Anglong and the Bodos are bound to be solved early. The political stand of ULFA may be worked out and settled amicably or such regional problems should remain pending for decades to come disturbing the people of the region.

In final analysis, the solution of the socio-political unrest in the North-east is with the government of India.

By Dr. Piketo Achumi, Asian College, Sovima.