Dr Samujjal Bhattacharjee, Chairman of North East Students’ Organisation, has expressed that there is a lack of unity among communities in North Eastern region and it is now time to reach out to each other.
Speaking on the last day of the just concluded 24th General Conference of Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) at Pfutsero town recently, Dr Samujjal stated that the rest of the country abuses the North East as a region where the ethnic groups lack unity while the Government of India considers it as an advantage for their administrative purposes.
It is refreshing to note some conciliatory tones expressed by a person who is advisor to AASU, a student organisation, widely regarded as the root cause for tribal alienation in Assam and rise of ‘Assamese Chauvinism’ has made such remark.
Lack of unity in North Eastern states, which resulted in tiny states in North East India with miniscule number of MPs representing Indian Loksabha is supposed to be one reason why Government of India has not given importance to this region resulting underdevelopment. Underdevelopment has direct consequence in unemployment and the insurgency.
While many tribes in Assam as well as other North Eastern states are demanding separate states, an united North East makes more sense with may be autonomous districts under sixth schedule to all ethnic communities. This address the apprehension of losing ethnic culture, provide self governess and then present united North East India at national level with 25 strong MPs.
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Alleging that the only policy adopted by the Centre for the region is to identify the disunity of the indigenous communities. He, however, said, “If we reach out to one another we can effectively frustrate the designs of the Government of India”.
“Let there be no doubt that the corridors of power in Delhi are empty of concerns for the NE as most of the so-called national parties are not even aware of the boundaries of NE,” he stated.
He added that such attitude can be explained with the only single broad gauge railway in the North East while all the other States of the country have double broad gauge railway track. The poorest railway condition in the North East has continued to cost very high upon living conditions of the cities and towns and villages of the region, he said.
The essential commodities are transported by huge number of trucks with continued damage or loss throughout the year while in all other States the essential commodities are transported by railways at much cheaper rates, he lamented.
The NESO leader went on to state that the Centre is pumping money into NE not to ensure development but to corrupt the socio-political life. He alleged that even many IAS officers coming to the North East do not work wholeheartedly but they work with the sole objective to be rich. He, however, said “We need to blame ourselves too” while pointing out that the youth today go for easy money at the cost of work culture and if we do not earn by hard work, ultimately the outsiders will conveniently subdue us.
“Without the economic power in our hands, mere political fight cannot preserve our identity,” he maintained.
Expressing that the North East is a mosaic of many cultural and indigenous objective, he said the people of the region should reach out to one another to maintain and further strengthen our values. Assam Tribune