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Now that we know the symptoms, we can get the antidotes By Kapil Arambam Simple reason: we live in an insurgency-infested IT'S NO MORE A SECRET HOW THE region and are seemingly more militarised than our union of India is averting the Northeast to keep the despised neighbour. region as a frontier. The blatant error of its nationReduce the expenditure in recruiting policemen building is best illustrated in the anarchic Manipur, and bringing in paramilitary forces. Only a where the contest for power between the military few people have confidence in them anyway. and the militants is playing havoc with the social, Instead the money can be invested in providing political and economic development processes. The quality education and establishing accountable solution or even the pursuit of a way out seems next governmental institutions. The fear psychosis to impossible. of the people should be obliterated so that Over the years, we have been observing several there exists a condition conducive for taking up symptoms of this malaise called state. Politically constructive work. so incorrect these terms are, but we cannot help It has become a cliché that the AFSPA 1958 anti-establishment ideologies taking roots; the should be scrapped, seeing that it has failed to negative progress of mutually exclusive histories of contain the issue whilst bailing the military out different groups of people; having redefined colonial from gross human rights violation. And why are occupation and military suppression; and other these rebel groups reluctant to sit for talks? They disgusting social mores. are hesitant to come forward and at the same time The government is always at fault in these the people, with multiple self-interests, are also regards. Its employees are a disgruntled lot; it cannot disinclined about talking sense into the social unrest. utilise funds properly from New Delhi; and above Disinclined and neutral are the people, simply all, the leaders are spineless. But at the end of the because bullets are so cheap. day, it is like pointing our It obviously calls for policy With so little space between one fingers at ourselves for improvements to ease the crisis and another, it is pertinent it is only us who elects that the people should ever be on these representatives. We geographical constraints and have to have an attitude what we need is the attention on guard. We will be more proactive that we cannot be taken action-oriented specific measures this way than being reactive that we always have been. When the for granted. It should not – the implementation of which state is incapacitated, we have only be for the name's would be measurable and feasible the additional burden from the sake that we live in a individual level in bringing a radical democracy. change and justice in the society. For that, we need This state is no master of its own destiny — the to fine-tune our consciousness. reasons, though, are not far to seek. One of the most Now we are back to our debate with the pervasive feedbacks is its location, being situated mainland. At face value, there is a confusion towards the eastern end of the hostile Himalayan regarding the political solution in the state. For ranges. It obviously calls for policy improvements us, it is the end of insurgency whilst it means a to ease the geographical constraints and what we totally different thing to the non-state players. As need is the attention on action-oriented specific such, we need to redefine the controversial Merger measures — the implementation of which would be Agreement. The ball is in New Delhi’s court. measurable and feasible. And now, the moot point The textbook approach to claim India as the is not in diagnosing more symptoms; rather it lies largest democracy is as flawed as the greed-driven in finding the antidotes. Yet, if things were that easy Indian Premier League. Now the concept of frontier we might not have been suffocating in this melee. must change from a mere boundary area to one of Earlier this year, the Senior Citizens' Society its own land. A prospective future power it is, there made a dramatic announcement to bring the is little doubt about its sustainable resources — apart conflicting parties on the table but they had to from heavy military deployment — to maintain retreat awkwardly after a diktat from one of the a tiny state like Manipur. Otherwise, we will ever rebel groups. Simultaneously, what the state has be miserable and which in turn will have a direct been doing to end this problem is akin to making impact on the national prestige. the Burmese military hide its tails between its legs.

Antidotes.indd 2-3

7/28/10 4:25:54 PM

Antidotes by Kapil Arambam  

It's no more a secret how the union of India is averting the Northeast to keep the region as a frontier. The blatant error of its nation-bui...

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