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Bandh season

20 Oct. 2014 12:34 AM IST

With winter season which also heralds festivities, travel and celebrations, for people of Nagaland and Manipur, it also heralds the spate of bandhs in Karbi Anglong district. It was therefore, not surprising that another bandh has been called by one among several organisations in Karbi Anglong district. The Joint Action Committee for Autonomous State (JACAS) has announced a 1000-hour bandh effective from 5 a.m. on October 27 to 9 p.m. on December 7. , 9 p.m. in support of its twin demands- resumption of talks with central government on the issue of creating an Autonomous state encompassing the two 6th Schedule Hill Districts of Assam and introduction of a bill in Parliament for creation of the autonomous state in the winter session within the ambit of article 244 (A) of Indian Constitution. The bandh will definitely mar the festive mood as commodities will become scarce and only push up prices higher. True normal life in the two states will be adversely affected, in case the bandh is not called off. JACAS has expressed regrets for the inconvenience that would be brought upon the people of both states. Strikes and bandhs called in Karbi Anglong affects both Nagaland and Manipur. It does not affect other parts of Assam, especially Dispur, the seat of power and capital of Assam. Of course, the organisations in Karbi Anglong understand that despite the spate of bandhs which have adversely affected the lives of their people, the message has not percolated the skins of those in power at Dispur. The fact remains that Dispur is too far to actually feel the pinch of the bandhs. Though JACAS may have a point, unfortunately Dispur does not have the inclination nor the interest to respond to the bandhs. How the demand for an autonomous state that includes two 6th schedule hill districts would be achieved by the bandh which would have no impact on Assam, is being seen as the only option? The government of India should address this issue with serious intention so that there is a meeting ground. The demands of the Karbi people is not undemocratic nor impracticable because, when smaller a states like Telangana could be carved out of Andhra Pradesh and earlier Chhattisgarh from Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand from UP, Jharkhand from Bihar etc; creating an autonomous state for Karbi Anglong cannot be illogical. Ignoring such democratic aspirations unfortunately only results in militancy and which invites worse problems for the people, the state and the country. This is not to suggest that taking up arms is a legitimate option but that such demands need to be addressed with political objectivity. On the other hand, it is time that the spate of bandhs in Karbi Anglong for whatever reasons, should be restrained as it not only affects other states who are not involved with the issue but affects the progress of the local people. Organisations that spearhead the statehood demand, have to address the issue politically and through acceptable modes instead of opting only for bandhs etc. It is hoped that the 1000-hour bandh would be called off and steps undertaken to take the issue to other fora.

   
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