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Social change needed to solve NC Hills crisis
Published on 1 Aug. 2009 12:16 AM IST
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“Deploying armed forces in NC Hills is not a permanent solution to the bloodshed and hatred. What we need is social change. The Gandhian principle of non-violence can promote goodwill and restore peace in the trouble-torn region,” said noted Gandhian Dr Natwar Thakkar at the day-long dialogue program on ‘In Search of Peace in NC Hills: A Dialogue on Ethnic Reconciliation and Peace’ held in Guwahati Thursday. The program was organized by the Northeast Policy Alternatives (NEPA) in collaboration with the Northeast India Political Science Association (NEIPSA). Dr Thakkar added,“The multi-cultural ethos of NC Hills is at stake with societies and communities clashing with one another. Society needs a change…people have to be made aware of the fact that all the different tribes and communities are part of Assam’s cultural pot.” Anthropologist and Arunachal University former vice-chancellor Professor AC Bhagawati echoed similar views.“The State Government has taken steps to stop the theater of violence in NC Hills but the violence keeps erupting every now and then. For lasting solution to the bloodshed and hatred, civil society has to undergo a change” said Professor Bhagawati. Zeme Council representative K Zeme said,“Dimasa and Zemei Naga people have lived in harmony for years. Militants are responsible for sowing the seeds of hatred in the region. The district administration failed to realize the magnitude of the problem when the ethnic clashes had first taken place. If concrete steps had been taken at that time, maybe the violence would not have flared to this extent.” The State Government should take steps to educate the society and to start a peaceful dialogue between the two communities or the violence would continue to simmer in the region, said K Zeme. According to a report posted by Sinlung on its website, representatives of various Zeme student and social organizations clarified that unlike what had been reported, the Zemei Nagas do not want to be a part of Nagalim.“We are part of Assam and will always remain so,” said the representatives. Representatives of both Zemei Naga and Dimasa organizations said that both communities wanted an end to the violence and hatred and the Government should play a pro-active role to resolve the differences between them. Mediapersons Samudra Gupta Kashyap and Wasbir Hussain, IGP (Law and Order) Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta and former Assam Chief Secretary HN Das were also part of the dialogue program.

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