Editorial

Refocus on NE

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/8/2022 12:35:23 PM IST

 Though the image of the north east as seen through the prism of those living beyond the Siliguri chicken’ neck is not very flattering; yet there is no denying the fact that ethnic clashes, political aspirations, poor economic foundations and violent militancy has come to symbolize the disturbed situation in the North East, rightly or wrongly. The media propagation may not necessarily be all factual but coverage over decades has resulted in the north east syndrome where the national media has yet to get over romanticizing militancy or in plain words, sensationalizing militant violence to grip the imagination of readers and viewers. True that highlighting the happenings may be an objective but it is only a part. The fact is that news persons have very little interest or time to study and understand the problem factors that have in one way or the other, given rise to various forms of militancy. As a consequence, the media perception has resulted in creating the resultant image of the region as militant infested. The Congress which has ruled the region’s states for the longest period since Indian independence, was grappling with insurgency that hit the region like wildfire and making peace and progress very difficult to achieve. Insurgency in the region during the turbulent 50s through to late 60s was fuelled by the involvement of Pakistan’s ISI in training, arming and abetting with various armed outfits of the region. After the dismemberment of erstwhile East Pakistan at the decisive 1971 war when India defeated the Pakistani army both in the east and west, the main source for weapons and training virtually ended. However, ethnicity, aspirations and a system that could not mitigate the disparity among various communities continued to plague the region as these sustained militancy. The pendulum swung towards peace after various accords were signed with the AASU, MNF, ULFA and Tripura rebels during the Congress governments in the 90s. The groundwork for various infrastructural developments could be ushered under the emerging peaceful environment. From being the ‘Neglected States of the Nation’ to ‘Look East’ (UPA) to ‘Act East’ (NDA), the years since 2014 have been transformational for North East India. Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the first Prime Minister to spend a night in the region. His tenure was dotted with multiple initiatives that aimed to connect North East India through infrastructure and technology, including the conception of a separate ministry, a non-lapsable pool of funds for the North Eastern Region, inclusion of Sikkim as a member of North Eastern Council and a dedicated department for the development of North East region. Unfortunately, after he demitted office, the region once again suffered from the tyranny of distance. Although the UPA enjoyed significance political presence in the region, projects suffered from delays, cost escalation, and complete policy negligence. The NDA under Modi has combined its skill of renaming old schemes with announcing a plethora of projects most of which are still under process. Perhaps, there could be a marked change if politicians in the region refocus on serving the needs of their people and managing the affairs of the state by ensuring good governance and that all live within the bounds of the constitutional law.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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