Any post-exodus strategy, a spark neglected burns the house
After the nation witnessed one of the worst ever exoduses - of the people of North East in mainland India - perhaps the second such after the pre-independence run for life, and much ruckus was created over it in the Parliament, the issue is set to die a natural death.
The mass exodus was triggered by rumours planted in the media that of late had reared its ugly head with train commuters being victimised. But who orchestrated it, why and how? What its ramifications are and how to prevent such incidents in future need to be probed thoroughly.
Khanapurti usually is the ultimate end of any issue irrespective of its magnitude, or at best the GoI takes the pretext of constituting commission after commission to hide its omissions.
The endeavour Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki in sending a three-member goodwill mission headed by MP Takam Sanjoy to Bangalore, Mysore, Hyderabad, Pune and Mumbai is praiseworthy.
The ongoing visit of Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D Ashoka to Guwahati to persuade north east people to return, and the proposed address to the deputy resident commissioners of north east governments in Guwahati on Wednesday by goodwill team members Sanjoy, Delhi Arunachal Bhawan Deputy Resident Commissioner KN Damo and Congress leader Likha Maj, besides Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Singh's close aide Asish Dua, is equally appreciable for it would help them learn about the common problems of the region vis-à-vis the mainland.
The meeting could suggest the setting up of a national monitoring cell immediately with branches in various parts of the country, including one at Guwahati as the first step.
Are the mandarins of the North Block, particularly the 46 joint secretaries, all of them IAS officers without any basic training or knowledge of policing, in deep slumber? Only the voice of Shambhu Singh (in-charge of North East) is heard. What actions have they suggested to prevent such problems in future? Have they even given a second thought about doing something or, are they dozing off in their cosy air-conditioned rooms, waiting for the political bosses' direction? Have they forgotten their moral obligation to the nation?
I would like to suggest the constitution of a committee headed by former chief election commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh (from Meghalaya), former Bangalore police commissioner-turned-politician H.T. Sangliana (from Mizoram) and Delhi Joint Commissioner of Police Robin Hibu (from Arunachal Pradesh) to go to the crux of the problem, find the causes and suggest remedial steps for an institutionalized system to monitor and put a tab, so that divisive forces are caught off guard before they venture another such attempt.
I suggest the three names, for all of them belong to the north east and have proved their professionalism as upright and courageous officers in their respective fields. As they have in-depth knowledge of the socio-cultural and political set ups of the region, they would be the best to recommend steps to remove the divide between the north east and the rest of the country.
Though the exodus was highly disturbing, it proved the contribution of the people of the north east to nation building. Therefore, it would be advisable to have a national policy to remove regional disparity on any line for a pan-Indian identity to emerge in the greater interest of India to achieve the much aspired developed nation status by 2020, as envisioned by former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
(The article is authored by Mr. Pradeep Kumar, Editor-in-Chief of the Arunachal Front. The words expressed in the above article are his own.)