In recent news headlines, one might witness a lot of hype regarding the Armed Forces Special Powers Act(AFSPA) and Disturbed Areas Act (DSA). These two acts have been in effect in Kashmir and North-eastern states as these two regions have a high degree of disturbance due to the insurgency by cross-border militant groups and violence by local ethnic groups. These regions hold an important position in India’s foreign policy and national security. No country has two volatile and aggressive fronts as India has. In these areas Army personnel’s carry out counter-insurgency operations round the year under adverse weather and local conditions. In addition, they also carried out many humanitarian works like building schools, temples etc.
In the recent heavy earthquake in northeastern states, Sikkim individually faced a huge loss of life and wealth. Rescue operations by Indian Airforce and Army Aviation Units became difficult due to lack of communication and infrastructure facilities. Union Government. too conceded that it was due to the threat of 1962 like situation government, withheld its developmental projects in the region.
Apart from the abovementioned facts, the main reason behind the volatility of the North East region is the lack of Infrastructure, Education, Unemployment, Awareness, and Unavailability of Basic facilities and the most important political willingness. Many People out there bear a thought that they are different from Mainland India(Central, Southern, Western, Northen India.). Even their Political leadership lacks the will to clear the Misconceptions of the people & bridge the gap. Ethnic groups resort to violence to show their anger and frustration with the Government. It shows a serious leadership crisis. Since there is no one in the state to make people understand the reality. Since 65 years of the independence, the successive governments have neglected the developmental work. As usual in this case, too the same ghost of corruption and vote bank politics is responsible. Here we have democratic institutions but undemocratic politics.
Lack of Economic development and failure of State factor further escalates the violence.
During my study of different research papers on North Eastern states and interaction with few North East friends, I came across the fact that people of the NE states are also very sensitive regarding their identity. Whenever a state is formed its rules and regulations are imposed upon its residents. There are also a few groups who are reluctant to obey these rules. So they form their own ideology and resort to violence as an ultimate effort to Save their identity & Voice their Anguish. Regional political parties take benefit of this and start playing politics. Soon they give it a weird shape of political violence. Here one can term It as the Democratic Deficits are The Epicentre Of All Sorts Of Political Violence.
When talk of Manipur, it is one of the most volatile states. Post-Independence GoI had annexed it without its prior consent, that set the situation of the state More volatile. People of that particular state have suffered a lot due to oppression from both the separatists’ groups and Militant outfits. Regular Army search operations are also creating a problem in their lifestyle. They know that if Terrorism is cancer then the Army is like T-killer cells which can wipe it out. Many State and central establishments are being destroyed by militant groups pushing the people into perpetual suffering.
If AFSPA is removed the northeastern states and Kashmir will become a hub of extremism and militancy. Separatist groups misrepresenting the anger of people also demand the separate state. No person wants to get separated. They want a streamlined livelihood with economic development.
Due to lack of awareness and illiteracy, the local youths too get enmeshed in the violent acts and easily get motivated to join militant outfits as they see it as an opportunity to show their anger against the govt. and it is the wings. Human Trafficking, Drugs smuggling etc are the other consequences of the Volatility. Even if the government has lots of welfare schemes in its inventory for development but the local ethnic groups never let it get implemented. They always try to keep people away from development so that they could mold the mind of the people to demand separation. Apart from that militant groups implement their own tax system and different militant groups have their own tax system and local people made to pay it which is one of the Major sources of their revenue other being extortion and ransoms from businessmen and political leaders. The militant groups also abduct teenage boys, girls and make them “Child Soldier” fight for their cause.
The Solution lies in the creation of effective leadership which can reach the people, explain to them the reality, aware them of the fact. Work for the development of The people selflessly, make the way so that govt funds reach people, raise their economic and social standard and livelihood, and give a strong blow to the hostile ideologies of ethnic groups.
It is necessary to hold our culture and belief but to a certain extent. We Indians and our religion is humanity, this should be our approach, Above all they are responsible for their own development, as long as they allow themselves to get oppressed no govt can save them. Determination, patriotism and the will to develop is Needed. Otherwise, NorthEastern States will continue to remain volatile and the darkest corner of India.