‘Northeast yes, but we are eight different states’

February 19th, 2008 - 11:35 am ICT by admin  

By Azera Rahman
New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) The government should review its approach towards the northeastern region and, in order to solve the problems there, it should understand that each of the eight states is unique and so are their issues, said speakers at a conclave here. The National Conclave of North Eastern States for Access to Justice to Women of the Region saw members of the legal fraternity, social activists and students of the northeastern region emphasising that it’s time one realizes that all the eight states of the region cannot always be clubbed together.

“It’s high time people understand that all the eight states of northeast India are very different from each other. So it’s natural that the problems faced also differ from one state to the other and needs to be handled accordingly,” said Roland Krishing, district member secretary of the Manipur State Legal Services Authority.

“There is always a tendency to club the eight states - Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura and Sikkim - under one head, the northeast, even by the centre. This approach needs to change,” Krishing told IANS.

Similarly Meenakshi M. Rai, registrar general of the high court of Sikkim, said that its time all the eight states are looked at independently and not just clubbed together.

“True, we are a part of the northeast India but then each of the states with their large number of tribes are different from each other, be it in their language, culture or tradition. The problems that each state faces is also different from each other and therefore, the solutions should also be specific.

“So when there is a case of human trafficking somewhere in this region, it’s wrong to say that the entire region suffers from the issue. Sikkim, for instance, has no such problem,” Rai said.

Most of the students of the northeast who have been staying in the capital for higher studies and visited the exhibition in the conclave also voiced similar thoughts.

“It’s a mindset which we should endeavour to change. In the locality where I stay in north Delhi, people hardly know the names of the eight states in the northeast. We, because of our distinct features, are clubbed together as being from the northeast. That’s it,” said Akhum La, an under graduate student of the Delhi University, hailing from Nagaland.

Krishing went on to say that different problems plague different areas even within a state.

“Manipur has 29 tribes. Each with their own set of traditions and culture. Then the hilly areas of the state are dominated by the non-Manipuris and Nagas while the valley has more Manipuris.

“Therefore the kind of problems faced in different places, even within the state, is different and needs special approach,” he said.

“We want to sensitise the central government about these issues which will go a long way in solving the problems, militancy, health or others, faced by every state in the region. They need to review their approach in all the states,” Krishing told IANS.

The conclave, which started Monday, will go on till Feb 25 with one day dedicated to each state of the region.

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