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Women Empowerment and Self Help Group: An Analytical study of Constraints in Karbi Anglong District of Assam

By Sanjay Kanti Das

Empowerment in the context of women’s development is a way of defining, challenging and overcoming barriers in women’s life through which she increases her ability to shape her life and environment. Self Help Group-Bank Linkage Programme (SBLP) of the government of India is designed to alleviate poverty and empower women of the country. However, the success of this SBLP is often debatable. Today large scale disparities in the implementation and proliferation of SHG formation are major concern. A few studies are made on impact assessment of SBLP in Northeast India. This study focuses on the constraints in empowerment of Karbi women in Karbi Anglong district of Assam.

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Hoineilhing Sitlhou, Deconstructing Colonial Ethnography: An Analysis of Missionary Writings on North East India, New Delhi: Ruby Press, 2017

Reviewed by Ngamtinlun Touthang


Deconstructing Colonial Ethnography: An Analysis of Missionary Writings on North East India by Hoineilhing Sitlhou is an attempt to critically analyse the writings of protestant Christian Missionaries in North East India during the 19th-20th centuries. The western missionaries along with the colonial administrators left rich written lit- eratures on local cultures, society and history which continue to play an important role in defining the history of the people of North East, especially tribal communi- ties. Earlier writings on Christian missionaries, especially by Christian writers, fo- cused mainly on how western missionaries arrived and spread the gospel in the North East, a region largely occupied by, as they termed it, ‘barbaric’, ‘savage’ and ‘uncivilised’ tribes. Local church leaders often compared the coming of Christianity as the arrival of ‘light’ to this dark world. Missionaries were considered God sent to save the ‘heathen’ people of North East.

Extremist Upsurge in Bangladesh Politics

By Rajendra Prasad Patel

Bangladesh is the third largest Muslim populated country in the world and is known for its strongly secular and syncretic culture, robust socioeconomic growth, booming trade and worker remittances, and among the most success- ful rural credit networks in the world. But the country is facing severe chal- lenges from violent Islamist groups because the role of Islam in Bangladeshi politics is high contested, and it has been a focal point, and polarized political climate and institutional repression of Islamic parties have enhanced radicalization dynamics and country has become an emerging breeding ground for violent extremism. Over the past years, 30 people belonging to minority communities, mainly Hindu have been murdered by machete wielding radi- cals. They had also not spared Muslim secular writers, publishers, and bloggers for raising their voices against extremist ideology. These murders accompa- nied the startling news of ISIS recruiters arrested in Dhaka. Bangladesh has a long history of political and electoral violence that have shaped its political culture, protest, boycott and intense oppositional politics are defining a fea- ture of Bangladesh‘s authoritarian and democratic era. The two political events are closely interconnected for the recent rise of violent extremism in Bangladesh, first, the elimination of the caretaker government and secondly, implementation of the war crime tribunal. And that has led to political con- flict between the Awami League (AL), and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has resulted in high level of violence and brutal state response. This paper will analyze the major causes of the rise of extremist groups and democratic governance, and inclusive politics can help mitigate the risk of rising extrem- ism in Bangladesh.

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Plight of Truck Drivers at NH 37 during Economic Blockade in Manipur: A Grave Concern of Human Security

By I. Yaipharemba

Manipur is a land lock state which depends on existing National Highways for importing essential commodities and transportation of materials entirely rest with the incumbent trucks. Highways remain only passes through which, in addition to essential commodities, traveller undertake bus journey to train station like Dimapur or Guwahati. The Tupul-Imphal train line is at construc- tion phase and will take some more years to complete. Jiribam has also lim- ited train service. On air connectivity, Imphal has an airport that is well con- nected with metro cities but bringing essential commodities by aircraft is very limited, as a result highways are very important for the state for flow of com- modities. In a nutshell, average Manipuri depends on road for journey to other states of Northeast and commodities required. By its significance nature ex- isting Highways are the life line for people of Manipur irrespective of Hill or Valleymen. Due to fragile ethnic-political conditions that prevail, the state is prone to bandhs and economic blockades initiate by parties for one or another reason. During economic blockade, vehicular traffic at the Highways is to- tally shut down by supporters and violent attacks at good laden trucks and drivers frequently take place. The truck drivers suffer the most when assaults were inflicted during the journey. The assaults generally damage or destroy vehicles and cause financial issue for the drivers. During normal days, essen- tial items are brought at NH 2 Dimapur-Imphal which is short and well con- structed as compare to NH 37. The NH 37 for Manipur is 220 km in length and is single lane with severe road conditions. However, due to frequent and prolong blockade, essential materials including petroleum products, medical items, eatable etc are brought through NH 37 Jiribam-Imphal with police pro- tection regardless of violent assault from blockade supporters and bad road. The truck drivers thus, play a live saviour role in the critical situation by bringing goods to capital city Imphal, facing numerous odds. Time and again, during blockade while escorting, there is wide presumption that police pro- tection are inadequate and insensitive. Drivers feel the security cover is not enough and more materials can be transport in, if frequency of security convoy is increase. The study attempts to establish the complexities suffer by truck drivers integrating the fundamental of Human Security that concerns with individual safeguarding. This paper is a noble effort of recounting the relentless efforts of unrewarded truck drivers at the mad road ahead.

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Effectiveness of Health Workforce and Manpower Deployment in Health Care Institutions in North-East India

By Farhat Hossain

The effectiveness of skilled health workforce is most influencing factor to the health status of the population and its ratio to population across space and regions. This paper explores the availability of health care institutions as per Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) norms and the nature of shortfall and surplus of health workforce in accessing health care services to the people of North-East India. The region is considered to be one of the economically depressed regions in India and has low health workforce-population ratio and unskilled due to absence of training centres. Health Care Institutions consists of Sub-Centres (SCs), Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Community Health Centre (CHCs) that provide complete health care delivery to the population. The deficit of health care institutions is very high in densely populated states like Assam and it is favourable in lower density states i.e. Arunachal Pradesh. The numerical deficits are greatest in case of specialized doctors and numerical surpluses realised for Para-medical staffs which is likely to affect adversely the utilization of health care services in CHCs in North-East India. The co-efficient of variation for health workforce shows that the regional disparities is widening and worsening because of uneven health workforce availability in the health care institutions.

Key Words: Health workforce, Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS), Sub-Centres (SCs), Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Community Health Centres (CHCs)

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Migration from North Eastern Region to Bangalore: Evidences from Census Data

By Marchang Reimeingam

Migration rate from North Eastern Region (NER) to the rest of India (ROI) in general and to Bangalore in particular has increased. The rate of migration from NER to Karnataka has declined steadily; however, to Bangalore it has slightly increased. Urban people from NER show higher tendency to migrate to Bangalore which is not the case for migrants from NER to ROI. Migration level from NER in Karnataka as well as in Bangalore is relatively insignificant. Migrants from NER are not choosing Karnataka as migration destination as before. Migrants from NER in Bangalore and Karnataka were dominated by males. Conversely, females dominated migration from NER in ROI. Males, unlike females, continue to prefer and choose Bangalore as one of their favourite migration destinations. NE people, particularly males, migrated to Karnataka and particularly to Bangalore mainly for education and employment. Females migrated mostly due to family migration. Migration from NER to Bangalore for employment and education has increased while migration along with their family has declined recently.

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Hira Moni Deka, Politics of Identity and the Bodo Movement in Assam. New Delhi: Scholar World, 2014

[Book Review] Hira Moni Deka, Politics of Identity and the Bodo Movement in Assam. New Delhi: Scholar World, 2014.

Reviewed by Anup Das

The Northeast region of India has witnessed political movements in the form of either demands for cessation or separate autonomy among different ethnic groups. Each ethnic group express and asserts one’s cultural identity in order to claim a territory and political control over natural resources. The present book attempts to provide a holistic understanding of the Bodo movement in Assam which is demanding for a separate state within the democratic framework of India. The author focuses on different issues that have fuelled or motivated the identity movement among the Bodos since the colonial period. She systematically traced the different phases of Bodo identity assertion beginning from the colonial period to the post independence era. The Bodo identity assertion movement is divided into four different phases. Altogether the book has six chapters.

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Agricultural Practices and the Changing Pattern of Land Holding System from Pre-Colonial to Colonial Manipur

By Moirangthem Monica Devi

In contemporary Manipur, agriculture is the main economic base of the rural society. In earlier times too, such was the economic scenario as observed from various sources and accounts. Both the valley people and the hill tribes were agriculturalists even though their modes of cultivation varied. As the society was predominantly a subsistence based economy, land especially agricultural land was a big part of life. Therefore, the paper will examine the various modes of cultivation prevalent in Manipur. The paper will also be examining how the agricultural land of the kingdom was controlled and the various modes revenue collection systems that the Pre Colonial State used during that period. The paper will further discuss the course of historical development and the changes that British brought into land holding system and land revenue policies throughout the colonial Manipur.

Keywords: Agriculture, land holding, economy, land revenue, Pre-colonial, Colonial, Manipur

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Urban water governance: Examining the role of traditional institutions in Shillong, Meghalaya

By Bankerlang Kharmylliem and Ngamjahao Kipgen

This paper explores the strengths and weaknesses of the traditional institutions (dorbar shnongs) operating in the urban setting in the context of domestic water distribution in Meghalaya’s capital city of Shillong. The nature of water governance carried out by these institutions is examined to understand their role and contribution to water (in)equity in the city. Based on empirical study, selected localities are undertaken and compared to highlight the role of dorbar shnongs in water governance that are directly and indirectly contributing to water supply. This study focuses on the significance and the role of the local traditional institutions with regards to urban water governance in Shillong.

Keywords: dorbar shnong, traditional institutions, urban water governance, Shillong, social sustainability, water (in)equity

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Memories that always return

By Thongkholal Haokip

Twenty four years ago Naga Lim Guard killed more than a hundred innocent Kuki villagers on 13th September 1993 in Tamenglong district of Manipur. These villagers were fleeing after a ‘quit notice’ was served to them by the United Naga Council, an apex body of the Naga tribes of Manipur, on 10th September to leave their villages in the Naga dominated areas, in the erstwhile Jampi area, before the 15th of September, otherwise their secure passage to Sadar Hills via Tamei would come to an end. On the 11th of September Joupi villagers performed the last rite of their kidnapped village chief assuming that he had been killed. The church bell rang for the last service, though it was not Sunday. The following day the entire villagers left their village with resounding cries at the last glimpse of their homesteads. Rushing on their way towards their sanctuary before the deadline, they were intercepted by Naga ultras en route Tamei on 13th September. The victims on that day were tied behind, killed with dao not sparing women, children or the aged, and their mutilated dead bodies either thrown in the river or buried to conceal. On the same day several others were also killed in Janglenphai and in Gelnel just the previous day. These massacres were the highest number of deaths in a single day in the Kuki-Naga conflict of 1993, which continues to simmer till today. The day is observed annually by the Kukis around the world as Sahnit-ni or Black Day.

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