North East India: A Region in an Endless Ordeal

By Sarup Sinha

15th August 1947; a date that transcends beyond a mere entry in history books, it is a meaning that resonates with every Indian as the day of Independence, as an event of freedom, and above all birth of the largest democracy in the world. Independence was however not an overnight process nor was the formation of the Indian landscape as we visualize today. British left India with more than 500 princely states and the herculean task of integrating those princely states lay on the capable shoulders of Sardar Vallabhai Patel and V.P Mennon. One such event that leaves behind a legacy of varied tastes is that of North East India. It is a potent case to examine the nature of nation making and its consequences. The northeastern region is the hub of multiple tribes and communities each having their distinct identities with their own historical past. Today, the region is lagging behind other parts of the country in terms of infrastructure and economic development due to myriad reasons. In addition, we encounter many separatist and militant movements from different quarters of the region such as Nagaland, Assam, Manipur beginning with Naga Insurgency in 1950s.The methods adopted by the Indian state to tackle such situation of unrest is marred with stories of widespread human rights violations coupled with militant violence. Armed Force Special Powers Act remains as an instrument of military force asserted by the State which persists up to the present.

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