NE Turbulance

  • Calls for Gorkhaland and Bodoland are churning the region afresh.
  • An exceptionally sizeable attendance of women blocked the national highway to Assam demanding Bodoland.
  • The blockade impact can be on the disruption of trade and transport links between the Northeast and the rest of India.
  • This region is already facing the burnt of the seasonal floods in the Brahmaputra basin.
  • Both these instances together can result in severe economic costs to this region.
  • Tea and tourism, which are lifelines of the local economy, have almost crumpled.
  • Well-timed state involvement handled with patience and wisdom may prevent these agitations from spreading, and becoming violent.
Reason behind the demand:
  • At the roots of these protests lies the communal identity and their representation. The Gorkhas in the Darjeeling hills and the Bodos in upper Assam believe that a separate state is necessary to protect their collective social, cultural and political identities including language and ethnicity.
  • The seeds of separatist politics now churning the region are the result of the constitution of states like Bengal and Assam.
  • The majority or dominant groups established their linguistic and ethnic identity without giving much attention towards the minorities, who were then in the margins of the region’s politics.
Way forward:
  • The run of identity politics needs to be destroyed, where the autonomous bodies can play a prominent role.
  • Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and Bodo Autonomous Council are valuable tools in delivering the public goods and build physical and social infrastructure. However, the unfinished and unsatisfying work of politics in these states may not fully satisfy the aspirations of these groups.



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