Joining hands to thwart anti-NE people policies

Witoubou Newmai

No one can stop an idea ‘whose time has come.’

Rampant employment of virulent policies by the “powers that be” has prompted various organisations of the North East India region to float a platform christened as North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP). This Forum is the result of a three-day event (April 1-3) dubbed as North East People’s Conference 2019 held in Imphal, which was participated by various organizations from the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura, according to media reports.

One of the resolutions of the NEFIP is—“to condemn and oppose the anti-North East people policies of the Central Government which have threatened the lives, resources, habitats and demography of the region.” Another resolution is to “support all the organisations in various States demanding the implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) system, National Register of Citizens (NRC) and other legislations to regulate influx in their respective States.” One resolution, with regard to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, says that the Forum will “oppose the impending threats resulting from Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.”

Though it is in an initial stage, the Forum appears promising. These organizations based in the region have formed the Forum as a way of creating a little space for them to become themselves to a certain degree. It is an endeavour to stand up together to say what is not right for the people.
What needs to be noted here is that, the coming together of these organizations of the region is also the realization that it is not alright anymore to remain complacent with these grotesque policies. They have also realized that the region has been limited conveniently to the viewpoints of the “powers that be” for so long.

Importantly, the endeavour of the North East organizations to join hands in thwarting arbitrary whims of the “powers that be” proves wrong the notion that the people of the region are prone to “quick adaptation.”

The North East Forum for Indigenous People can have a second dimension too. And that is, since a Forum such as this has the fervor for broaching various “elephants in the room,” which have ruffled relationships between communities, the member organisations of the NEFIP should take full advantage of their “coming together” to create the much-needed atmosphere for the engagement of dialogue between concerned groups. In other words, mechanisms which dilate dialogue-space should be devised.