Restoring peace

The conflict between the Karbis and (Western) Rengma Nagas, which has led to violence and human suffering on both sides, has been going on for sometime but without any kind of resolution. It is unfortunate that it is only because of the recent gruesome killings that the Karbi-Rengma conflict has come to prominence when infact, response from the respective civil society and concerned authorities should have been more urgent and forthcoming. Despite knowing about the delicate situation, the inability and failure of the Assam government to take remedial measures and also the insensitivity of the Government of India towards what is happening in Karbi Anglong must be condemned. It shows the utter neglect of both the Karbis and Nagas by the so called official State machinery, whether in Dispur or Delhi. Much more could have been done to try and address the issues at hand.  

Nevertheless the opportunity presented by the recent conflict situation should not be allowed to slip by and all out effort must now be used to address the issue in its totality,  including the historical and political rights of the Rengma Nagas inhabiting present day Assam. However the question is whether we can trust and rely on the governments, at the State and Centre, to do the needful. And therefore, instead of waiting and wasting precious time, civil society from both the Karbi and Naga side should take the lead in first restoring peace, mutual trust and in the process creating a conducive atmosphere for dialogue to begin. That the Ahom Royal Society (ARS) has offered its services and help to begin such a dialogue between the Nagas and Karbis is most welcome and demonstrates the goodwill and love of the Assamese people towards both the community. The Naga and Karbi civil society must thank the ARS for its gesture and if needed take its offer to start a dialogue. The Naga Hoho has also spoken along the same lines, resolving to address the 'Karbi-Naga issue politically in the near future'.  

Coming to the talk of a third force, which is alleged to be behind the recent clashes, there is every reason to believe this. At the people to people level there appears to be no enmity. Tremendous goodwill exists as seen in the solidarity between the Karbis and Rengma Nagas who are working closely together towards peaceful co-existence. The Assam government and its agencies have a lot of explaining to do. After all, if the State government cannot keep the peace between its own citizens, it is a serious lapse of not only moral judgement but also constitutional duty. The other valid point is whether Dispur is capable enough to administratively govern far-flung places like Karbi Anglong. Also, the Government of India's (GoI) approach in dealing with the problems confronting the Northeast region is appaling to say the least. This latest upsurge of violence is proof that there is no concern for human problems or finding solutions. All that matters for Delhi is the security and strategic paradigm that the NE region offers for the country's internal security.
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