Sunday, October 6, 2013

Developmental Conflicts in North East India

  • Assam Bangalore Coordination (ABC) forum organised an interactive session on "Developmental Conflicts in NE Region : Assam in focus" facilitated by Prof. Sanjoy Hazarika‏ at The Energy Research Institute, Domlur, Bangalore on October 5th.

    Prof. Hazarika is Director, Centre for North East Studies and Centre for North East Studies (C-NES), Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi and in addition, holds the Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew Chair in Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. Author of three major books on the North East Region – Stranger of the MistRites of Passage and Writing on the Wall, he was a reporter for the New York Times, Consulting Editor of The Statesman and is a widely published columnist. 

    Prof Hazarika was in Bangalore to deliver a talk on Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) at Azim Premji University. In conjunction with this, ABC forum organized this discussion on Developmental Conflicts in NE Region with focus on Assam. While the short discussion didn't yield anything concrete per se (which was not intended also) but fact that 80 odd people, not just Assamese, joined the session indicates that there is deep concerns for the region and its current state of affairs. Events like this sensitize people, allows them to express their concerns,  think and put forward their thoughts on what can be done, and thereby create a greater social awareness which is fundamental to any social development. Organizations like ABC and associated people can play meaningful catalysts role on such social transformation journey in their circle of influence, however small it may be. Think tanks like C-NES can provide a bigger platform at National level to deliberate and come up with specific recommendations/ actions plan on what social & political organization and academia should do to come out of the current state of affairs. 

    One concerned participant rightly pointed out the ill effects of celebrated "BANDH" culture in Assam, but there is hardly any instances where social organizations or academia took steps to educate people, create social awareness and declare a social ban on such culture. Is it because of depleting intellectia or leadership vacuum?

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