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Towards A Better Understanding
by Ananya S Guha Bookmark and Share
Walter Fernandez a well known veteran researcher writing in a web based magazine from Guwahati; Thumbprintmag has raised several issues on the current violence in Bodo areas of Assam, and the attendant exodus of students and employees working mainly in Bangalore.

Understanding of the different societies of North East India is fraught with ineptitude of their understanding, let alone the ethnicity, even the geography.
The first that unwittingly this panic led to a restoration of some sanity, with a number of Civil Right Groups extending moral and perhaps physical support to the people who panicked. In fact they were invited to Iftars, to show community harmony.

Secondly many of these organizations learned more about the people of the Region, as any person of Mongoloid semblance were taken as a person from North East India. That is why there were physical attacks against Tibetans.

Thirdly he pleaded for the rest of the country to understand the diverse and heterogeneous cultures of North East India for a larger and mutual integration.

The fourth point to my mind, is very focal and critical. He maintains that prior to Independence many of the North East tribes such as the Angamis in Nagaland were sovereign units and took up arms against the British.

The fifth is that the Muslim agriculturalist was imported to Assam by East Bengal Zamindars, mostly Hindus, in the areas of the Bodos and the Rabhas.

The fourth and fifth points are essentially historical and helps us to understand present predicaments and crises. There has to be more understanding of history and cultural specificity, historical conditioning he asserts. I could not agree further. The individual discourses of each state in the North East, the loss of identities of the native people , as in Tripura and Sikkim are cases in point, and add to the bewildering complexity of problems in the Region. Unfortunately and tragically it is the crass ignorance of 'mainland' India, that even the wrong people were 'targeted' in different parts of the country as retaliatory tactics. Could anything be even more pathetic, or bathetic than that?

It is a shame on our own people that we do not know the historical and geographical origins of our own countrymen, and prefer to treat them with amorphous expressions such as, 'North Easterner' as if it is a single monolithic structure with identical identities. Even in retaliation the wrong people are attacked! What could be more disgraceful than this?

Understanding of the different societies of North East India is fraught with ineptitude of their understanding, let alone the ethnicity, even the geography. We have as a Nation better do something about this crack in our collective wisdom, if we wish that the Nation remains sovereign and united, otherwise policies will be merely 'appeasement ', creating in the process a large superstructure of corrupt forces, inside the Region; who are at cahoots with their archetypes in the corridors of power.
 
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02-Sep-2012
More by :  Ananya S Guha
 
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