TODAY -

NEAR

Naosekpam Ajit Singh *

Map of North East NE India



Dear Readers, the North-eastern part of the Indian Union is a very beautiful place replete with natural beauty. The biodiversity here is also mind blowing in the case of its flora and fauna- indeed it constitutes a part of the global biodiversity hotspots. Human populations in the north east also presents great variations be it in customs, religions, food habits etc in spite of having a common background of being of largely indo-Mongolian stock.

There is also a sad similarity in the North-eastern states; most of them have a stigma of continuous strife hindering peace and progress. Various groups are still fighting for their causes and in this process, peace and progress is conspicuous by their absence. The underlying cause for this state of upheaval may be political, historic or ethnic. In my humble opinion foremost among the political causes is under representation of the region.

The number of MPs in parliament from states comprising this region is so small that they don't have a voice in the Indian Parliament as for example Arunachal has 2 MPs, Assam 14 MPs, Manipur 2 MPs, Meghalaya 2 MPs, Mizoram 1 MP, Nagaland 1 MP and Sikkim 1 MP. So the MPs coming from these states don't have the political leverage to strongly voice their concern and to put forward their opinion.

We haven't heard of our North-east MPs playing pivotal roles in the Policy framing process? Are they so intellectually incompetent that they can't put across their opinion in any matter? I beg to differ, there have been men and women of great intellect and Integrity representing this region and there still are. The only reason is when they choose to speak they are not heard because there is not a pressing need to hear them, the opinion of a single MP or 2 MPs does not really matter in a sea of MPs.

It is very important that, in a democratic setup grievances are voiced, discussed and resolved. Sadly such a mechanism is being not enjoyed by the North Eastern states largely due to their miniscule representation in the Indian Parliament. These states have ample potential to progress if such political lacuna is aptly addressed.

I am not an expert in constitutional matters but I was just dreaming, just hoping against hope for peace in this troubled place on earth, through adequate political representation. My Idea is - Can an administrative region called the NEAR (North East Administrative Region) be formed by clubbing all the seven North- eastern states together through an innovative constitutional amendment?? It can function as a super state and will represent the whole of North-eastern region in the Indian Parliament.

Democracy inadvertently boils down to a number game and if all 34 MPs of the North eastern Region puts forward their opinion or issues pertaining to their region- I hope it will be heard and the process of conflict resolution can be hastened. The condition of the North eastern India is indeed unique and I think only a unique solution can solve the myriad problems of this region and usher in the much needed Peace and Prosperity.

Till then let's all pray and hope and sing in our hearts:

We are All Near and Dear.
Our goal is crystal clear,
We all want peace and Progress,
Dignity and Integrity
Happiness and Joy.
From the same mother's womb we came
And in the earth's bosom we rest,
When our earthly role is done.
Let's all Unite
And fight for a common cause.
We are All Near and Dear.
Our goal is crystal clear,
We all want Peace and Progress,
Dignity and Integrity
Happiness and Joy.



* Naosekpam Ajit Singh wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at ajsin18mar(at)rediffmail(dot)com
This article was posted on February 03 2013 .



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