Reasons of insurgency in North east India and possible solutions
Northeast India is the most volatile and insurgency affected place in the country after Kashmir. It is the easternmost part of India. The region is composed of eight states namely- Meghalaya, Manipur, Assam, Mizoram, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Sikkim. India’s northeast connects with five countries — Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China and Nepal — by a 4,500 kilometre (2,796 miles) international border; the region, however, connects to India only through a narrow and tenuous land corridor measuring merely 22 kilometres (14 miles).
The basic reasons for insurgencies in the Northeast are:
- There was a historical absence of pre-British and British colonial polices to integrate the hill areas of then Assam to the rest of British India. Hence, the absence of historical linkages has created a space for later day feelings of cultural and political differences amongst ethnic communities with the rest of India.
- Most of the ethnic communities view ‘the use of force’ as more effective than non-violent dissent in getting New Delhi's attention which is physically so far away.
- The continuous lack of economic opportunities creates incentives for unemployed youths to join armed movements where they earn a salary.
- Existence of external help from Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar has perpetuated the insurgencies.
- Opposition to outsiders settled in these states. For eg. In Tripura, the smallest of the northeastern states, migration of Hindus from the British-ruled East Bengal, which subsequently became East Pakistan and then Bangladesh, is believed to have been responsible for reducing the indigenous tribal people in the state to minority status; this development sparked a violent backlash among the indigenous people.
- Enhance communication and connectivity, infrastructure improvement for better integration of the region with the mainland.
- Stringent law and fast criminal justice system for quick disposal of insurgents attack cases.
- Greater coordination between central forces and state forces for better tactical response.
- Greater cultural interaction with the rest of the country and socio-economic development that includes a holistic inclusive development.
- Decentralization with alertness, Improving administrative efficiency, pro-people governance and coping up with regional aspirations.
- Use of force only when it is necessary through special forces like greyhound and black panthers.
While the government’s military options have achieved only minimal results, lack of development continues to alienate the people of the region further from the mainstream. The region has also received little attention from either the national or the international media. Achievements by a separate ministry created by the Indian government for the development of the region remain minimal.
There is a need for better engagement of various groups through negotiations and de radicalisation drives to ensure peace in the north east region