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State News And Discussion - II
State News and Discussion -II is renamed as Jharkhand and Goa Governor role.

Earlier version of this thread archived at.. http://indiaforumarchives.blogspot.com/200...discussion.html

BHAJAN LAL QUIT AS CONGRESS PCC CHIEF. <!--emo&Tongue--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='tongue.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Could be because he didn't get the CM position
Bhupendra Singh Hooda - new CM of Haryana
Hooda's 32-year journey to CM
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->BHAJAN LAL QUIT AS CONGRESS PCC CHIEF<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Congress will split in Haryana. Good for Mid term poll this year.
<b>Could be because he didn't get the CM position</b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Meanwhile, Bhajan Lal and his 20 supporters stayed away from the CLP meet amidst indication that Hooda could be chosen for the post.

Bhajan Lal also refused the post of Orissa governor offered to him by the party. His son also declined the post of Haryana deputy chief minister <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
They had appointed Jat leader.
<b>Violence in Haryana </b>
By Our Special Correspondent
CHANDIGARH, MARCH 4. Violence erupted in Hisar district of Haryana today while there was palpable tension in Panchkula district as angry supporters of the former Chief Minister, Bhajan Lal, came out on the streets, stopped trains and broke windowpanes of buses, reports received at the State headquarters here said.

Bhajan Lal supporters burn Sonia's effigies

<!--emo&:rocker--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rocker.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='rocker.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sonia's image suffers a blow

Ehtasham Khan in New Delhi | March 04, 2005 22:56 IST

Coming close on the heels of the embarrassing Jharkhand tangle, Bhajan Lal's boycott of the Congress Legislative Party meeting called by Sonia come as a blow to the <b>Congress president's larger than life image</b>.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Yhis is going to be fun I say. I hope this brings the worst in the ITALIAN and Bihari MAFIA..
<!--emo&:rocker--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rocker.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='rocker.gif' /><!--endemo-->


Cong, LJP oppose RJD's claim to power

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Caretaker Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi on Saturday staked her Rashtriya Janata Dal's (RJD) claim to form the new government but the Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) and the Congress immediately opposed this.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Ironically, the state unit of the Congress had earlier given a letter of support to the RJD. However, at least five of the 10 Congress legislators have opposed this.
One dynasty understands other dynasty feeling <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>How Bhajan blinked after a fresh deal was brokered</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sonia Gandhi had earlier offered Bhajan Lal governorship and deputy chief ministership for his legislator-son Chander Mohan. Sources said the offer was later upgraded to include an MoS slot for his MP-son Kuldip Bishnoi with the rider that he could pick up any two posts<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> <!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Waning loyalty

LOYALTY was at one time a highly prized value. At the household level, it was well-recognised as the cementing force of families. The joint family system was nothing if not based on a network of enduring loyalties. Not only are those networks getting splintered, even filial duties no longer matter. The break-up of families in quest of new economic pastures round the globe is aggravating these tendencies.

The master-servant loyalty too is on its last legs. The olden days were full of instances of domestic servants, cooks, bearers, drivers and the like sticking with families for life, and sometimes for generations.

Nowadays, not only is there a heavy and rapid turnover, but those engaging them have to be watchful lest they eventually turn out to be robbers and murderers.

At the societal level, tribes, castes, communities and religions have largely survived so far on the strength of their respective loyalties. But the same intensity and fervour as in the past is not there. The decline is accounted for by the spread of education and increased cosmopolitanism.

As regards political loyalty, we are only too familiar with political defections and the attendant horse-trading.

Companies are hard put to it to retain customer loyalty even to long-established brands of goods. The advantage of keeping the old customers intact will be evident when it is remembered it costs twice or thrice as much to scout for new customers to replace the old ones with. Customer fickleness, if not downright disaffection, is now the order of the day.

Partly, this is due to the variety of products and services offered at competitive prices, tempting customers to experiment with newer ones. Partly also, they have become more demanding and are quick to punish those who do not measure up with immediate withdrawal of their patronage.

And finally, employer-employee loyalty too has suffered a serious battering. For a while, there were some attempts to stem the tide of disloyalty in the early stages with the lure of lucrative career path and prospects.

Now it is a free-for-all, with employers indulging in poaching, and employees offering themselves for the highest bidders. There is not a clue in sight on how to reverse these trends.

B.S. Raghavan
BTW folks campaign to remove Narendra Modi has picked up some momentum it seems.
<b>More sleaze please, this is politics</b>!

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Bedlam in TN House, DMK men evicted

Former Deputy Speaker Parithi Ilamvazhuthi (DMK) wondered whether it was the Speaker or the chief minister who ran the House, which resulted in his eviction.



The Opposition DMK members, barring deputy leader Durai Murugan, were evicted from the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday after they accused Speaker K Kalimuthu of partisanship during a heated debate on chief minister J Jayalalitha’s charge that the army refused to remove bodies during rescue and relief operations in tsunami-hit coastal areas of the state.

Mr Durai Murugan, who was on his feet wrangling with the Chair even as marshals removed his partymen, including youth wing leader M K Stalin, for obstructing proceedings, walked out after he was declined permission to speak. Leader of the Opposition K Anbazhagan was not in the House at that time.

The PMK walked out in protest after the Speaker rejected its leader G K Mani’s plea to reconsider the decision and allow the DMK men into the House to participate in the budget debate.

Chief Minister J Jayalalitha rejected CPM leader J Hemachandran’s suggestion that the Speaker follow the practice in Parliament, adjourn the House and hold discussions with representatives of all parties to find a way out. She said the Centre could allow Parliament proceedings to be stalled for days on end as it was not directly answerable to the people unlike state governments.

Ms Jayalalitha said DMK leader M Karunanidhi had not been attending the House at all while Mr Anbazhagan was staying away most often. Even Mr Karunanidhi’s son Stalin remained a mute spectator to the unruly behaviour of his partymen. “We saw how that forced Durai Murugan to walk out (after their eviction),” she said amid loud thumping of desks by ruling AIADMK men. She said they had to be evicted as their own leaders were not able to control them.

The evicted members raised slogans against the Speaker, forcing the Chair to order that the lobby be cleared.

The immediate provocation for the DMK men’s protest was the Speaker’s action in accepting Ms Jayalalitha’s suggestion that Mr Durai Murugan’s remark against the IPKF be allowed to go on record “so that they will stand exposed”.

Ms Jayalalitha said she had the highest regard for the army unlike the DMK which boycotted the IPKF on its return from Sri Lanka in March 1990. Mr Durai Murugan justified the boycott by the then chief minister M Karunanidhi, on the ground that he could not receive an army that raped Tamil women and killed innocent civilians.
The Speaker, who expunged the remarks, restored it on Ms Jayalalitha’s suggestion. Agitated by this, leading DMK member and former Deputy Speaker Parithi Ilamvazhuthi asked who was running the House, the Speaker or the chief minister. The Speaker promptly named him for casting aspersions on the Chair and called in marshals to remove him.

Other DMK members surrounded him to prevent eviction. The Speaker then named all those obstructing the House and they were evicted en masse.
Trouble started when Mr M A Vaithialingam referred to the army’s denial of the charge made by Ms Jayalalitha that it refused to remove the dead during rescue and relief operations.

The Speaker did not allow his remarks to go on record on the ground that the DMK was trying to bring the issue into focus after he had disallowed a privilege motion given notice of by it.

Ms Jayalalitha, however, stuck to her charge that the army refused to remove bodies. She cited the report of the Relief Commissioner that the army had taken the stand that removal of bodies was not its responsibility. Conservancy staff were then entailed for the job.

When Mr Durai Murugan referred to the denial by Major Gen Paramjit Singh, finance minister C Ponnaiyan said Cuddallore collector too had said that when the army found a body in a bush, it refused to remove it.

Standing by her accusation, Ms Jayalalitha said “I do not want to enter into a running battle with the army and have a debate” as it would belittle the armed forces in the eyes of the public.

She said she had the highest regard for the armed forces. In this connection, she referred to the boycott of the IPKF when it returned from Sri Lanka in March 1990 by the then chief minister M Karunanidhi.

Mr Shekhar Babu (AIADMK), who was called to speak on the debate, sought to elaborate on this point, leading to uproarious scenes. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Current Position Of Hindus in Kerala

1) Hindus of this land had a population share of 61.5%. Today it
progressively and gradually declined and now it has reached at the level of 55%.

2) The chief constituent jatis of the Hindu social fabric of Kerala mainly consist of approximately 11% of SC/ST castes, 20% Nairs and 24% Ezavas

3) The communist movement once interlaced them( the SC and ST ), were able to wipe out their innate Hindu feeling and transplanted in its place a class feeling.But they continue to be in the same position as they were.

4) At the same time the history of past assaults on the Hindu community like putting fire on the Sabari Giri Temple in 1950, Liberation Struggle of 1958 (against first elected communist ministry), construction of a church by destroying a Siva temple near the birth place of Jagath Guru Sankaracahrya's birth place, occupation of Kottiyoor Temple land, belittling of Hindus and
obstruction at the Tali Temple Renovation, construction of a church at the Sabri Giri temple's holy garden, etc are highlighting/pointing to the absence of a Hindu sense of Unity to fight and a sense of insecurity feeling accumulated
amongst the various jatis through decades.

5) NRK (non resident Keralite) remittances as well as the income from commercial crops are the main source of the income of the state. Who controls this income? The number of the NRKs during the period 1998-2002 was 3,65,293. Of which, the 82.5% are in the Gulf countries. Out of these 82.5% NRKs in the Gulf countries during the reported years, 49.5% were Muslims and 31.5% were Christians.

The Hindu share in this sector is only 19% only (See Economic Times 19 May 2003). 60.5% of the total NRK remittance was the contribution of the minority communities (See K.C. Zachariah & others, Study, report in 'The new Indian Express', Kochi, 22 July 2003). Again the total NRK remittance is 18,465 crore rupees and it is equivalent to seven times of the state government receipts as centre budgetary support or fifteen times of the earning from the cashew export
or nineteen times of the States Marine Export. The annual average remittance per house hold is also shown wide imbalances. A Marthomma Christian share is Rs.26,098/-, a Muslim is Rs.24,000/-, a Hindu is Rs.6,134/- and a Hindu SC is Rs725/-. (K. C. Zachria & S. Irudayarajan, CDS Study, New Indian Express, Kochi,
16th July 2004). A prominent Malayalam weekly named as 'Malayalam' in its editorial clearly mentioned in strong terms the inherent danger in this growing imbalance of foreign remittance. (See Malayalam Varika, Editorial, Vol. VII, No. 12, 25 July 2003). The only one aspect, i.e., the imbalances in the foreign remittance is sufficient to prove the fall of the Hindu community in the near

6) The accumulated money amongst the minorities are mostly mostly invested in lands. This ultimately reduced the Hindu share on the land holding considerably. "

7) In the land holding pattern also numerically ever shrinking unorganized Hindu community is getting highly marginalized. Through the pressure tactics exerted by the minorities, they are usually compelled/forced to discard their land holdings at a throw away price. "In certain specific districts the purchase of land is the exclusive right of a particular community. The intermediary in
this deal is also their religious institutions" (See Malayalam Varika, op cit). Annihilation of Hindu land ownership is started from the days of land reforms

8) All this happened becuse of a lack sense of a Hindu feeling and
numerically the ever shrinking position? The rate of the last decade's population growth of the state is 9.42%. The Hindu majority Pathanamthitta district has shown the lowest rate of growth, i.e, 3.72%. On the other hand the Muslim dominated Malappuram district has shown 17.22% growth in the said period is the highest in the state. (See Kesari Annual, 2004, pp 98-101).

9) Through generations Hindus are worshipping cows. The only one state in India which legitimizes the cow slaughter is Kerala. According to the official data available with the government, 500,000 cows were slaughtered in the state during 2002 and sold out 2,49,000 tones of beef. (See The New Indian Express, Kochi, 13 August 2003). In reality the statistics of cow slaughter is far
different from the official figures. It is true that a conspiracy is going on here to make the younger generation of Hindus to be beef eaters. In the name friendships the minorities are compelling the Hindu boys to share beef preparations with them in the name of secular feelings and in the Hostels where the substitute for a plate of fish or chicken curry happens to be a pappad!!.
All these are the indications of Hindus alienation from their cultural domain.

10) A powerful field which can control the society is education. Now the education sector in the state is under the control of minorities who are politically influential and economically sound through NRK remittance. While minorities manages 3340 schools in the state, the entire Hindu jatis altogether be in possession of 194 schools only. The Muslim and Christian communities altogether manages 223 arts and science colleges against it all Hindu jatis together manages only 42 colleges. (See Mathrubhumi Daily, 28 September 2002).
Out of the 433 professional colleges only 86 are government owned, 89 are of the Hindu managed while 258 are of the minority managed. (G.K. Suresh Babu, Kesari Annual, 2004

11) While all minorities are permitted to do religious instructions in their respective educational institutions, this right is denied to Hindu institutions. Here Hindu students in the minority institutions are not spared and forced to study morale classes which injecting anti Hindu ideas amongst the Hindu students. This is the best known Kerala model of secularist democratic paradigm.

12) Out of the states 1,99,000 school teachers all class of Hindus (inclusive of SC/ST) share is 38%only; the rest is minorities. As per the 1997 statistics Kerala has 14,200 college teachers; 76% of the college teaching communities are hailing from minority communities. (G. K. Suresh Babu, op cit). All this are
some aspects of the balance sheet of an unorganized demographically ever shrinking Hindu community of Kerala.Possibly many might remember that the Brahmin and Nair communities were the sheet anchor of the teaching community in both schools and colleges ,but about 40 years back.

13) The whole Hindu community has only ten hospitals as their own contrary to 928 for the minorities. (Matrubhumi daily, op cit). "Two three multi specialty hospitals are functioning in every town. Who is controlling this multimillion investment sector?" (Malayalam Varika, op cit).
14) Similarly Hindu share in the industry, agriculture and commerce is 28, 24 and 22 percents respectively. At the same time Muslim share is 30, 23, 40 percents and Christian is 35, 40, 36 respectively. (Matrubhumi daily, op cit). I think, like the Hindus of Kerala no other section in the world is marginalized
like this.

15) In several sectors Hindus are the last but in the case of suicides they are at the front. Kerala's suicidal rate is above the national average, i.e, 30.5 for every lakh. A recent NGO study reveals that 92% of the total suiciding population is from Hindus, 6.5% is from Christians and 1.5% is from Muslims.
Insolvency is the main reason of the mass suicides of Kerala.

16) Kerala government's allotment of new self financing professional colleges turned as rude shock to the marginalized Hindus of Kerala. Due to the economic backwardness of the Hindus it is difficult to compete with the minority communities for starting professional colleges. The result will be the kick out of those who are now living as socially and economically backward in the Hindu
society. In medical education field alone these people (Hindus) will loose 250 seats every year. Those Hindus come under the purview reservation will loose 3800 engineering seats and 100 MBBS seats every year. After two decades in the SC/ST sections alone will have a shortage of 74,000 engineers and 2000 doctors at the present condition.

17) In 1947 Muslims of India were a minority community with a 24% share. But that much strength of the Muslims led to the division of India. After partition they were reduced to 7 percent in Indian Union Today they are about 14 percent .In another 15 years they would be at the stage of 1947 prior to partition demanding another partition.

18) The Hindu population in Pakistan was 15 percent in 1947 It is now 1.5 percent .In Bengala Desh ( East Pakistan ) it was 25 percent in 1947 now it is only 10 percent <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I don't know how good this will go down with you guys, but anyway....:lol

Chennai cops break conviction record

NDTV Correspondent

Wednesday, March 9, 2005 (Chennai):

The world record for the fastest conviction set by the Chennai police last week stands broken.

From 40 days it is now down to 29 days for a murder case. And the new record is again by the Chennai Police.

Chennai's Police Chief R Nataraj is all smiles these days. His cops seem to have got into a habit of making and breaking world records.

No mean task

Last week a fast track court had convicted a man for murder within 40 days from the date of the crime.

The city police had created a world record for the fastest conviction beating Scotland Yard's record of 45 days.

Now even that is history. A sessions Court in the city has sentenced 38-year-old Jayaraman to life imprisonment for stabbing to death a cobbler right outside a commercial complex on Chennai`s busy Mount Road due to enmity.

The crime took place just 29 days back.

"We keep doing our best and I hope even this record is broken," said Sunil Kumar, JCP, Central Chennai.

Records are created only to be broken. But when agencies across the country are struggling to file charge sheets within 90 days, narrowing the gap between crime and punishment so drastically is no mean task.

Land, Conflict, Identity in India's North-East: Negotiating the Future.

by Sanjoy Hazarika


Even a peripheral examination of major conflicts across the world reveals that these revolve around one critical natural resource: land. Whether in the Middle East, Ireland or closer home in Jammu and Kashmir, the battle is between those who believe in a boundary authorized by a particular political dispensation and those who believe that their ethnic and sub-nationalistic or nationalistic claims surpass such barriers. The North East of India, that little wedge of land protruding above Bangladesh, jutting into and flanked by Tibet/China, Myanmar and Bhutan, is a fascinating example of how mindsets and attitudes combined with intensely competitive and unbending views of history and geography make ethnic and demographic problems extremely difficult to resolve. Patronage by the Central Government, which is resented, and the physical and emotional distance from the mainland have combined to produce a strange psyche of dependence, bitterness and alienation in the region. Despite the seeming lack of answers for the future, it is evident that the region has to build on its natural advantage in terms of abundant natural resources. Greater degrees of autonomy with extensive powers to village "republics", based on tradition, but with a definite change towards gender sensitivity and representation, can show the way forward.

1. Introduction

When Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee went calling on the Chinese leadership in June 2003, the principal issue at stake between the two Asian giants was that of territory. For nearly a century, China has refused to acknowledge the McMahon Line as a border with India, after it was drawn up in 1913 at a meeting in Lhasa between representatives of the Government of India, China and Tibet. Chinese maps show at least three Indian states as either independent or even nonexistent. Jammu and Kashmir is shown as separate, so is little Sikkim which China calls a bit of a leftover of history, stressing it has not accepted its incorporation in 1974 as an Indian state; and then comes Arunachal Pradesh, above Assam in India's distant North East. Arunachal does not exist on Chinese maps.

With a skill that would do the Royal Geographical Society proud, Chinese cartographers have simply incorporated Arunachal into Tibet--and they did this decades ago--indicating that they have gained about 90,000 square kilometers of Indian territory without New Delhi having to do anything about it. Of course, the map which has "absorbed" Arunachal is unacceptable to India and especially to the state government and people of the State who live within the territory of India under the Constitution of India! This remains one of the major ongoing disputes between the two countries, despite recent and past efforts.

Land and various allied issues, such as resources, settlement, migration, a sense of history and culture as well as claims and counter-claims to that history and culture and various readings of them--meshed with politics and social, especially ethnic, equations---continue to be overwhelmingly difficult challenges in the new Millennium, as they were in the old. This is quite evident from a quick look around the world (the Middle East, especially Palestine; Russia and Chechnya; the tragedy of the Balkans, Sri Lanka's enduring ethnic crisis, etc.).

In the North East of India, a peripheral and marginalized region of the country, some of the critical issues of land and space, of identity and settlement, of migration and confrontation are being played out. These issues are likely to remain troublesome well into the twenty-first century unless the people of the region themselves, as also the government, demonstrate a strong will and apply their creative energies to a peaceful resolution of the conflicts.

2. The regional setting

The region is located between four countries: Tibet/China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan. Its only physical connection to India is a narrow land corridor called the Chicken's Neck which is 20 kilometers wide at its narrowest, in the region near the main railroad junction of Siliguri. Through this corridor run the only railway tracks and road highways between the North East and the rest of India. The pipelines carrying gas and oil from resource-rich Assam are also located here. Many people do not realize that the North East has only two per cent of its land borders with India. The rest are with these other neighbouring countries! Naturally, this and the relatively poor connectivity, has added to the sense of distance. There are seven states Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura with a population of just above 35 million. An eighth state has been added to the list, Sikkim, over which Beijing emphasizes the difference of opinion with New Delhi. It issued a clarification during the recent visit of Prime Minister Vajpayee that the opening of border trade through the former Himalayan kingdom did not amount to recognition of India's sovereignity over it.

The population of the North East is barely 4% of the one billion plus total Indian population. But there are not less than 350 distinct ethnic groups here [1]. It is India's frontier land, where migrations from other parts of India and South East Asia have taken place over the centuries. In its extremely complex ethnic population mosaic there are groups found in Myanmar and China (the Lisu of Arunachal Pradesh), in Myanmar (Naga, Chin, Tai-Ahom and Khamti to name just four) and some are believed to have their origins in Kampuchea (the Khasis of Meghalaya state).

Over the decades, the sense of alienation, and in some cases, of separation has grown acutely. The Nagas, for example, who live in the states of Nagaland, Manipur and Assam, say they were never part of India and want to live as an independent entity. They were the first in the country to raise the banner of revolt against New Delhi and launch an armed insurgency, which continues to torture parts of the North East, with other groups turning to it for support and training in their efforts to break away. These insurgencies have led to a massive infusion of security forces, consequent and extensive human rights violations of every kind (rape, disappearances, torture, illegal detention, destruction of villages and property, including foodgrains and livestock). Militant groups too are preying on innocent people, extorting funds and hurting those who do not pay their taxes. Ordinary people are caught in between these armed groups. Searches and night patrols are a common sight in most parts of Nagaland and Manipur.

3. The collapse of the state

Indeed, for decades, a strange phenomenon has existed in the state governments of Nagaland and Manipur. Without fuss or tumult, government employees, from the junior to senior levels, pay not less than 24% annual "tax" (1) (calculated at two per cent per month) to underground groups. The money is collected at the different offices and handed over to a representative of the insurgent group.

In most parts of the world, the payment of tax is seen as recognition of the government's authority. In Nagaland and Manipur--as well as in other states where such collections take place--it could be viewed as a measure of the state government's abdication of responsibility as well as the power of the insurgent groups. This is quite beside the extensive tax collections from businesses in the main towns of these small states.

The state governments say they act on the basis of complaints (2) but few dare to complain, such is the fear of the militants. In what can be called a classic copout, the Chief Minister of Nagaland even defended the insurgents: "The people pay them with trust. When the people want to pay, how can the state government stop them?" (3)

The insurgent groups are open and blunt about their approach: "I have to run a government, I have to maintain an army," said a senior official of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (4) at Dimapur, Nagaland's commercial capital, one of the dominant groups in the region justifying taxation. And it's nothing new taxes have been levied for decades, virtually since the beginning of the anti-India campaign in the early 1950s, to sustain the armed cadres and the political organization. This continues today even though the main tax collector, the NSCN (Isak-Muivah faction) has been holding talks on a possible peace accord with the Government of India since 1997. What is perhaps more interesting is that under a Constitutional arrangement, hill tribes like the Nagas, Khasis and Mizos, for example, do not pay income tax to the Government of India. But they pay up, willingly or otherwise, to insurgent groups.

Thus, in many cases, the very integrity and concept of the State and nation is confused, fuzzy and at stake. The collapse of institutions is not at hand it has already taken place, leading to acute despair and greater frustration. For example, in Manipur, there are police stations which are occupied by insurgent groups. Governance is marked by its near-complete absence in many parts of the state. A young official recently spoke of a "parallel government" in Manipur, which is run by the "underground" or "ugs", as the insurgents are widely known.

It is not just a question of fealty and fidelity to the State. The issue of identity goes beyond taxes: it has come to span state boundaries, leading to greater fears and bitterness among communities, large and small, who are worried that their lands will be encroached upon or bartered away by an insensitive central or state government.

There are many truths here and conflicting realities, especially in terms of perception. It is these conflicting perceptions which lie at the root of most confrontations in the region, between India and its perceived North East as well as within the North East itself [3].

India has over the years enacted numerous laws and Constitutional provisions which seek to protect rights of ethnic groups in the North East, especially hill tribes. Thus, the Sixth Schedule and Article 371A (far less known than Article 370 in relation to Kashmir, which prevents "outsiders" from buying land in that state, but equally powerful) protect the numerous tribes and tribe-dominated states and districts of the North East. The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution has been in place since the 1950s; it was an innovative effort to give small tribes extensive powers to develop at their own pace through a system of autonomous district councils, protecting their traditions, lands and rights. These laws have worked to a degree.

But all these regions are not homogenous. They are heterogenous, especially in the towns where small groups of traders, professionals as well as workers from the plains live with their families. These groups are marginalized, disadvantaged and under pressure from the "protected" groups and, one could argue, are in need of protection themselves. The "minority" of elsewhere is a "majority" in the small states of the North East. The laws here too need to be changed to become more representative, gender-sensitive and democratic.

4. Community and territoriality

As mentioned earlier, the dominant Naga group, the NSCN faction led by Isak Chisi Swu and Th. Muivah, is currently holding talks on a possible agreement to end the 50-year-old confrontation between India and the Nagas. The sticking point here is land. The Nagas are demanding a unification of lands which they claim are "traditionally" theirs; if accepted, this would have the drastic effect of reducing the territorial size of Manipur, where Nagas live in the northern hills, by nearly half. It will chew chunks off Assam and the neighbouring state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Hardly surprisingly, the move has met with a mixture of outrage, opposition and suspicion from the affected states. All have said that they will not part with their land. Indeed, this appears to be the main challenge in the quest to peace--the determination by either side to stick to their viewpoints without giving an inch, out of concern that it will seen as either selling out or a sign of weakness.

Although both the Nagas and the Indian negotiators say there is a better understanding of each others views, (5)this is one issue on which they are not budging. The Indian government's position is simple: while it has the Constitutional powers to change the borders of a state without the concurrence of that state, it knows it will risk a furious revolt with major law and order problems, as well as security implications, if it even considers such an effort.

5. An alternative model of governance for the future

However, there is another concept which has been doing the rounds and which is worthy of consideration. Given the failure of state institutions to bring about any element of governance or sense of cohesion to village and district administrations in a state such as Manipur, it has been suggested that traditional tribal institutions which work on the basis of social cohesion, a collective will, leadership of elders and both justice and honour be given extensive powers for economic and social development at the level of villages and groups of villages. In addition, such traditional systems, currently not recognized by the Constitution should be given constitutional status, to carry out these administrative and political tasks with government funding.

These traditional institutions, which are defined by different names among different tribes, could elect a forum or platform representing all Nagas (the tribes from all the states where Nagas live). This could be the first step toward Naga unity. But that unity, given the compulsions of all the neighbouring states, cannot, at the initial stage, be territorial in nature. This is difficult for many Nagas, in the underground or overground, to accept because for over 60 years they have wanted a land where all Nagas live together. This is the problem that faces Indian negotiators as they face off with Naga leaders of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Nagalim is the word used by the Nagas for land) in different parts of the world. Both sides understand the difficulties of the other. The Nagas are unlikely to budge in the near future on this issue, although they may not continue to press on the other core issue of sovereignty.

Thus, the question of bargaining arise--what is either side prepared to give up? And clearly if sovereignty is no longer a stumbling block, then the Government of India's problems in giving a larger Naga homeland which includes parts of three neighbouring states (Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh) are acute. The Centre is armed with Article 3 of the Constitution, which enables it to change the territorial boundaries of a State, virtually unilaterally. But it is unlikely to enforce this because of the chaos that may ensue with communities and states worried about their political rights and futures; it may provoke a major revolt against New Delhi and additional law and order problems even in areas where such difficulties do not currently exist--and the Centre would be foolish to provoke such antagonism.

An agreement between two parties or more groups presupposes one basic element that it will spread goodwill not ill-will. That is one of the factors that must weigh with negotiators at the talks between New Delhi and the Nagas. The Nagas have to do a lot of persuasion, at the civil society level, with their neighbours about their case. Without those conversations and dialogues, no amount of table-thumping or chest-beating about rights and history can work.

The situation may be best served with traditional systems being given a new lease of life: new rights of governance and justice at the village level, wherever they are physically located. The Nagas would remain where they are, in the four states, but they would elect Naga bodies at the state level, which would be recognized by India as truly representative. These panels could work as an Upper Legislative Chamber in each of the four states, coming together for an annual or biannual apex meet to consider issues of common interest and stake. The chambers could handle issues related to Naga traditions, justice, culture and rights as well as local infrastructure development through their village councils leaving the day-to-day administration to the state governments. The Central Government could provide substantial funds for this model of governance.

History is a shared process. It cannot be exclusive, by its very nature. Just as the Nagas have a history, so do their neighbours. And the latter have a written historical account of their past. The Nagas have an oral history; their written history began with the British colonial presence in the 19th century and then the entry of the Christian missionaries. There was no centralized Naga state or currency or legal framework but a group of tribes, with democratic but patriarchal traditions, often at conflict with each other.

What goes in favour of a traditional system of governance is that a forum of Naga representation exists in the form of a body called the Naga Hobo (assembly). However, this group has been weakened by the absence of a number of tribes and the wrath it has faced from different insurgent groups. A revitalized and more representative Hoho could calm the concerns of Naga neighbours rather than groups like the NSCN which are bound by political considerations.

The issue of land is reflected in other conflicts in the North East. One is especially referring to the question of illegal migration from Bangladesh into the region and other parts of India.

6. Migration and conflict

Migration is central to the history of the world. And migration is related to land settlement and conflicts arising from that. The West Bank is a classic example of this, especially when one group or community or nation is convinced of its "rightness" [4].

In the North East, as seen earlier in the case of the Nagas, land rights and territorial concepts are major factors in developing and strengthening identities. In the neighbouring state of Assam, over the past 24 years, another drama has been playing itself out over the issue of identity--and this is related to illegal migration from Bangladesh.

Millions of Bangladeshis have moved from that country to India in the past 30 years. The Indian government figure is 15 million; (6) others place it higher, some say that it is lower. The reason is economic--the push factors are endemic poverty in Bangladesh and the hope of a better life in India, although this is derided by Bangladeshi officials. Yet, there is now official acknowledgement of out-migration from that country (7) and a better understanding of Indian concerns on the matter.

Following a trend set in the early 20th century, when a Muslim League government in Assam promoted influx from the then East Bengal as part of its political aim to change the state's demography, migratory peasants and landless labourers have moved from what is currently Bangladesh. While substantial migrants have gone to the rest of India (West Bengal and other states, including Bihar and New Delhi), a large number have settled in Assam over the years.

Their presence, as well as the presence of others who moved to the state earlier, has been the subject of agitations, riots, killings, laws, investigations and bilateral nastiness between India and Bangladesh. Of the estimated total of 15 million illegal settlers said to have moved to India, approximately 1.5 million illegal migrants are in Assam alone.

The crux of the matter in Assam, as for the Nagas, is land and its control. But the context is completely different. In Assam, land is being taken by non-nationals, who over the past decades, have been placed on voting lists by unscrupulous politicians and bureaucrats. They have been given ration cards which indicate residency. Former officials say that revenue staff persons are particularly to blame as they have, for a fee, given land rights to settlers. This would be unacceptable anywhere in the world. It is only soft states like India where such situations are accepted and even connived at by border guards and political parties like the Congress Party, which refuses to acknowledge the problem of illegal migration because its vote banks, predominantly Muslim, would be hurt by such a stand.

Both right-wing regional and national parties like the Asom Gana Parishad in Assam and the Bharatiya Janata Party say that illegal migrants should be detected and evicted. There appears to be growing agreement in Parliament that a flawed law which protects the settler should be repealed and replaced with a tougher Act which will also seek to protect the rights of Indian Muslims. Without protection, the latter fear they will become the targets of a new hate campaign.

Ways of tackling illegal immigration range from strengthening laws and an existing programme of building fences on the border with Bangladesh to legalizing some of the migration, by giving work permits to those willing to travel and work for a year or two before returning. One step that the Government of India has taken is a limited exercise in identifying residents: the issuance of identity cards to individuals living along the borders. The Work Permits concept is a by-product of the Identity Cards--only after ID cards are issued can a Work Permit scheme be put in place, through a network of computer systems and a software program that enables district officials in Bangladesh or even Nepal to inform their counterparts in North East India of groups of willing workers and responses from the other side. The Work Permit scheme would enable groups of not less than 25-to-75 workers to come to North East India to specific locations, report every six months to police and extend a one-year permit to a maximum of two years with opportunities to repatriate funds to Bangladesh. These permits could be regional in character, to make them politically more acceptable to India's neighbours in the East.

The Central Government also seeks to overturn a 20-year law that places anti-foreigner legislation as it prevails elsewhere in the world on its head. The 1983 law on detection of foreigners by tribunals has specific clauses which ensure that the accused is treated as an Indian unless proved otherwise. This is precisely the opposite of the law in other countries: the accused is treated as a foreigner unless proved otherwise. In addition, the complainant must live under the jurisdiction of the local police station and pay ten rupees for filing the complaint. These are aimed at ensuring that the complaints are not frivolous, say minority group leaders in Assam. The result: just over 1000 deportations after going through 300,000 complaints.

The government wants to revoke this law (which is applicable only to Assam and not the rest of India) and strengthen existing legislation like the Foreigners Act, which go through normal court processes, unlike the tribunals, which were quasi-judicial in nature.

India should, as a start, set up a National Immigration Commission which reviews all existing laws relating to citizenship, residency, immigration and migration, settlement and voting rights as well as issues relating to refugees and refugee settlement. There is much misunderstanding about various groups of settlers in India (it is not a signatory to the UN convention on refugees, although it is home to hundreds of thousands of refugees). Part of the reason is that such a review of laws has not been undertaken and a singular lack of clarity remains about groups such as migrants and refugees. Right wing political groups use the issue for their advantage, whipping up xenophobic fears, particularly in the North East, about being "swamped" by Muslims, especially from Bangladesh. India should enact a national law on refugees, which would help clear the haziness, reduce tensions and protect genuine citizens.

7. Where is the infrastructure?

The problem of immigration has much to do with governance and infrastructure. In the North East, it is a question of ensuring that these are there in the first place. Law enforcement agencies at the border often look the other way (on both sides of the frontier) when people cross, illegal trade is three times that of legal business and the biggest item of trade from India to Bangladesh is 1.7 million head of cattle every year--headed for the slaughter houses! Across the frontier, despite the barbed wire fences which exist in some parts, salt and sugar, rocks and wood, fruits, fish and vegetables, kerosene and cigarettes, bamboo and textiles, liquor and people (and cattle) flow with ease.

Beyond the borders too, there are other problems related to infrastructure. For decades, the Government of India has poured in hundreds of millions of rupees into the region without ever asking for accountability and transparency from the state governments. Some people, especially in the realm of politics and the bureaucracy and their favourite contractors, have become enormously rich. The majority, however, have been untouched by the Centre's largesse which has created cynicism, confusion and suspicion of government schemes.

Patronage is resented, yet demanded as a right.

The distance from the mainland has grown although there are worthy efforts--even if late--to bridge the gap by non-government groups and some Central Government departments such as the newly-created Department for Development of North Eastern Region.

For while political groups still speak shrilly of the region's exploitation, thousands of young people leave the North East every year to seek education and work elsewhere in India. This is a ringing assertion of their hope of a decent future in the country but also a sharply negative statement of their views on the future of their home areas.

8. Conclusions

What is critical here is the need to tackle the growing radicalization of young men and women in marginalized areas, whose lives and communities are untouched by development. This is most evident in those districts of the North East which are located on the border with Bangladesh. They are shut out of the system, without access to proper education, health and communication systems, desperate for work and embittered by the non-existence of governance. They live in the most marginal of areas--on the sandbanks and islands that dot the riverscape of the mighty Brahmaputra river.

Yet, they produce the milk, rice, fruits and vegetables, eggs and meat which feed the towns of the Assam Valley. It is this contradiction which has to be addressed and changed through greater power devolving to rural communities and villages and the implementation of government schemes such as agricultural extension and installation of infrastructure.

The experience of the past 50 years has produced a mix of dependency, alienation and bitterness that will take time, dialogue, innovative strategies at the community level, using the natural advantages of the area such as its waterways, herbs, orchids and fruits, to develop industries and exports, and realistic policies to change.

Some years from today, the Trans-Asia Highway may run from South East Asia through the subcontinent to Turkey, connecting this continent with Europe. If the North East of India is to take advantage of this opportunity and is not to be left aside and remain at the bottom of the South Asian heap in the company of backward Indian states such as Bihar (even Bangladesh is moving ahead), its governments, insurgents, activists and policy makers must reduce confrontation zones, build more areas of cooperation, cut down rhetoric and get real and focused on its natural advantages.

(1) Interviews with government employees by the author over the years, including in November 2002.

(2) Interview with Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio of Nagaland [2].

(3) Interview with CM Neiphiu Rio of Nagaland [2].

(4) Interview with the author, Dimapur, November 2002.

(5) Interviews with government negotiators and Naga leaders, January, February 2003. New Delhi and Amsterdam.

(6) This figure has come from the report of a special task force, appointed by the Government, which looked at border management.

(7) Remarks by Tufail Haidar, Bangladesh High Commissioner to India, India International Centre, October 5, 2002, at a lecture on Distant Neighbours, Troubled Borders.


[1] Hazarika Sanjoy. The north east, security and sustainability. In: India's national security annual review; 2002.

[2] The Statesman. New Delhi, 2003. June 21.

[3] Hazarika Sanjoy. The little magazine 2002;5 & 6(III).

[4] Hazarika Sanjoy, Rites of passage, border crossings, imagined homelands, India's east and Bangladesh, Penguin Books, New Delhi, 2001.

Sanjoy Hazarika, Tel.: +91-11-2612-1426. E-mail address: sanjoy@c-nes.org (S. Hazarika).

Center for Policy, Research, Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110 021, India


Publication Information: Article Title: Land, Conflict, Identity in India's North-East: Negotiating the Future. Contributors: Sanjoy Hazarika - author. Journal Title: Futures. Volume: 36. Issue: 6-7. Publication Year: 2004. Page Number: 771+. COPYRIGHT 2004 Adams Business Media; COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group
<b>300 CPI-M supporters join Trinamool Congress</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Trinamool Congress got a shot in the arm when 300 supporters of its arch rival CPI-M joined its Nadia unit on Tuesday.

Trinamool Congress sources said those who joined the party at a function included <b>the DYFI secretary of Kastadangabazar </b>in the district, Dilip Halder.
When contacted by PTI, local CPI-M legislator Bankim Hazra claimed this would not affect his party's position in Nadia district.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
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Pro-Pakistan slogans not raised at rally, says SP

By Our Staff Correspondent

UDUPI, MARCH 20. The Superintendent of Police, S. Murugan, said on Sunday that the police had videographed the entire rally organised by the district unit of Karnataka Komu Sauharda Vedike on Saturday and nowhere in the entire video was anybody heard shouting pro-Pakistan slogans.

Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Murugan said that the flag shown in the photographs published in a section of press was not the national flag of Pakistan.

He took out a calendar of flags at the press meet and showed that the national flag of Pakistan was different from the one published in some newspapers.

He said that he was receiving calls from both the sides. One side asking how the "flag of Pakistan" was displayed in the rally and another saying that the flag shown was not the flag of Pakistan.

Stripping case

Seven persons have been arrested in the stripping-and-assault case, which took place at Moodabettu (Adiudupi) on the night of March 13, Mr. Murugan added.

Slogans raised, says BJP

The MLA and president of Udupi district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, K. Raghupati Bhat, claimed on Sunday that pro-Pakistan slogans were raised at the rally organised by the Karnataka Komu Sauharda Vedike on Saturday.

Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Bhat said anti-India and anti-Hindu slogans have been raised at the rally. The speakers at the rally insulted the swamijis of the Ashta Mutts and Hindus. The rally was supported by divisive forces, naxalites, and Pakistani supporters, he alleged.

His party condemned the stripping incident at Moodabettu, but it supported the implementation of the Cow Slaughter Prohibition Act.

The Sangh Parivar will organise a rally on March 26, Mr. Bhat said.

V.S. Acharya, MLC, Lalaji Mendan and Sunil Kumar, MLAs, A.G. Kodgi, Vice President of State unit of Bharatiya Janata Party, and leaders of various Sangh Parivar organisations, were present.

Action sought

The president of district unit of Karnataka Komu Sauharda Vedike, Sriram Divana, demanded legal action against a certain section of media which, he said, had wrongly depicted a flag of a "dargah" as the national flag of Pakistan. All the slogans shouted at the rally were pre-determined and not one of them was anti-patriotic, he said.

He released a photograph showing the difference between the "dargah flag" and the national flag of Pakistan. The Vedike will gherao the office of the Superintendent of Police if the main accused in the stripping case are not arrested, Mr. Divana said.

Leaders belonging to the Vedike and other organisations were present.

Arrest sought

Our Staff Correspondent reports from Mangalore:

The Mangalore Assembly constituency unit of the BJP has condemned the incident of raising pro-Pakistan slogans by a group of people who organised a rally in Udupi on Saturday.

In a press release, the unit said raising pro-Pakistan slogans was no less than treachery and those involved in it should be tried by the law.

The President of the unit, Nithin Kumar, said those who had raised pro-Pakistan slogans should be listed among subversive elements and arrested.

Mr. Kumar said though there was a ban on cow slaughter in the State, there were people who were eking out livelihood out of slaughtering cows. They should be treated on the same lines as criminals he added.

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