While Sikkim is sick, North East India is critically suffering
The recent earthquake in Sikkim had broken the back of the very small hilly state in the Eastern Himalayas. Our neighbours Nepal and Bangladesh did feel the tremors and it is indeed saddening to see the Indian Sub-continent being haunted by the nature’s deadliest fury (tremors). The jaws of Death had swallowed an entire village (Bay Village) in North Sikkim and further, the flash flood at Lachung Chu River had no plans to part ways with one of nature’s ugliest weapons of death. It was feared that the flash flood would cause fresh landslides and any such mishap would make things difficult for the Indian Reserve Army Engineering Regiment. These brave men are doing their best to handle the situation and let the unpredictable nature, by all means, show mercy to them. However, it is not just Sikkim that looks messed up but also the whole of North East India.
The Indian folks hardly come to know what’s happening in N.E.India and even if they come to know about the seven sisters (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura), that would happen for all the wrong reasons like bomb blasts, insurgencies, natural calamities, AFSPA, regional movements. Irom Sharmila Chanu, the “Iron Lady of Manipur” holds the record for the “the world’s longest hunger strike” and obviously, the Indian Government must be ashamed for having let this happen in the ‘Land of Gandhi’. Irom Sharmila has refused food and water for more than 500 weeks for a cause. She blames the Armed Force (Special Powers) Act, 1958 for all the violence in Manipur and also demands to the Indian Government, the immediate withdrawal of AFSPA from Manipur. Each of the seven states in the landlocked Northeastern region of India has their own share of woes. It seems that the Indian Government is far removed from the impassioned political engagement in North east India and more devoted towards mainland India. The impact of neglect and mis-governance by India’s political class has forced the indigenous population of the North eastern states to come up with an ideology that goes against the idea of national integrity. Moreover, such prejudiced administration would make the people feel more detached and finally they would end up taking sides; such a state of affairs is surely not good for a secular nation like India. Any nation that errs on the side of administration domain is doomed to dig its own grave. India as a nation can’t afford this and must endeavour to spur more developments in the north east corridor.