The Candid Eye

December 24, 2009

Can Indian leadership handle China??

This is an excerpt from the article by Tarun Vijay.

The famous hotel Dusit Thani Hua Hin overlooking the gulf of Thailand, where the leaders of India and China met, proudly proclaims, “We use gifts of the heavens to create heaven on earth.” It is one of Thailand’s most scintillating hubs, known for its calm and serene surroundings. I don’t know if the leaders noticed it, but they surely were there to create a better atmosphere between the two nuclear-powered nations which fought a bitter war forty-seven years ago and have been under the shadow of a cold war once again.

Manmohan Singh & Wen Jiabao

Manmohan Singh & Wen Jiabao

The meeting between Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Wen Jiabao must help calm the harshness in both the capitals. Prudence and pragmatism prevailed and the outcome was placidly correct. Just correct. Neither yielded the position he has stuck to and neither raised the decibel levels. You couldn’t have expected a tit-for-tat show there and while being conscious of the present situation, if both sides can reconcile themselves to building bridges while sorting out difference, neither loses.

Of late, the Chinese have been pricking Indian sensitivities at an extraordinarily fast pace. So much so that even the electioneering scenes in India were overpowered by the news regarding Chinese incursions, Indian rebuffs, major cover stories in media and the Arunachal CM meeting the Prime Minister.

Interestingly, in such a charged background our cool and gentle Manmohan Singh met Wen Jiabao and felt “excited” as the news reports say. I am sure this must be a reporter’s overenthusiasm, as he might have wanted to convey the thrill of the meeting. The reports said, “Manmohan Singh told Wen: ‘I am excited to see you.’ He said the Chinese people have had a number of achievements “and we share their sense of accomplishment”. He said this in the context of the 60th anniversary of the founding of modern China.”

The Chinese premier was more candid. He said, “We want to have a healthy and steady relationship with India. I hope we can use this opportunity to exchange our views on all related issues.”

As any student of Chinese affairs can tell, understanding diplomacy in Mandarin is a tricky job. Each word and the length of the sentence and similes used to convey the message have to be studied carefully. The official “leaks” do not tell us whether the Indian side conveyed any displeasure or annoyance to the Chinese premier on their cold-war like interventions and the Chinese side, it appears, was calmly “just diplomatically right”. It means they think what they have been doing so far is right and demands no explanation or relook.This must worry us.

The raking up of the border issue so forcefully, in spite of an agreement that the issue will be resolved amicably and through dialogue, has surprised many. While the pro-China lobby in Delhi blamed the American influence for creating an atmosphere that would make the Indian people ask for a reprisal, the factual position about Chinese arrogance spoke a different story. The situation on the Chinese side has to be understood before any final “assault”. The Chinese have grown rich, assertive and xenophobic in their global dreams. And this must make them more interventionist in near future.

It began with the Chinese incursions – observers say there had been more than 218 incursions by the Chinese security personnel since January this year. And the number of such incursions was higher in the Ladakh sector, where they have been successful to also make India dismantle a bridge on the Indus. The experts from Ladakh have been complaining that the Chinese have been intruding the Indian territory, they are not taking our land by inches but by yards. These experts also tells us the points and the nullahs where the Chinese came and then established their dominance. Yet nobody from the South Block took it seriously. Even the Army chief, Gen Deepak Kapoor, and our foreign minister, S M Krishna, gave contradictory statements about incursions. Still the Chinese belligerence didn’t stop. China objected to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Arunachal visit, it began construction work in the Kashmir region which is under illegal occupation of Pakistan, in spite of having conceded by the Indian government that Tibet is a part of China (which the nationalist school of thought will never accept), China keeps showing Kashmir as an independent country and Sikkim has yet to be shown as an Indian state. It also began giving visas to Kashmiris separately and hasn’t quite understood about the terrorist problem India is facing though it would like us to understand its jihadi headache in Xinjiang.

China opposed India’s agreement with the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), it tried to block Asian Development Bank’s $60 million loan for a power generation project in Arunachal, and more recently it tried its hardest to coerce Southeast Asian nations against inviting India as a member of the East Asia summit. It has not only accepted a “gift” of land from Pakistan, which in fact is claimed by India, but has been strengthening Pakistan militarily by providing nuclear knowhow, among other things. On the maritime front, China is steadfastly modernizing its bases in the Indian Ocean with its port development projects going in full swing in Pakistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

India expressed its concern over China’s new underground nuclear submarine base off the southern tropical island of Hainan. The then Naval chief, Sureesh Mehta, had publicly stated that the base poses a threat to Indian security. On the Arunachal border China has been shifting border pillars and making a dam on the Brahmaputra that would be a potential threat to the Indian people. On the Sikkim border a new highway and permanent army structures have come up. In times of any hostility, the Chinese would be able to cut the Siliguri corridor swiftly. On the other side, a joint command of Lanzhou Military Region opposite Ladakh, Himachal and Uttarakhand has come up. Tibet has become the most powerful Chinese base against India and reports say that China is in a position to send 20,000 troops anywhere on the Indian border from its Tibetan bases within two hours.

By contrast, Indian politicians have no idea what should be their Chinese policy and are busy in petty domestic rumblings or totally uninformed cacophonies. Once Arunachal used to have 12c functional air strips, now it has only two and more accurately just one, to cite an example of our preparedness. It’s only after the media taking up the Chinese threat that India responded by positioning its Sukhoi war planes replacing MIGs on the northeastern front and deciding to revive its four IAF bases on the Arunachal border (Vijaya Nagar, Mechuka, Tuting and Passighat), yet the confidence level hasn’t risen high on our side.

But it would be wrong to conclude that China would engage India in any military assault soon. It would also be imprudent and pathetically unintelligent to put China in the Pakistan category. It has to be a different story – we are not “1962” and China is not Maoist either. Keeping a watch on the factual positions, building our own defence and economy, we must continue to engae China in bilateral relations.

Read the full article here.

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November 28, 2009

Global warming effect on Himalayan glaciers!!

An official discussion paper on the status of Himalayan glaciers is coming under fire. The paper, issued recently by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, argued that the glaciers, which nourish several great rivers such as the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra, have not retreated abnormally. It also questioned the link between climate change and the glaciers’ decline.

Releasing the paper, the Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Mr. Jairam Ramesh, remarked that there was no conclusive evidence to show that global warming was responsible for the glacial retreat.

 

Himalayan Glaciers : Image Courtesy - http://www.nsf.gov

Contradictory views

Such views completely contradict the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Nobel-Prize-winning international body of scientists that weighs up the scientific evidence. Two years back, the IPCC released its comprehensive Fourth Assessment Report on Climate Change.

The report pointed out that glaciers and ice caps provided the most visible indications of the effects of climate change. The Himalayan glaciers were receding faster than in any other part of the world.

If these glaciers continued to recede at the present rate, there was a very high risk of their disappearing by the year 2035, perhaps sooner, if the earth kept warming at the current rate.

Biggest threat

It warned that water scarcity, which could affect more than a billion people, was the most serious threat that Asia faced from climate change.

The Ministry’s riposte has been prepared by V.K. Raina, a retired Deputy Director-General of the Geological Survey of India. In the discussion paper, he agreed that glaciers in the Himalayas, barring a few exceptions, have been in constant retreat since observations started in the mid-Nineteenth Century. Moreover, studies showed all glaciers under observation to have lost mass during the last three decades of the last century.

However, “Himalayan glaciers, although shrinking in volume and constantly showing a retreating front, have not in any way exhibited, especially in recent years, an abnormal annual retreat of the order that some glaciers in Alaska and Greenland are reported [to have shown].” It would be premature to state that these glaciers were retreating abnormally because of global warming.

Glacier movements are primarily due to climate and snowfall. But then Mr. Raina goes on to state that movements of the ’snout’, the visible end of a glacier, “appear to be peculiar to each particular glacier.” The Gangotri glacier, which fed the Ganges River, was practically at a standstill for the last two years.

Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, has criticised both the discussion paper and the Minister. He did not understand why the Minister was supporting such unsubstantiated research, he told the Guardian newspaper.

The discussion paper was unscientific and biased, said Syed Iqbal Hasnain, a leading glaciologist who is currently with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi. It had ignored scientific papers published in peer-reviewed journals after the 1980s when the impact of long-lived greenhouse gases became more visible. These papers clearly showed that warming of the climate was leading to the Himalayan glaciers melting at an exceptionally high rate, he said in an email.

The discussion paper had been sent to him a month back by the Minister’s office for review and he had responded with detailed comments. He had also provided the Minister with all recent papers published by Indians in peer-reviewed journals on the subject. But the paper had been unfortunately been released without any change.

Short-lived pollutants

Himalayan glaciers were not only affected by long-lived greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide but also by short-lived pollutants like black carbon, methane and atmospheric ozone, according to Prof. Hasnain.

In the eastern part of the Himalayas, the excessive melting of glaciers had led to lakes being formed in Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan, remarked Shresth Tayal, another glaciologist at TERI.

Just recently, the prestigious science journal Nature carried a report on how the mountain kingdom of Bhutan was trying to drain such glacial lakes. Otherwise these lakes might burst their embankment and flood neighbouring areas.

In a paper that appeared in the journal Current Science in 2001, geologists from the HNB Garhwal University in Uttarakhand pointed out that the Gangotri glacier had retreated by two kilometres in the past 200 years. Over 40 per cent of that retreat had occurred in just the last 25 years.

Satellite images

A group led by scientists at the Indian space agency’s Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad used satellite images to study 466 glaciers in the Chenab, Parbati and Baspa basins.

They found that the glaciers had shrunk by 21 per cent since 1962. The glaciers had also become more fragmented, which was likely to profoundly influence their sustainability, said Anil Kulkarni and others in a 2007 paper.

In recently published research, the space scientists used a model to study how loss of glaciers could affect water flow in a tributary of the Sutlej River.

They estimated that a one degree Celsius rise in temperature by 2040 would more than halve the area occupied by the glaciers that fed the tributary. The runoff in the tributary could therefore come down by between eight per cent and 28 per cent, depending on the season.

Source : The Hindu

June 25, 2009

Delhi fiddles while the northeast burns

Filed under: India — thecandideye @ 6:29 AM
Tags: , , , , , ,

From Tarun Vijay, editor of RSS weekly Panchjanya.Appeared on Rediff, few years ago.

Visiting Nagaland makes you feel different. You have to procure an inner line permit to enter. The permit demands to know why I am going there, where I shall stay and to be sure about my credentials I needed a guaranteer to vouch for me, my safe conduct and return within the stated period. Issued by the deputy commissioner’s office this permit is governed under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873. Yes, 1873.
The British left India in 1947. We are celebrating the 60th anniversary of that freedom obtained after our motherland’s division and the massacres that followed. Still, I needed a permit, something that the British began to isolate these regions in the name of ‘protecting’ the local indigenous people. The same procedure is also in vogue in Arunachal Pradesh.
So, we, legitimate Indians, are required to obtain a permit — another name for a ‘visa’ — but these states are reeling under the heat of illegal Muslim infiltrators from Bangladesh, who, obviously do not need to get an permit to enter, buy land, marry local girls and become so dominant that even the state authorities feel afraid to oust them.
Arunachal Pradesh’s student bodies recently compelled Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu to take action against the Bangladeshis. So what did he do? He pushed a couple of thousands to Assam and the matter ended. In Assam it created a furore. The Muslim bodies, specially the All Assam Minorities Students Union, threatened to oust Hindus from Muslim majority districts like Dhubri, Goalpara and Barpeta, so Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi ‘certified’ that all those ousted by the Arunachal Pradesh government are Assamese and shall be accommodated in Barpeta!
The situation is so serious and Delhi’s apathy so mindboggling that the people have lost all hope. The All Assam Students Union, which spearheaded an unprecedented movement in the 1980s to oust Bangladeshi infiltrators, has in utter desperation said that in the next ten years Assam may have a Bangladeshi chief minister. Strong and alarming words indeed. But neither the media nor the political parties paid any attention.
Assam has been transformed beyond recognition. The state’s cultural identity is symbolised by the great reformer and rejuvenator Srimat Sankar Dev. His birthlace in Dhing, near Bardowa, is a must-visit pilgrim centre for every Assamese Hindu. Now the Dhing assembly constituency has 90.02 percent Muslims. No prizes to guess how this Hindu pilgrim centre became a Muslim majority town because of the Bangladeshi influx.
Assam’s latest political star is Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, a perfume tycoon, who formed a new political party, the United Democratic Front, in 2005 and won 10 seats in the 2006 assembly election, surprising everyone. Previously he used to remote control other secular parties. Now he has taken the reins in his hands.
Assam and other northeastern states have become more volatile than Kashmir, but Delhi’s page three media and corrupt polity don’t see beyond their immediate concerns.
After Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, it is Nagaland’s turn now. Bangladeshi jihadi factories supplying men and material are creating havoc from Itanagar to Kohima and Hyderabad. They are there before everybody’s eyes, yet no government has shown a steely resolve to identify them and send them back. Aliens are turned into voters for political gain. The lines dividing traitors and patriots are getting blurred. Patriotic people need permits, they are made to live a refugee’s life, but aliens feel quite confident and vocal to aggressively enter our country, bomb it and yet find sympathies in the corridors of power.
In Nagaland, people are sandwiched between the insurgent groups and the Bangladeshi influx. The headquarters of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac-Muivah group) is in Hebron, 30 odd kilometres from Dimapur. Everywhere, while going to Kohima one can see posters demanding ‘quick results of peace talks’ and a greater Nagalim which they want in the name of Christ — a separate independent country. According to government sources there are about 75,000 Bangladeshi Muslims in Nagaland today.
I had come to attend a seminar organised by a daring tribal organisation, the Janajati Vikas Samiti, which had invited about 80 participants from the northeastern states. Nagaland Home Minister Thenucho inaugurated the conference. Former state secretary C M Chang headed the organising committee. It was incredible to see so many tribal leaders engrossed in what can be termed a free discussion on the problems Nagaland faces — Bangladeshi infiltration being the foremost.
Minister Thenucho was forthcoming and said this problem has to be seen as a demographic invasion. ‘The Naga people may be soon reduced to miserable sufferers by these infiltrators, who may appear as an asset for providing cheap labour and easily available hands for menial jobs. But look what they have done elsewhere and there is no guarantee that they will not do the same here. Today they work as labourers; tomorrow Nagas will have to work for them, if we do not stand up and say no to them,’ the minister said. He was serious.
The only problem is the Centre does not share their anxieties. Nothing that binds Naga society with the rest of the country has ever been encouraged and strengthened. Natwar Thakkar started his Gandhi ashram in Mokukchang but could never expand his mission of spreading Gandhi’s sublime thoughts beyond that.
To be in Kohima is still considered a matter of fear, pregnant with life and death questions. There is no icon of India that can be seen here. In the early 1980s a Gandhi statue was installed in Kohima, only to be desecrated and destroyed soon. ‘Nagaland doesn’t need any Indian’s statue’ was the decree issued by the insurgents.
Almost everyone, from IAS officers to traders and teachers, have to cough up a part of their earnings to the insurgents. Their ‘freedom days’, ‘republic days’ are celebrated in full public view with the media from Kolkata and Delhi in attendance. Presently there is a ceasefire between the NSCN (IM) and the Indian Army, but rumours are afloat that this period has been better utilised by the insurgents to reinforce its battalions with new recruits, procure better weapons and resources to press for its demand for an ‘independent ‘Nagalim’, which seeks to ‘add’ parts of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh to its fold.
This has enraged Manipuri and Arunachali tribals and a tribal war cannot be ruled out if the Naga insurgents’ demand is given any sympathy.
The press is lively but cocooned in its own world. “We have never been invited to join any prime minister’s party on his foreign visits, Delhi and Kolkata papers reach us very late, after a day or two, that too the dak edition,’ said Geoffrey Yaden, editor of the Nagaland Post, the main daily newspaper in the state. “They don’t understand us properly, they write to please their egos. Nobody has the time and interest to understand our people or to make serious efforts to create bridges and strengthen national feelings here. Are politicians sitting in Delhi are bothered about us or the nation?” he lamented.
I know it is very difficult to have a Delhi leader or social activist or cultural tsar to find time for a northeast visit. How many of us would go to Manipur or Nagaland or Arunachal for a family trip? Do we know that the most scintillating lakes, mountains, rivers and forests are in the northeast, bettering even Kashmir’s panorama? Unfortunately the northeast has yet to register in our minds as markedly as Hardwar, Manali, Goa [Images] or Rameshwaram.
Corruption to the northeast’s politicians is ‘taught’ by politicians in New Delhi. Even to get a central grant released for these states, central ministers and their durbaris have to be suitably ‘pleased’. The grants that go to the northeast finally come back in large parts to the Delhi durbar through traders, contractors, commission agents and sanctioning ministers. The rest is divided amongst local ‘beneficiaries’, including the insurgents.
In view of the infiltration threat faced by Nagaland and other northeastern states, an observation by E Ramamohan, the former director general, Border Security Force, who was with me in Kohima, should be an eyeopener. He warns about the insurgent groups’ long-term planning for 2015 — “Today there are several Islamic fundamentalist insurgent groups in Assam, all created with the help of the Director General Forces Intelligence of Bangladesh and Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence. The main groups are the Muslim United Liberation Front of Assam, the Muslim United Tigers of Assam and the Islamic Liberation Army of Assam… what is most interesting that these Islamic fundamentalist groups have not started operations so far. Interrogations of the suspects and intelligence reports have revealed that they are in a preparation phase. Motivating and recruiting cadres, training them in Pakistan, stockpiling arms and explosives for the insurgency is their present strategy. The target is (to launch an assault) in 2015.”
Why can’t we understand that India shrinks from every inch that is occupied by Bangladeshi infiltrators in our territory? In less than 100 years India has shrunk like no other nation on earth.
We lost Taxila, Karachi, Dhaka. Post independence, we lost 1.25 lakh square kilometres of land to Pakistan and China. Beijing [Images] still eyes Arunachal Pradesh.
Then Indians lost lands and homes in the Kashmir valley and became refugees for the ‘sin’ of supporting India. Now, jihadis, Maoists and church-supported insurgents want their share. Where will this all lead to? All the power, position, money and glitter weigh nothing before the question of the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. At least in the northeast, people feel nobody listens to their woes in Delhi.

Visiting Nagaland makes you feel different. You have to procure an inner line permit to enter. The permit demands to know why I am going there, where I shall stay and to be sure about my credentials I needed a guaranteer to vouch for me, my safe conduct and return within the stated period. Issued by the deputy commissioner’s office this permit is governed under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873. Yes, 1873.

The British left India in 1947. We are celebrating the 60th anniversary of that freedom obtained after our motherland’s division and the massacres that followed. Still, I needed a permit, something that the British began to isolate these regions in the name of ‘protecting’ the local indigenous people. The same procedure is also in vogue in Arunachal Pradesh.

So, we, legitimate Indians, are required to obtain a permit — another name for a ‘visa’ — but these states are reeling under the heat of illegal Muslim infiltrators from Bangladesh, who, obviously do not need to get an permit to enter, buy land, marry local girls and become so dominant that even the state authorities feel afraid to oust them.

Arunachal Pradesh’s student bodies recently compelled Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu to take action against the Bangladeshis. So what did he do? He pushed a couple of thousands to Assam and the matter ended. In Assam it created a furore. The Muslim bodies, specially the All Assam Minorities Students Union, threatened to oust Hindus from Muslim majority districts like Dhubri, Goalpara and Barpeta, so Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi ‘certified’ that all those ousted by the Arunachal Pradesh government are Assamese and shall be accommodated in Barpeta!

The situation is so serious and Delhi’s apathy so mindboggling that the people have lost all hope. The All Assam Students Union, which spearheaded an unprecedented movement in the 1980s to oust Bangladeshi infiltrators, has in utter desperation said that in the next ten years Assam may have a Bangladeshi chief minister. Strong and alarming words indeed. But neither the media nor the political parties paid any attention.

Assam has been transformed beyond recognition. The state’s cultural identity is symbolised by the great reformer and rejuvenator Srimat Sankar Dev. His birthlace in Dhing, near Bardowa, is a must-visit pilgrim centre for every Assamese Hindu. Now the Dhing assembly constituency has 90.02 percent Muslims. No prizes to guess how this Hindu pilgrim centre became a Muslim majority town because of the Bangladeshi influx.

Assam’s latest political star is Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, a perfume tycoon, who formed a new political party, the United Democratic Front, in 2005 and won 10 seats in the 2006 assembly election, surprising everyone. Previously he used to remote control other secular parties. Now he has taken the reins in his hands.

Assam and other northeastern states have become more volatile than Kashmir, but Delhi’s page three media and corrupt polity don’t see beyond their immediate concerns.

After Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, it is Nagaland’s turn now. Bangladeshi jihadi factories supplying men and material are creating havoc from Itanagar to Kohima and Hyderabad. They are there before everybody’s eyes, yet no government has shown a steely resolve to identify them and send them back. Aliens are turned into voters for political gain. The lines dividing traitors and patriots are getting blurred. Patriotic people need permits, they are made to live a refugee’s life, but aliens feel quite confident and vocal to aggressively enter our country, bomb it and yet find sympathies in the corridors of power.

In Nagaland, people are sandwiched between the insurgent groups and the Bangladeshi influx. The headquarters of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac-Muivah group) is in Hebron, 30 odd kilometres from Dimapur. Everywhere, while going to Kohima one can see posters demanding ‘quick results of peace talks’ and a greater Nagalim which they want in the name of Christ — a separate independent country. According to government sources there are about 75,000 Bangladeshi Muslims in Nagaland today.

I had come to attend a seminar organised by a daring tribal organisation, the Janajati Vikas Samiti, which had invited about 80 participants from the northeastern states. Nagaland Home Minister Thenucho inaugurated the conference. Former state secretary C M Chang headed the organising committee. It was incredible to see so many tribal leaders engrossed in what can be termed a free discussion on the problems Nagaland faces — Bangladeshi infiltration being the foremost.

Minister Thenucho was forthcoming and said this problem has to be seen as a demographic invasion. ‘The Naga people may be soon reduced to miserable sufferers by these infiltrators, who may appear as an asset for providing cheap labour and easily available hands for menial jobs. But look what they have done elsewhere and there is no guarantee that they will not do the same here. Today they work as labourers; tomorrow Nagas will have to work for them, if we do not stand up and say no to them,’ the minister said. He was serious.

The only problem is the Centre does not share their anxieties. Nothing that binds Naga society with the rest of the country has ever been encouraged and strengthened. Natwar Thakkar started his Gandhi ashram in Mokukchang but could never expand his mission of spreading Gandhi’s sublime thoughts beyond that.

To be in Kohima is still considered a matter of fear, pregnant with life and death questions. There is no icon of India that can be seen here. In the early 1980s a Gandhi statue was installed in Kohima, only to be desecrated and destroyed soon. ‘Nagaland doesn’t need any Indian’s statue’ was the decree issued by the insurgents.

Almost everyone, from IAS officers to traders and teachers, have to cough up a part of their earnings to the insurgents. Their ‘freedom days’, ‘republic days’ are celebrated in full public view with the media from Kolkata and Delhi in attendance. Presently there is a ceasefire between the NSCN (IM) and the Indian Army, but rumours are afloat that this period has been better utilised by the insurgents to reinforce its battalions with new recruits, procure better weapons and resources to press for its demand for an ‘independent ‘Nagalim’, which seeks to ‘add’ parts of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh to its fold.

This has enraged Manipuri and Arunachali tribals and a tribal war cannot be ruled out if the Naga insurgents’ demand is given any sympathy.

The press is lively but cocooned in its own world. “We have never been invited to join any prime minister’s party on his foreign visits, Delhi and Kolkata papers reach us very late, after a day or two, that too the dak edition,’ said Geoffrey Yaden, editor of the Nagaland Post, the main daily newspaper in the state. “They don’t understand us properly, they write to please their egos. Nobody has the time and interest to understand our people or to make serious efforts to create bridges and strengthen national feelings here. Are politicians sitting in Delhi are bothered about us or the nation?” he lamented.

I know it is very difficult to have a Delhi leader or social activist or cultural tsar to find time for a northeast visit. How many of us would go to Manipur or Nagaland or Arunachal for a family trip? Do we know that the most scintillating lakes, mountains, rivers and forests are in the northeast, bettering even Kashmir’s panorama? Unfortunately the northeast has yet to register in our minds as markedly as Hardwar, Manali, Goa  or Rameshwaram.

Corruption to the northeast’s politicians is ‘taught’ by politicians in New Delhi. Even to get a central grant released for these states, central ministers and their durbaris have to be suitably ‘pleased’. The grants that go to the northeast finally come back in large parts to the Delhi durbar through traders, contractors, commission agents and sanctioning ministers. The rest is divided amongst local ‘beneficiaries’, including the insurgents.

In view of the infiltration threat faced by Nagaland and other northeastern states, an observation by E Ramamohan, the former director general, Border Security Force, who was with me in Kohima, should be an eyeopener. He warns about the insurgent groups’ long-term planning for 2015 — “Today there are several Islamic fundamentalist insurgent groups in Assam, all created with the help of the Director General Forces Intelligence of Bangladesh and Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence. The main groups are the Muslim United Liberation Front of Assam, the Muslim United Tigers of Assam and the Islamic Liberation Army of Assam… what is most interesting that these Islamic fundamentalist groups have not started operations so far. Interrogations of the suspects and intelligence reports have revealed that they are in a preparation phase. Motivating and recruiting cadres, training them in Pakistan, stockpiling arms and explosives for the insurgency is their present strategy. The target is (to launch an assault) in 2015.”

Why can’t we understand that India shrinks from every inch that is occupied by Bangladeshi infiltrators in our territory? In less than 100 years India has shrunk like no other nation on earth.

We lost Taxila, Karachi, Dhaka. Post independence, we lost 1.25 lakh square kilometres of land to Pakistan and China. Beijing still eyes Arunachal Pradesh.

Then Indians lost lands and homes in the Kashmir valley and became refugees for the ‘sin’ of supporting India. Now, jihadis, Maoists and church-supported insurgents want their share. Where will this all lead to? All the power, position, money and glitter weigh nothing before the question of the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. At least in the northeast, people feel nobody listens to their woes in Delhi.

Related posts:

Is Congress selling India to Pakistan?

Madrasa  = CBSE?

Threat of re-partitioning India?

National Liberation Front of Tripura

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