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Some Martyrs From North-East Ignored By History Books: Handique

NEW DELHI: Some martyrs from the northeast who had participated in the freedom struggle against the British had not found their rightful place in history books and historical writings and this should be corrected, a central minister from the region said Tuesday.

There was considerable resentment against this in the northeast,

Minister for Development of the North East Region (DoNER) Bijoy Krishna Handique said while delivering the keynote address on ‘˜History as a window ‘“ Understanding North East,’ at the Jamia Millia Islamia.

‘˜There should be some recognition of these unsung heroes’¦The ways of history cannot be corrected but the inadequacy of historical writing can be corrected,’ Handique said.

He said the northeast was a ‘˜complex region’ and made ‘˜more complex by lack of understanding of issues’.

The minister said there was need to understand the psyche of the people and respect their sentiments of giving recognition to freedom fighters from the region.

He said the challenge of multi-culturalism was not unique to the northeast but it should be studied to understand issues concerning the region and devise a strategy for the future.

Mizoram Chief Minister Pu Lalthanhawla said that the successful Mizo accord can serve as a model peace process for other parts of the country.

The accord was signed in 1986 between the central government and Mizo National Front (MNF). Lalthanhawla had quit as chief minister following the accord to pave way for an interim government headed by MNF leader Laldenga. He had been in and out of office since then and again became the chief minister since Dec 2008.

Lalthanhawla said a spirit of give and take, a willing bureaucracy and total involvement of civil society can make peace accords succeed.

He said the peace process in Mizoram was simpler as there were no multiple ethnic groups in the state.

‘˜Peace, development and governance are closely related. Imbalance in one disturbs the other,’ he said, adding that if the mindset of people can be changed, half the battle for peace was won.

Lalthanhawla said the northeast was ‘˜least visited and most misunderstood area’ of the country, adding there was ‘˜a huge communication gap between mainland India and the region’ more due to a mental block than geographical factors.

Pointing out that the northeast had a vibrant tradition of local self-government, Lalthanhawla said the region needed more schemes like the national rural employment guarantee scheme to empower the rural masses.

DoNER secretary Jayati Chandra said that bright minds from the northeast who had honed their skills outside the region should also look at the option of returning.

She said that while the government’s per head contribution in the northeast was greater than in any other part of the country, there was virtually no private investment.

She also said that more students from the region should opt for technical courses.

Jamia Millia Islamia Vice Chancellor Najeeb Jung said that the northeast should be better understood in the rest of the country.

‘˜That is a concern for Jamia. That’s why a centre for northeast studies has been started to focus on the region,’ he said.

The vice chancellor said the university was keen that more students from the northeast avail of its courses.

Sanjoy Hazarika of the university’s Center for Northeast Studies said that development in the region had shown unique flexibility. He said India’s Look East policy should be routed through the northeastern states.

(Courtesy: Topinews)

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