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‘Listen to North East’: An endeavor to make the voices from NE heard 

GUWAHATI: Time and again, the North East has been a target of discrimination and racial slurs owing to the unique culture, tradition and people with respect to rest of India.

It cannot be denied that the region has faced some form of visible or invisible sense of segregation  caused by a range of issues. These issues are brewed mostly because of ignorance and misunderstanding of the history and cultural aspects of Northeast. The ignorance is again caused by lack of proper representation of this region in national curriculum.

Listen to North East

In regard of creating a dialogue on this very issue, KAVYAVARSHA, the officially appreciated student body by Govt Of India formed by some of the National representatives of NYPF, organized an online event “ LISTEN TO NORTH EAST – #INCLUSION OF NORTH EAST IN CBSE and ICSE CURRICULUM” on July 11. The event was under sponsored by OIL INDIA LIMITED in collaboration with 6 Universities of different states of North East India.

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“Listen To North East” was attended by the three most prominent news editors from North East including Myithili Hazarika, Assistant Editor, The Print,  Sachin Gogoi, Editorial Lead, Asia Pacific, BBC News and PJ Baruah, Executive Editor, The Assam Tribune.

The session led to the pondering upon into key issues including the very aspect of being Indian and questions like- does any facial feature, religion, language, culture, race and language testifies one’s ‘Indianess’ or makes someone any lesser of an Indian. This question was articulately answered by Assistant Editor of The Print. Delving into the issue, Hazarika stated that India is better put forth as just a landmass while ‘Indianess’ is the sense of belongingness to this land irrespective of any existing differences.

The lack of prioritizing the indigenous and tribal languages  of North East which has been creating a risk of extinction of these languages was deeply discussed in reference to certain reports. These reports suggest that out of 300 languages that are there in the region, 70 to 80 have already slipped into the endangered category.  It also led to questioning the Central Govt’s spending of an annual amount of  Rs. 643 Crore on promoting Sanskrit followed by 22 crore in Tamil and other classical languages.

The dignified panelists suggested of a more accommodating Bollywood content with showcasing the culture, land and languages of North East.

The MP Bezbaruah Committee and its report was discussed with Sachin Gogoi, Editorial Lead, BBC News. The non-feasibility of a separate law governing discrimination against North East Indians as is suggested by MP Bezbaruah Report was also pointed out.

Gogoi said that it would create further a sense of segregation and alienation, hence, inclusivity or proper implementation of the pre-existing laws are are better solution ahead in accordance with infrastructural investments in the region. The ignorance of national media or it’s confinement to the ‘Hindi’ heartland or the northern states was critically marked .

The non-implementation of MP Bezbaruah report was also spoken about and so was the absence of the content from north east in national curriculum.

It was stressed that the Indian Independence history was being taught from the perspective of rest of India while the struggle in North East states remain unknown to students. The icons like Chatrapati Shivaji are widely followed and taken pride of in North East while North East India’s icons like Lachit Barphukon and Sriman Shankar Deva are never made known to rest of the country.

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