Commenting on the vexed Naga issue, Joel Naga, the President of Rising People’s Party, has stated that money will stop pouring in into the state if the issue gets resolved.
During a talk show organized by InsideNE to mark the celebration of 75th Independence Day with Editor-in-Chief Afrida Hussain, Joel made this strong remark against the government.
“There’s a saying in Nagaland that India doesn’t know Naga, India doesn’t know Nagaland. If the Naga issue is resolved, money will stop pouring in into Nagaland. It is an anecdote but it is an interesting one”, he said.
Striking the rod against the government, he further added that Northeast is still backward even after 75 years of Independence as India never had a coherent policy for the region.
Here are some excerpts from the interview-
On Northeast after 75 years of Independence
“If any policy was every there, it was done for strategic interest or economic interest”, he said.
“Arunachal Pradesh is being developed heavily. The roads are being developed heavily because of the Chinese factor.
When Modi came into power, he re-labelled the Look East Policy into Act East Policy and since then there has been heavy investment in the road sector in the Northeast. Nitin Gadkari ahs already announced 200,000 cr for the development of 14,000 kms of roads in Northeast. But basically it is about India’s economic progress through the Northeast sector for trade in Asian and Southeast Asian countries.
“It is not for the love of Northeast that these measures were announced or these initiatives were taken”.
I don’t see the logic of connecting Aizawl, Kohima, Itanagar and Shillong with rail roads. This kind of development is not welcomed. As a Northeastern I will voice against it.
There are hundreds of centrally sponsored schemes that are meant for the Northeast. What happens is… 90 per cent of these projects are centrally funded and 10 cent state funded. Until and unless you don’t pay 5 per cent of the commission to the concerned authorities, none of the projects get implement.
Even after 75 years of independence, the Naga problem has not been resolved. The peace process started in the 1997 and it has been 24 years now. I sincerely believe that of the government of India was serious about issue, it would have resolved the issue within days, not even months. Insurgency is not only affecting Nagaland but is affecting our relations with our neighbours, especially with Manipur and Assam. This is the reason why there cannot be any emotional integration as such.
Because of the problem related to Naga nationalism, and the inability of the government of India to resolve the issue have acted as a barrier between people. It is very important that we stand united as one.
If Northeast has to be developed, there has to be an emotional integration among people. Only when we speak in an united voice, India will keep Northeast.
On Racial discrimination
The ‘Sanskritization’ of India continues. As long as India is being Sanskritized tensions will run high and there will be no emotional connection between the Northeastern people and mainland India. We should include the history of Northeastern people in the CBSE curriculum. These are wonderful measures. It is the government that is dividing the people.
The ‘Sanskritization’ is going on in Assam as well. The Chief Minister of Assam has already banned sale and transfer of beef. So this has affected the livelihood of hill people…These are dangerous trends for the country. We want to live in peace.. in harmony. The government of the day need to do some soul searching so that people are not divided.
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