Reciprocal change of mindsets

By Oken Jeet Sandham

The Congress has been ruling India for 60 years of the 66 years of her Independence. As the Congress came to rule this country, many issues—ranging from national to regional to State ones—came along. Many issues were solved along the way while many still remain elusive.

Without doubt, the country also thrived on many fronts. Its military stands one of powers in the world, while the economy emerges over the years. Many Universities, Colleges, various Educational Institutions including Medical, Engineering and Technical Colleges were established in various parts of the country.

However, looking at the condition of the Northeast region, one can’t say that the people have really enjoyed as compared to their counterparts. Because, even after 66 years of India’s Independence, the people of the Region are yet to catch up with the rest of their counterparts in the country, forget about the world. In terms of infrastructures, the Region is lagging behind others. Thousands of students continue to move out of their comfort zones for pursuing higher studies. It is clear that such educational facilities simply do not exist in the Region.

It is not surprised at the news that one Mr Konsam Himalay Singh from Manipur is the first from the whole of Northeast India to occupy the rank of Lieutenant General in the Indian Army since India’s Independence.

It will not be difficult to count how many persons from North East are serving as Secretaries and Directors in various Ministries and Departments of the Central Government. Very few. If one checks of how many from North East serve as COs, JCOs and NCOs in the Indian Army, there will be extremely negligible percentage. Even there will be low presence of North easterners as riflemen in various Indian Army Regiments.

As others, the Region has multiple issues; most of them are political in nature needing political approach for solution.  The mechanisms adopted to tackle with issues of Maharashtra, UP, Karnataka, WB, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, etc. cannot be applied to the North East issues. We need to find remedies according to the kind of syndrome the North East faces.

The youth of the North East are good in Games and Sports. The Government of India should frame policies as to how the talented youth of the North East get proper trainings from qualified trainers. They should invest fund to upgrade the existing sports infrastructures and also construct more sports infrastructures in various State capitals and district headquarters, so that many upcoming and promising youth can be tapped.

But the kind of sports infrastructures in the North East are substandard comparing to the ones that exist in Maharashtra, WB, Punjab, TN, UP, Delhi, etc. The North East sportspersons have already proved their extraordinary talents in Games and Sports over the years.

It is generally believed that the North East youth will really make it in the field of Games and Sports. It is guaranteed that the next Olympic Games, India’s medal tally will increase if they are properly guided with all the necessary requirements.

The current ongoing general elections in India have brought a marked shift from the previous Indian elections. Yet the concern and focus shown on the North East by National Political parties like Congress and BJP remain the same. Their election manifestoes have not figured about North East as to how the chronic issues of them would be addressed in time-bound manner. At the same time, the political leaders from the Region should also be held responsible for they had completely failed to play their card effectively. They could not take the issues of the Region to the fore.

The leaderships of the country have to start changing their mindsets towards North East, while the leaderships from the North East should also start changing their mindsets towards them. We have seen and learned from the ongoing 16th Lok Sabha elections that the monopoly of the political parties like Congress is no more working today. The electorates seem more mature as they realize that they are responsible for the fate of their future.

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