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By Oken Jeet Sandham
We were mad when even one-week bandh was announced in our neighboring State, Assam. The moment bandh for at least 3 to 4 days was announced in Assam, we would witness hundreds of vehicles were in queues at all the petrol pumps. And within 24 hours, all these petrol pumps would be close down saying “No more petrol.” Prices of all the essential commodities would be skyrocketed. Even prices of construction materials would be double if not triple, though such material had been there untouched for months. In fact, everyone felt insecure during such period of bandhs.
My question is “Why do we feel insecure if there will be bandh in Assam even for few days?” Who has created this insecurity in our minds? Why do we fail to think that there is a Government whenever such situation occurs? The answer is – we have nothing on our own. We are made to live as “consumers” and the Government will never plan to set up any industries, factories or systems that will provide security for the citizens at times of such crisis. We are made to believe that we cannot survive without supplies from outside. Our economy is in the hands of non-local business communities.
This country will never think of the economic growth of the Northeast Region. Delhi wants to make Northeast people happy as the Region is strategic for the country but they fail to create a sense of oneness in the minds of them (Northeast people).
Sometimes, I used think the Center is there for States like UP, Maharashtra, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal, Rajasthan, and not for the Northeastern States.
Of late, I keep hearing Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that development should be carried out in a balanced manner. I don’t know what he said will be looked into by our great Babus sitting at Delhi.
Unless the Center thinks for the economic growth of the Northeast, they will remain as it is if not worsening. But sadly, whenever I talked about the development of the Northeast, many in the rest of the country felt that the Center had done enough for the Northeast and tried to blame everything for the underdevelopment and backwardness of the Region to “insurgency.” In fact, the Center does not have any clear policy for a lasting and permanent solution to the insurgency problems of the Region.
Frankly speaking, the Central Government’s allocation for the development of Northeastern States for the year 2015-16 was a little more than the half of the cost of the “Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train.”