Vicious Circle of Insurgency and Underdevelopment in North East India
Published in Singh and Singh (eds.) Identity, Contestation and Development in Northeast India, Routledge, Oxon, U.K., pp. 75-85.
9 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2013 Last revised: 26 Mar 2016
Date Written: October 20, 2013
The present paper is an attempt to assess the nexus between insurgency and underdevelopment in North East India. To achieve this end first various dimensions of insurgencies towards achievement of different goals in different states in the region are narrated. The impact of insurgency on infrastructure, industry including petroleum and tea, and environment are then analyzed. The origin and persistent existence of ethnic separatism in the form of insurgency is explained through the theory of Cooperative Conflicts. The authors state that it is not easy to break the vicious circle of insurgency and underdevelopment. The problem cannot be tackled solely by administrative, political or economic measures in isolation. It requires a holistic approach and a great deal of patience and understanding of the specific problems of different socio-cultural-ethnic groups. Since conflict between equity and efficiency is very sharp in the region, development projects must have social approval at the grass-root level given the diversities of population. Besides, projects must be ecologically sustainable. Centrally allocated fund to the region need to be matched by significant amount of resource generation at local levels in order to make the ethnic groups realize the hazards of wasteful expenditure and the sense of responsibility towards nation building.
Keywords: Insurgency, separatism, cooperative conflict, equity-efficiency conflict, ethnic groups, North East India, underdevelopment
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