Democratic Decentralisation and Good Governance in North-East India

AuthorAhmad Shamshad
Publication Date01 July 2016
Date01 July 2016
DOI10.1177/0019556120160307
SubjectArticle
DEMOCRATIC DECENTRALISATION AND GOOD
GOVERNANCE IN NORTH-EAST INDIA
AHMAD SHAMSHAD
The North-East is situated
in
a geographically vulnerable
zone. A major risk associated with this unique geo-political
location is that
of
cross-border human trafficking. Adding
to the vulnerability are factors
of
unemployment, gender-
violence, armed conflicts, and oppressive social structures. It
is connected with rest
of
India by a narrow 27km-wide strip
of
land, called the 'chicken neck:
in
West
Bengal through which
natural
and
finished products such as oil, gas and tea go to
rest
of
India
and
consumer goods,
food
and other items come
in.
Given the geographic remoteness. it
is
not surprising that
people feel alienated and distant from rest
of
the country. There
are special laws, constitutional provisions such as the Sixth
Schedule and Article 3
71,
which
seek
to protect the traditions.
lands and rights
of
various hill communities. The sustained
conflict, geographical isolation, militarisation, infiltration
and
migration have led to a drying up
of
investments, and
the lack
of
economic and social development
in
the region.
However, democratic decentralisation, peoples' participation
in
developmental activities and North-East-centric government
policies have helped
in
bridging the gap and bringing the region
into mainstream.
INTRODUCTION
NORTH-EAST India is the home
of
numerous ethnic nationalities. B.C.
Verghese describes the region as "another India, the most diverse part
of
a
most diverse country, very different, relatively little known and certainly
not too well understood, once a coy but now turbulent and in transition
within the Indian transition." Even though the North-Eastern region shares
certain problems like ethnic unrests, infiltration, insurgency, immigration,
drug trafficking, communication gap, etc., there are severe intra-regional
differences in socio-economic issues and ethno-political aspirations.

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