National Cadet Corps (NCC): Its Role in Integrating North Eastern Region (NER) with Mainstream India

AuthorSanjay Kumar,Rita Jain
Publication Date01 Mar 2021
National Cadet Corps
(NCC): Its Role in
Integrating North
Eastern Region (NER)
with Mainstream India
Rita Jain1 and Sanjay Kumar1
To the North Eastern Region (NER) of India, lie the unexplored states of the
Indian Union. This region holds a unique place in the federal structure of India.
This article attempts to scrutinise the diversity of NER, along with the potential
of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) as a medium to change, uplift and assimilate
it with pan India. The article aims to comprehend how NER can accommo-
date the regional identities and cultural affinities with Indian mainstream identity
through the intervention of NCC at college and university level. The methodol-
ogy of this article is based on secondary resources such as published books, jour-
nals, web pages, reports, newspapers and online sources. The article is analytical
and descriptive in nature based on thematic approach.
North Eastern Region (NER), National Cadet Corps (NCC), role of NCC,
development, national integration
India is a land of diversity of languages, cultures, ethnicities and religions. North
Eastern Region (NER) of India depicts the diversity of India on a smaller scale.
Post-independence, the region has gone through various ups and downs. This
leads to a lot of challenges at some stage in governance. The time has come now
to retrospect and work to unite the region in the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha
Bharat’; work with the motto to discipline and educate the youth to develop
Indian Journal of Public
67(1) 71–86, 2021
© 2021 IIPA
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/00195561211006558
1 Ram Lal Anand College, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India.
Corresponding author:
Rita Jain, Assistant Professor, Department of Statistics, Ram Lal Anand College, University of Delhi,
Benito Juarez Marg, South Campus, Dhaula Kuan, Delhi 110021, India.
72 Indian Journal of Public Administration 67(1)
leadership qualities to achieve it through National Cadet Corps (NCC).1 The role
of NCC becomes pivotal in undertaking various activities which aid and equip the
administration to achieve community development programmes.
In the past, the Government of India had used the Border Security Force (BSF)
and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)2 during times of crisis such as external
emergencies during the Indo-China War in 1962, India –Pakistan War and creation
of Bangladesh 1971, and so on. Likewise, NCC can become a flagship institu-
tion to propagate and impart the values, democratic ethos and sense of security
among the youth during peacetime and serve the nation during war time. The
article in the first phase discusses the geo-political significance, ethnicity, history
and contemporary situation, followed by challenges faced by the youth in NER,
such as identity, issues related to development, employment and assimilation to
mainstream India, and others. The second part of the article discusses how NCC
has successfully contributed to various aspects in achieving ‘unity and discipline’
in the region through its activities at college and university level in strengthening
national integration.
History of NER
During British era, this region was referred to as North-East Frontier Agency
(NEFA). To enter the region, Inner Line Permit (ILP) was required. These states
of Northeast3 were later assimilated to the Union of India in various phases. They
were granted autonomy by Article 371(A) and 371(G), enshrined in the Sixth
Schedule of Indian Constitution. In multiple historical junctures, various different
cultures became a part of this region, including Austro-Asiatic, Dravidian, Alpine,
Indo-Mongolians, Tibetan–Burmese and Aryan, and so on (Borah, 2015). Along
with assimilation and migration of people, NER is narrowly connected to the rest
of India through a tiny corridor (of width of 23 km) called the ‘Siliguri Corridor’
or ‘chicken’s neck’. This stretch is also separated by ILP, which itself creates a
psychological separation between the people living in mainstream India and NER.
The region is filled with diverse linguistic, religious, sectarian differences and
primordial practices. Common identity does not exist among people of the
Northeast. It is one of the most diverse and heterogeneous parts of India. If we
note, Chakma and Magh tribes are Buddhist, but they speak the Sak Language.
The Karbi of the Karbi Anglong district is an interesting tribe; they neither speak
Karbi nor Angola but speak a language which is a mixture of Austric and Bodo.
The Bodo Movement, being the longest social movement in the plains of Assam,
demanded the Bodo language to be the medium of instruction at secondary level.
With the creation of Bodo Autonomous Council (BAC) in 1993, things came to a
standstill. The Naga people were demanding a separate independent state to
protect their ‘unique Naga way of life’ from the British Empire since the 1950s.
These people around NER wanted to create a greater ‘Nagalim’ or independent
state out of Indian union (Moral, 1994).

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