Northeast Summit: On the Map, On the Mind

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This forthcoming summit follows up on the panel ‘Northeast India – On the Map, Off the Mind’ at the Summit of the Powerless in New Delhi, India, 2006.

Visit the summit website!

The focus of this summit in Guwahati will be to examine and critically discuss what keeps the Northeast “off” the mind. TEHELKA seeks to look for a crucial, alternate, neutral space to bring the front running minds of all relevant groups to a common table; to generate a common fount of thought; to spark the will to look for creative and humane ways out of the historic and tragic mess that many parts of the Northeast have become; to concretely work towards peace and a positively integrated society in the entire region.

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The discussions will be on:

POLICIES FOR THE NORTHEAST – TAKING STOCK
Northeast India, beautiful, multi-cultured and layered with history as it is, is also now a region in roil. The reasons for this roil are complex and deep; some issues are internal and territorial while others are collectively deep rooted issues of political identity and social history. Very often Central policies have magnified these divides. Fractures that appeared 60 years ago have been left to widen. It is critical to confront some of these gaps, before they drift apart irreconcilably.

SECURITY AND MILITARIZATION – THE AFSPA, SEARCH FOR ALTERNATIVE MECHANISMS
The region is under high national security for 2 ostensible reasons:
a) its strategic international borders.
b) to contain and quell internal unrest.

What is the future of the people of the Northeast? Is there an alternate road to peace and reconciliation? Can we actively work towards repealing the AFSPA? Can there be a vocabulary other than that of violence to achieve real peace and security? Can the historic shift be triggered by public thought and public question?

DEVELOPMENT PROCESSES & FUND FLOW -SENSITIZED, INCLUSIVE AND EQUITABLE FUTURE
Recently development is being fuelled at great velocity in the region, with huge amounts of money being channeled through various agencies. The Look East policy is a favourite flag. However the kind of development and the haste with which it is being implemented could prove unfit for this vulnerable region. It is crucial to ensure that the future is crafted with a secure eye on morality: social, political, ecological and economic. It may also be an opportune time to rethink borders and work towards economic and cultural interflow in the South Asia region.

For queries related to the Summit:

Geetan Batra, E-mail: geetan@tehelka.com and events@tehelka.com

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