20 October, 2020

'One Nation, Many Systems' - North-East's Special Powers Hang By A Thread, Will It Go The Jammu & Kashmir Way?

After stripping Jammu and Kashmir of its special status, will the Centre go after Article 371 that gives special provisions to the Northeastern states?

Burden Of History
A protest demontration demanding integration of all Naga-inhabitated areas in the Northeast.
'One Nation, Many Systems' - North-East's Special Powers Hang By A Thread, Will It Go The Jammu & Kashmir Way?
outlookindia.com
2019-08-09T14:26:36+05:30

In April 1970, the autonomous state of Meghalaya was inaugurated in Shillong, the capital it shared with Assam, in crisp sunshine, amid cheers of a large crowd. I was a teenager then and remember being part of the audience at the Garrison Grounds, listening to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi eulogising the statesmanship of hills and plains that had made a bloodless birth possible.

It was a time when the Naga and Mizo hills of the region were ablaze with insurgency, testing India’s security, integrity and strength. But Meghalaya trod a different, non-violent path. Described initially as a “state within a state”, it was proclaimed a full state by the Centre in December the following year along with Manipur under the North Eastern Areas Reorganisation Act (1971).

The Meghalaya case showed how, in its dealings with the Northeast, Delhi has adopted a degree of flexibility, sensitivity, resourcefulness and risk-taking that it has rarely displayed elsewhere.  That sense of experimentation and responsiveness has emb­raced all political parties and...

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