Sunday, December 26, 2010

Imagine if India’s Seven Sisters had entered the Red Corridor….

Indian security forces are fighting insurgency, separatist movements and freedom fights in many of its states. Ranging from the North Eastern states commonly known as Seven Sisters to the area of Red Corridor, Indian army is busy fighting multi-front war. And these are the insurgency and separatist movement which even India cannot attribute to ISI. Kashmir freedom struggle is gathering momentum once again. India’s insurgency is a much graver issue than its archrival neighbor, and this is not sparked by religious extremist. Its religious extremists only fan hatred and discontent. 

However, the religion can be held responsible for the discontent due the rotten caste system decreed by the religion. In fact injustice, poverty and the caste system put together are responsible for India’s national security problems. This insurgency is India’s hidden war and is sparked by multiple factors. The insurgents have their objectives clearly drawn; they want to get hold of Indian’s wealth. It is not that they want to push their ideology or force their brand of faith, they want India’s mineral deposits for which they have waged a bloody war which is not of a recent origin. The Bailadila mine raid in 2006 was one of India's most profound strategic losses in the country's protracted battle against its Maoist movement, a militant guerrilla force that has been fighting in one incarnation or another in India's rural backwaters for more than 40 years. 

Maoists had lived in the shadow of India's breakneck modernization. Although it has gotten little attention outside South Asia, for India this is no longer an isolated outbreak of rural unrest, but a full-fledged guerrilla war. Over the past 10 years, some 10,000 people have died and 150,000 more have been driven permanently from their homes by the fighting. Still India finds time and resources to fan and fund internal disturbance in Pakistan’s restive areas. Today, India's GDP is more than five times what it was in 1991. Its major cities are now home to an affluent professional class that commutes in new cars on freshly paved four-lane highways to jobs that didn't exist. But this affluence is not for Indian majority. The area is commonly known as the Red Corridor.

Economic liberalization has not even nudged the lives of the country's bottom 200 million people. India is now one of the most economically stratified societies on the planet; its judicial system remains Byzantine, its political institutions corrupt, its public education and health-care infrastructure anemic. The percentage of people going hungry in India hasn't budged in 20 years, according to this year's U.N. Millennium Development Goals report. New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore now boast gleaming glass-and-steel IT centers and huge engineering projects. But India's vast hinterland remains dirt poor -- nowhere more so than the mining region of India's eastern interior, the part of the country that produces the iron for the buildings and cars, the coal that keeps the lights on in faraway metropolises, and the exotic minerals that go into everything from wind turbines to electric cars to iPads. 

The Seven Sisters of India are the seven relatively unexplored and isolated Indian states -- Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh -- which for many years was closed to foreigners. This land, better known to the world as the North-Eastern region of India, borders China, Tibet, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. India's remote northeast, the area comprising the seven states stretching from Tibet in the north to Myanmar (Burma) in the south, among them Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Assam. In this area, rarely visited by foreigners, peoples scarcely known to the Western world continue a way of life steeped in ancient ritual.

Extensive, complex patterns of violence continues in the seven states of northeastern India. The main insurgent groups in the northeast include two factions of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) in Nagaland; Meitei extremists in Manipur; and the all Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) and the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) in Tripura. The proclaimed object of many of these groups is to break out of the Indian union, creating new, independent nations.

Their stated grievances against the Indian Government range from charges of neglect and indifference to the endemic poverty of the region, to allegations of active discrimination against the tribal and non-tribal peoples of the region by the center. The separatists are not expected to settle at less than separation from the Indian union. 

Imagine if the insurgents of Red Corridor, who are essentially fighting the discriminative system has joined hands with the separatists of the Seven Sisters. This would be the biggest nightmare for India’s security apparatus.

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