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Northeast - Integrating the Seven Sisters
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Brig Amrit Kapur | Date:20 Feb , 2016 15 Comments
Brig Amrit Kapur
former  Commandant of Counter- Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, Vairengte, Mizoram.

The ravishingly beautiful and picturesque landmass of our country, which adorns the mantle of the northeastern states, may distance wise be even less than Chennai or Trivandrum is from New Delhi, yet it remains emotionally detached from the rest of India. The reasons are more than intriguing. The perceived distance has more to do with the mindset of the average Indian rather than the actual physical distance.

Today, one finds people from the Northeast in appreciable numbers in all parts of the country, in every walk of life to include trade, government organisations, IT, media and defence. The numbers are increasing every day

For a plethora of reasons, perceived or otherwise, peace and normalcy remain elusive. Terrorism and insurgency have yet to recede fully although life continues as if normal. Not that it is normal by any standards but whatever the ground realities, life does go on. Probably in concert with the worldwide phenomenon of rising aspirations of human beings, Human Rights and civilised societal ways have taken a front seat and their denial or absence creates upheaval and discord.

Northeastern India continues to be in the grip of terrorism and insurgency for the last 50 years. The intensity, type, and level are different in different states. The time has now come for an absolute integration of this region with the rest of India. The Government has made concerted efforts to address the problems at different levels and the efforts have already started showing results. Due to these efforts, the ties and links with the rest of India are growing every day. It would be unwise to assume that the Northeast is being neglected in any way. This has been made possible through a multi-prong approach. The problem has been tackled militarily up to the extent that it was required and also, politically, economically and socially. The resultant effect is amply manifest in an attitudinal shift, which is a positive deviation from the response hitherto.

The great people of this region have understood that their future rightly rests with India. For this paradigm shift in the outlook of the people, one of the main reasons is India’s growing prowess – economically, militarily and socially. The people have realised the futility of continuing with a struggle, which has lost direction and has misplaced aims and objectives. Electronic and print media have made them realise that despite their vast potential they are depriving themselves of opportunities, which can bring about a sea change in their economy and lifestyles. Wisdom has dawned that these seven sisters were always an integral part of India and will remain so for eternity.

The lifeline of the Northeast states was now extended to over 1,600 km. Earlier, the distance between Calcutta and Agartala (Tripura) was a little over 400 km ““ this is one single factor that has very seriously affected the economy.

Today, one finds people from the Northeast in appreciable numbers in all parts of the country, in every walk of life to include trade, government organisations, IT, media and defence. The numbers are increasing every day. As a matter of fact, integration is almost complete notwithstanding traces of discontent and discord. It is a known phenomenon that insurgency may be completely eradicated but can never touch the x-axis. In other words, it can never be brought to zero.

How did we achieve this stupendous task? There is a need for every Indian to know and to be proud of the fact that our sovereignty over this region stands vindicated notwithstanding a slow and steady pace with spikes of violence in between periods of peace, stability and prosperity.

Before we try to understand the genesis of the insurgency in the northeastern states known as the Seven Sisters, it would be prudent to identify the reason and causes which engulfed the proud people of this region in a human conflict resulting in self denials. Some call it exploitation of the have nots and a tampering with ethnicity. These are not the only reasons. These are certain irreversible causes, which have historical and geographical perspectives. In addition, political, economic, social, ethnic, and cultural reasons give a fillip to existing inadequacies, encouraging a movement to start and grow.

It would be seen that relative geographical location is one of the main causes of this unrest and instability.

Partition further accentuated the problem. A psychological and a physical barrier was created. The creation of East Pakistan deprived the region of geographical contiguity with the rest of India. North East India had a land link only through the Siliguri corridor, 200 km long and 21 to 65 km wide. All our communication lines pass through this corridor. The only port of Chittagong which hitherto serviced the entire Northeast also fell prey to the misdeeds of partition. The entire region had become virtually landlocked. The lifeline of the Northeast states was now extended to over 1,600 km. Earlier, the distance between Calcutta and Agartala (Tripura) was a little over 400 km – this is one single factor that has very seriously affected the economy.

Typical of the British policy of divide and rule, this was yet another master stroke by them. This time a divide was created by placing a physical landmass, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), between the people of India and the people of the Northeast. Compounding the problem further, British inner line policy created a rift between the people from the hills and the plains. The mistrust so created, fuelled discontent and human conflict. This coupled with mountainous jungle terrain and an unprotected International Border (IB) gave an ideal ground for insurgents to carry out their nefarious activities with impunity.

China is adopting a typical Mao Tse Tung style Indirect Approach. They have used the indirect approach remarkably well to keep us engaged on more than one front.

Thus, it would be seen that relative geographical location is one of the main causes of this unrest and instability. This region is surrounded on three sides by foreign countries – Bangladesh from the south and west, China (Tibet) and Bhutan from the north and Myanmar from the east.

The 4,960 km long IB constitutes 99 per cent of the periphery of these states. One of the main reasons for any insurgency to be successful is to have ‘External Support’, and this is an ideally situated region for the purpose. This aspect was fully exploited by China in the ‘50s through the ‘60s. Even now, China is adopting a typical Mao Tse Tung style ‘Indirect Approach’. They have used the indirect approach remarkably well to keep us engaged on more than one front. As a matter of fact they have already achieved partial encirclement. We are fully engaged with Pakistan on our west. In the north the Maoist movement has created enough instability. The relevance of Nepal to the Northeastern states has increased over the recent years due to the recent upsurge in Maoist activities, the emergence of the Kamtapur movement in the Siliguri Corridor and the increased activities of the ISI in Nepal. The 1,800 km Indo-Nepal porous border is being extensively used by the ISI intelligence operations – this border needs to be sanitised.

Bangladesh is believed to have 145 training camps of terrorist groups belonging to some of the Seven Sisters States on its soil, which is an ominous development.

The Maoist movement has not only threatened our states of Uttranchal, UP and Bihar with instability but has presented an opportunity for a ‘Red Corridor’, cutting through the states of UP, Chattisgarh / MP, Telangana (AP) to Kerala. Due to political instability, caste wars, and feudalism, Bihar – north of the Ganges – is an ideal ground for insurgency /naxalism to grow.

To the southwest of the Northeastern states, Bangladesh has been propped up as yet another ‘Terrorism Support and Export Centre’ patterned after Pakistan. Bangladesh is believed to have 145 training camps of terrorist groups belonging to some of the Seven Sisters States on its soil, which is an ominous development. Their intentions are suspect and very evident from the fact that they have a serious objection to our fencing of the IB. Meghalaya, Cachar (South Assam) and Tripura have an IB with Bangladesh with the terrain and people being most inhospitable and hostile. The cruelty and barbarism practiced by Bangladesh has few parallels. This, however, should not deter us from countering this menace.

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15 thoughts on “Northeast – Integrating the Seven Sisters

  1. Part Four:

    Basically the “Divide to rule” and “Keep the natives subservient” Government of India Act (1935) condemned India to a perpetual state of civil war when it was plagiarized into the Indian Constitution in 1949 with elements borrowed from George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” being added to it ad nauseam. India needs to be vary of the Periyar-Ambedekar-Nehru-Gandhi-Imported Religions-Communist (PANGOLIN) Consensus that has looted, plundered, raped and massacred it since 1947 by means of the “Reservations-Corruption Raj” that the Pangolins created and maintained. This is why India has been so weakened from the Great Power that it was in 1957 to below Sub-Saharan Africa (UNDP – 2015) at 135 out of 172 countries in Human and Social Development and 143 out of 172 countries in internal peace and stability. Before this great and growing internal threat begotten by India’s Constitution and charlatan Cambridge, Columbia, Elphinstone, Presidency, St. Joseph’s, St. Stephen’s, Madras Christian, Loyola educated “founding fathers” who knew less about Indian History, cultures, traditions, religions and lives than their British over lords, that resolves itself into Blue, Green, Red and White belts that are crushing the country for their personal pleasure, pelf, perpetuation and perversions, all other threats become “lesser evils”.

  2. Part 3:

    It is India’s grotesque PANGOLIN dispensation and British born Constitution and laws that eradicated the matrilineal system in the South West and North East of India, turned women into chattels and deprived the tribals of their hereditary right of throrough fare and foraging in the forests of the Western Ghats, Himalayas and the Dandakaranya in 1959. This is the same year that saw the eradication of Brahmanism and the confiscation of the Commonwealth of the descendants of those who were called “Hindu” (i.e. those who are not the Din e Kitabi” or people of the Book) by the British prior to 1921 including their temples, educational institutions, grazing and agricultural lands, treasure, irrigation tanks and even their religious freedoms. (PANGOLIN = Periyar-Ambedkar-Nehru-Gandhi-Imported Religions-Communist). It is the arrest,incarceration and sexual violation of tribals exercising their ancestral rights by Forest Officers, Police and “Government” under the PANGOLIN laws of India that saw both the birth of the Naxalite-Maoist (or violent Communist) Movement in the Dandakaranya and the insurgencies of the North East. The Western Ghats and the Himalayan foothills have been less rebellious owing to the long relationship here with over arching Brahmanism that has been systematically eradicated by the PANGOLINs since 1947 and is being reflected in sporadic exhibitions of Communist (Naxal/Maoist or whatever) violence. The back drop to all this is that “Hinduism” is neither a religion nor a way of life. It is defunct nationality comprising myriad religions united, loosely and consensually, by Aryan (Brahmin) law that has been dismantled systematically since 1947. Under the great and unique freedoms of Brahmanism, almost every temple represented a unique religion and culture as did every nomadic sub-tribe.,


  3. Part 2:

    The South West and North West of India that had not been under Moslem tyranny like “Hindi” India were largely matriarchal and matrilineal The North East, the Dandakaranya and thw Westerb Ghats were also the free preserves of the tribals who tended to and preserved nature wile enjoying the rights to free through fare and foraging. This was recognized and respected by the law giving Brahmins of Aryavarta since the days of Bharatha with insignificant interference from either the Moslems or the British. The South West came into a close relationship with Brahmanism and gave up their tribal ways since the days when Parashurama and his disciples came and settled here after Parashurama received the Tripura Rahasya and Shrividya Deeksha from Dattareya at Kamakhya (presebt day Assam) long before the rest of South India, came to accept Brahmin Law in the hey days of the earlier Pandyan Empire that covered most of South India with fortified trading posts and maritime trade that stretched to Rome in the West and to Vietnam in the East. In more recent History the brutal Islamic rape, plunder and genocide in the South led to the formation of the Vijayanagar Empire that drew most of South India closer together under Brahmin Law and the Dharma of the Shakaracharyas of Shringeri that continued in former vice regalities such as Travancore and Mysore until the Indian Republic dismantled law, order, infrastructure, justice and governance in these unfortunate parts.


  4. Manipur was a highly cultured “Special District” (Like Coorg) until 1947. It had the first written Constitution in the Sub Continent and was, arguably, even more cultured and Brahmanical than Mysore or Travancore. Nehru posted his Satrap there and began, with Ambedkar, his social engineering legislation which his Christian Satrap imposed with an iron hand while finding time away from his womanizing rape and plunder. Ever since, every family in Manipur has had at least one person under arms and underground. Just one small fractal of a nation in a perpetual civil war created by India’s founding “architects”. Notably, Ambedkar and Nehru. All of India’s seething unrest both kinetic and potential can be traced back to India’s grotesque “Animal Farm” Constitution and “Social Engineering” Laws that enforced a British day dream that Britain, itself, dare not have attempted in Britain, let alone India.. The violence under the surface of India, waiting to break out, is of massive proportions.


  5. Mainland countrymen should be more exposed to knowledge about aspirations, cultural and social lives about north east and challanges facing them, tourism, employment and sports will help integrate them with mainland

      • Sudarshan Rawat: I guess that is the reason they are not developed. So every state should have their own ILP? Development will happen only with tourism and people moving in and out. Seclusion will only keep the special interest happy. Seclusion is also an exploitation.

        • The land of tribals was bought by non- tribals at throwaway prices. The tribals were later reduced to landless/ bonded laborers. ILP has protected the interests of NE tribals, otherwise their fate would have been similar as of tribals in Maoist/ Naxalite affected areas. The powerful community always usurps the lands of weak and ignorant. Eg America, where the Whites took away all the lands of the natives.

          • We live in a Global Village, not in a tribal village, seclusion will keep the tribals, “tribals for life”. I don’t see any difference between this and erstwhile Shiv Sena’s practice in Bombay.

    • I agree with Sudarshan. Then it was required. I wonder Krish if you served in NE region during 60s to 80s. Probably you will not be asking such a question. Now since the NE region has been empowered to a great extent and there is less chance of exploitation so ILP conditions can be gradually relaxed.


  7. Adab Amrit Kapoor sahib…hope you will be keeping on well. I tried my best since your leaving Chenab region Doda to get some mob no or even address so that I could have shared few words about our good days in Doda. It was only today that I approached the search engine GOOGLE to get me your address. I came across your valueable articles which are master pieace especially about counter insurgency…..I would like to have your contact no ….Be kind enough to provide me the same through which we coul hear each other after along gape. how is every body at home …my regards to all…Be blessed….Haq Nawaz Nehru Doda

  8. The people of north-east are not friendly among themselves internally,there is so much division in the society which makes people think on basis of tribe and compete against one another….but the raw talent and courage is there,if you can harness it they can do anything to make you happy…I am from there and have observed this phenomenon….just stop saying people as chinese or nepali,if you say anything apart from these 2 terms people dont get agitated at all,they will not be problems with anybody of non noth-east area

  9. I am wondering, what a valuable person like the Brigadier can contribute to a special forces not relevant to the paratrooper, in the jungle, but certainly to the Marine Commando. The S. A. S. were Marine soldiers, primarily, in the Royal British Army. It seems, that this training is not mandatory to all soldiers, hence the special school for jungle warfare. The officers are given commando training, which is mandatory to all regiments.

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