Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Sorry State of Affairs

Did you know that you need a special permit from the Government of Arunachal Pradesh if you want to visit the state?

I discovered this recently. Most people that I told this to had a very ethnocentric (I’m taking the liberty of stretching this word to fit this context) reaction. Most people’s reaction is : “They are a part of India, why do Indians require a permit? What’s so special about Arunachal Pradesh that we require a permit to visit the state?”

Very few people have asked “Why?”,i.e., very few people have tried to view this situation from the point of view of Arunachal Pradesh or North East in general.

The North East is probably the most neglected part of India. The Government of India pays little heed to that part of the country, while it pampers states such as Punjab, Maharashtra & Gujarat, probably because they are the "cash cow" states of India. The insurgencies in the North Eastern states are ignored while the government is busy pandering to the whims & fancies of Bal Thakerey & Narendra Modi, who have literally held the country to ransom!!

Even worse, the Indian government has clubbed the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland & Tripura and christened them the "Seven Sister States", which is symbolic of their isolation from mainstream India, nevermind the wide ethnic and religious diversity within the region. On the contrary, the government should take special care to ensure the states feel that they are a part of India because geographically, they are isolated from the rest of India except through the Siliguri Corridor, a narrow corridor flanked by China to the north & Bangladesh & Myanmar to the south, which makes it vulnerable to foreign infiltration.

If we neglect a part of our own country and give them step-motherly treatment, how can we expect them to consider themselves to be a part of us? We take them for granted, yet we want them to feel cared for. No wonder the states want independence from India!!

But then, that has been the story of India all along.


Nirav said...

While you are right about the step-motherly treatment given out to the north-eastern states, it probably does not have anything to do with the inner line permit.

These permits are required for 3 states - Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal, and can be very easily obtained by Indian nationals. The reason behind implementing these was to prevent illegal infiltration from Bangladesh.

A state like Tripura has been rampantly infiltrated by Bangladeshis and in many pockets of the state, there are more Bangladeshi nationals than Indians. Which is why these permits are required...

Scarlett said...

What about Assam? Naxal activity is the highest in Assam. What is the government doing to stop that? It takes 2-3 weeks to get the Arunachal permit.

illusionaire said...

Nirav is right. ILP is required for Nagaland, AP and Mizoram (my state), and the reason for their requirement is to check illegal foreign immigration and that you are not going to supply arms to the people there :-) and the main reason being that you are not going to settle there and exploit the tribals economically.

Most of us belong to the Indigenous peoples category.

But apart from all that, if you want to visit the states for tourism, hiking, vacation etc, it is actually no big deal and you can easily obtain a permit from the LO (Liaison Officer) of Mizoram House Kolkata or at other certified locations too. In fact sometimes in Mizoram, people land in Mizoram and then only get the permit in the airport AFTER they are already inside Mizoram :)

Regarding the neglect of the NE, this is a very well written and well summarized post: N(orth)-E(ast)-glected

And last but not the least, Arsenal rocks!!! :-)