|Editorial Vol. I Issue 42-43||Mar 22 - Apr 6 , 1999|
Peace, not violence, is the key
No word or expression is sufficient to condemn the formation of North East Indian Democratic Organisation (NEIDO) as it advocates preventing violence with violence. Its slogan 'An eye for an eye, a hand for a hand' not only violates the basic norms of a civilised society, but is also against the basic principles of a nation which believes in non-violence and tolerance.
At the same time the plight of S. R. Sakshi is easily understandable. His hotel in Imphal was torched by the ultras five years ago. He had to leave the State where he was residing for long.
The senseless act of the ultras had forced him to such a position from where it is very difficult to make a comeback.
Burning down Mr. Sakshi's hotel was not an isolated incident. Over the years, the underground forces active in the North-East region are going more and more for soft targets.
Gone are those days when the insurgents used to value innocent human lives as precious. Such was the Naga rebels' respect for human rights that they did not attack security men if found unarmed. Attacking busy market areas or crowded places was a crime for them.
But since the mid-eighties, the situation started changing. It seems that these days the ultras get immense pleasure in murdering innocent people. What is more disturbing is the fact that they have become so blood-thirsty that they do not spare senior citizens, women and even children.
These are no allegations, but hard facts.Former Nagaland industry minister K. Hollohon's family members, including his grandchildren, were killed when they were returning from the
church. In Manipur, 21-year-old girl Yendenbram Sajana was shot dead by the ultras.
Sajana's fault was that she was reportedly in love with a non-Manipuri Army officer. Another 17-year-old girl, Shangrejwom, was also shot dead by the ultras. In Tripura school students had to boycott classes as they had become the main target of the insurgents.
To top it all, the insurgents are also indulging in fratricidal killings. Assam, Tripura and Nagaland are presently in the grip of fratricidal war and hundreds of lives have already been claimed by this ongoing war among various insurgent groups. Appeals by the various prestigious as well as influential bodies like Naga Hoho or Bodo Sahitya Sabha to stop the killing of their own people have failed to prevent this unnecessary and senseless bloodbath.
As a result, the self-claimed freedom fighters are fast losing the grounds. The common people are fed up with mindless violence and brutal killings. In Assam, few bandhs had been observed to protest against violence. In Nagaland too, various social and apolitical bodies have started putting pressure on the ultras to stop killings and discuss their genuine grievances with the Government of India.
Thus S. R. Sakshi should not think that he is alone in his fight against terrorism. All peace-loving people of the North-East are with him. But Mr. Sakshi, the founder of the NEIDO, while formulating his ambitious counter-insurgency plan did not realise that his so-called pro-national terrorism would hurt the country more than the acts of the ultras active in the North-East region. Because if his plan of harassing or imposing tax on the North-Easterners succeeds even to a little extent, it will further widen the gap of understanding between the mainland and that part of the country which in the process will help the insurgents to recover their lost grounds. So for the sake of peace, Mr. Sakshi should drop his idea of floating an organisation like NEIDO. Besides, all the politicians who are extending their tacit support to Mr. Sakshi should restrain from doing so. Because peace not violence can only bring an end to the ongoing violence in that region.
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