Manipur-based CCDD unhappy with NER Vision

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Aizawl, Nov 10 (UNI) The Manipur-based Citizens Concern for Dams and Development (CCDD) today expressed its unhappiness with the North Eastern Region Vision, 2020, on which a public hearing was held at Aizawl on November seven.

CCDD spokesperson Ch Ralte said, ''The Vision is being prepared not by us, the people of the NE, but by people from outside the region. All the six authors and the researchers, except for one, are from outside the region. We are being treated as if we cannot think for ourselves. This is an insult to our ancestors and our traditional institutions, not to mention our own academicians and intellectuals.'' Ms Ralte also questioned about the draft document of the NER Vision being prepared with inputs from public hearings conducted across the region and alleged that the data, collected by the Centre for the North East Studies and Policy Research, had not been incorporated in the Vision document.

The CCDD, in its memorandum to the North Eastern Council yesterday, maintained that the country's partition had not been the main cause for the backwardness of the NE as pointed out in the document.

''While traditional trade routes might have been closed with Bangladesh, there are more borders with Tibet, Bhutan and Burma where close linkages were also closed and which suffocated the NE.

In other words, partition was not the prime cause of the NE's backwardness but its annexation has suffocated the region. It is important for a document of such importance to acknowledge what actually happened and is happening or else this document has no value whatsoever,'' the spokesperson said.

Criticising the NER Vision, 2020, document's preface, which stated that the NE is surrounded by an intimidating and unsympathetic environment, the CCDD's memorandum said this was a problematic and insensitive statement because in a reverse gaze, the same could apply for Delhi or Punjab.

The CCDD also criticised the repetition of the word ''backward'' in the entire document and asked what kind of yardstick was used to measure backwardness.

The CCDD alleged that the Vision, 2020, was another gimmick of the Centre to justify building roads and other infrastructure while placing very little importance on the ability of the region.

Ms Ralte further stated that the public hearing conducted at Aizawl on November seven was not a public hearing in the true sense of the term as 80 per cent of the participants were bureaucrats.

''It should have been called bureaucratic hearing instead,'' she said.

UNI

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