Shillong, July 16 : Patricia Mukhim, a veteran journalist and the Editor of The Shillong Times, feels that militancy has reached a saturation point in north-eastern India, in Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.
Speaking to Asian News International recently on the overall scenario in the region, she said that philosophers have stated that no revolution carries beyond 15 years. A stage has come when militants in the region have to be brought over-ground and rehabilitated.
Speaking of Manipur, Patricia pointed out that today the problem there is "a pure law and order problem which has been given the euphemism of insurgency; it is just looting and extortion."
Similarly, in Nagaland, popular parties like National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), have lost their "mooring and cause."
"This is what happens when militancy goes beyond its life. It has exceeded its life span. All the goals are blurred now. Nobody knows what they (militants) are fighting for and now the infighting is basically for control over commercial interests. It's no longer an ideological warfare. So, you are trying to control Dimapur, trying to control all the extortion sources. This is infighting," she added.
People today want to move on in life, and this includes militants. "The only problem is how do they find a face saving device to come out in the open and join the mainstream," Patricia said. Analysing the recent reports of division in United Liberation Front of Assom (ULFA), Patricia said: "The cadres, who have been engaged in militancy for so long, are no longer fit to be in the jungle and they realise that. And the top cadres are living very comfortable lives. Only the lower middle cadres are fighting and they are doing it without any direction, without any leadership."
Patricia concluded: "To me, it is only a matter of time before this is also resolved. And, it will be resolved because they want it. They can't survive anymore." She feels that in a globalised world one cannot live in a localized situation and anything that poses an impediment to integration of the economy with other states and countries is going to be challenged by people. People's challenge cannot be opposed by militants for long, for all along they've been surviving on people's support."