Reasons that sustain insurgency in north east India

  • Sense of Isolation, Deprivation and Exploitation: Distance from New Delhi and meagre representation in the Lok Sabha has further reduced the vox populi being heard in the corridors of powers, leading to more disillusionment in the dialogue process, thereby making call of the gun more attractive.
  • Demographic Changes: The influx of refugees from former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) into Assam led to a dramatic change in the demographic landscape of the region.
  • Lack of Economic Development: GoI’s economic policies have also fuelled resentment and insecurity amongst the people. Due to various factors, the development of NEI has lagged behind thereby resulting in lack of employment opportunities. Thus, the youth are easily lured by various insurgent groups in order to earn easy money.
  • Internal Displacement: Internal displacement is also an ongoing problem. From the 1990s to the start of 2011, over 800,000 people were forced to flee their homes in episodes of inter-ethnic violence in western Assam, along the border between Assam and Meghalaya, and in Tripura.
  • External Support: There is ‘increasing evidence’ of China’s revival of its ‘covert offensive’ in the region. Pakistan’s Special Services Group (SSG) also trained the Naga guerrillas in the 1960s through their bases in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).


Way forward

  • Enhance communication and connectivity, infrastructure improvement for better integration of the region with the mainland.
  • Stringent law and fast criminal justice system for quick disposal of insurgent’s attack cases.
  • Greater coordination between central forces and state forces for better tactical response.
  • Greater cultural interaction with the rest of the country and socio-economic development that includes a holistic inclusive development.

Decentralization with alertness, improving administrative efficiency, pro-people governance and coping up with regional aspirations.