Shortcomings galore at meeting to connect with Northeast people

Shortcomings galore at meeting  to connect with Northeast people

A meeting to take stock of the conditions of people from the Northeastern states living here, on Saturday, initiated by the Union Home Ministry, was not adequately represented by leaders or students from the  region.

There was also a serious lack of communication in holding the meeting, leaders said.  There was no representative from Assam at the meeting with members of the Committee on Northeast Concerns of the Ministry, even though the largest contingent of Northeasterners living in Bangalore, 1 lakh to 1.5 lakh, come from Assam.

Simanta Sharma, president, Assam Society of Bangalore, said that he received no official notification either from the Home Ministry or any other organisation. There were no representatives from Sikkim and Tripura also. “It was not until Friday night that I got news about the meeting. I had seen some posts on Facebook about the meeting, but no official notice was given,” said Simanta. 

 “I was expecting that leaders from all the states would be officially invited to the meet since it is an issue that involves all of us. However, it was a highly informal discussion. There was also very little time for each of us to air our views,” said Vezokho Resu, president Northeast Welfare  Association, Karnataka.    
      Even the arrangements were not planned till the eleventh hour. The venue of the meeting (that finally took place at Vikasa Soudha) was decided only two days before the meeting on Saturday. 

“It is quite surprising that a meeting of such a level had no terms of reference. We were constantly pushing for such terms and framework of objectives for the meeting, but there was none. The only communication with regard to the meeting was only by a series of phone calls made to one of our members,” said Swar Thounaojam, general secretary, Northeast Solidarity (NeS), who also attended the meeting. 

When asked about the lack of proper communication, Alana Golmei, member, Committee on Northeast Concerns, said, “It (the meeting) was supposed to be an informal affair with anyone from the community who had any grievances to come and air it. We had fixed the responsibility of inviting students and other people from the Northeast to organisations like NeS and they did manage to bring quite a few of them,” she said. 

Thounaojam, however, told Deccan Herald that no such responsibility was entrusted to NeS.     

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