A Parliament for Northeast India

“A Parliament for the North East,” Assam Tribune (Guwahati), 20 June 2010, p. 6. (co-authored with Mirza Zulfiqur Rahman).

 

Extract: To counter the role of the central government as a manipulator of intra-Northeast Indian politics in order to serve supposedly ‘national’ interests, ensure that minorities including women are not marginalized, escape institutional inertia and help the people of the region to deal with the increasing effects of globalization, both positive and negative, Northeast India requires a regional parliament that will function within the ambit of the Indian Constitution but will aim to give the region a weight that is more than the sum of its parts.

 

One such solution could be the formation of a North-East Parliament (NEP) where every ethnic community, small or big, would be represented proportionally across the state boundaries of Northeast India and perhaps include also the hill regions of West Bengal. The proposed NEP would help ethnic communities to make their voices heard in a recognized democratic platform and allow for the formation of cross-state coalitions (much like what happens in the European Parliament) over inter-state and regional issues such as water, environment and infrastructure development among others. More importantly, with adequate powers of legislation and oversight of regional and central government institutions, the NEP would provide a forum where communities have the opportunity to talk and hold the central and state governments to account before they had to pick up the gun.

See the full article at  Jabin-Mirza-AssamTribune-NEP.

 

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