Peace on the Cards

Wednesday, 27 January 2021



Peace on the Cards

Swapnil Bharali | November 15, 2020 14:24 hrs

For Diwali and the days leading up to the otherwise mindlessly noisy festival, the 2020 version has been rather quiet in Guwahati. Just sporadic and infrequent sounds of cracker bursting – that too in the distance rather than the proximity – is all that can be heard so far. 


The fact is Guwahati has been largely peaceful this time around. And if peace is the keyword here, then Guwahati has been peaceful since the last time the ULFA made a deafening noise by blasting a grenade near a mall on Zoo Road – ostensibly targeting a posse of CRPF personnel on vehicle checking duty rather than civilians. Needless to say, civilians were hurt in the process.

Ever since that peace-shattering incident, the next ULFA related news – one that was heart-warming and a step towards long-lasting peace – was the surrender of its Deputy Commander-in-chief, Dhristi Rajkhowa in Meghalaya recently. Well, it has been a gap of 18 months more or less that the ULFA has made news again and if this be the trend and frequency, one may be inclined to believe that eternal peace is set to be ushered into our militancy-battered state. 

This assessment is based on some major peace initiatives undertaken by the current dispensation within the NE region but which took its initial shape from the Jammu & Kashmir issue and the scrapping of Article 370. To all appearances clearly, the BJP government at the Centre is on a prolonged blunder rectification exercise cleaning up the strife-torn areas one after the other. Kashmir apart and closer home, the Bodoland Territorial Region is a case in point. With the peace accord signed unanimously by all stakeholding factions, the region is set to elect a fresh council as soon as elections are announced there and development and thereby, peace seems the only possibility hereafter. 

The Nagaland talks, although a little more complex in nature, are progressing well and the combative elderly duo – Messrs Isak and Muivah – seems to be coming to conformity with the proposals that the government is placing. A solution seems distinctly on the radar which would end the confrontational situation sooner than later thereby allowing peace to prevail.

In the same breath, the ULFA solution might hopefully see the light of the day post the Assam assembly elections next year. Rajkhowa’s surrender has been timely and could set the ball rolling for the independent faction to come to the negotiating table. Assam needs its 1000-year peace asap.

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