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    Archived pages: 203 . Archive date: 2013-12.

  • Title: Tibet and the power of the human spirit, not the gun : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: Tibet and the power of the human spirit, not the gun.. | June 13, 2012 |.. On April 27, 1998, a 60-year-old Tibetan doused himself with petrol, set himself alight, ran out onto a busy street in a crowded city, enveloped in flames, after.. Thubten Ngodup’s last words, \shouted even as he was burning like a torch, were ‘Po Gyalo!’ (Victory for Tibet!) ‘Po Rangzen!’ (Free Tibet!).. His act of self-immolation took place in New Delhi, near the Jantar Mantar, the brilliant celestial observatory of stone and brick set up by Raja Man Singh centuries back, where Tibetan refugees were camping to protest the visit of a chief of the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army.. So many of us have been slightly burned or scalded while handling boiling water or cooking; the skin burns and the pain is sharp and intense, relentless if it is a bad burn.. (A lot of women suffer that in our country in murders over dowry: it’s less than it used to be thanks to better enforcement of laws, societal changes and greater media support).. The writer Patrick French, who is an unabashed Tibet supporter, speaks in one of his books of how people in the crowd heard “popping noises as his body began to burn.. ” So he must have been in excruciating agony; he was admitted to hospital where he later died, peacefully, it appears after a visit by the Dalai Lama, the leader of all Tibetans and a man of peace, who told him not to harbour any hatred toward the Chinese.. And the Dalai Lama, one of the world’s truly great figures, of humility, compassion and inner strength as well as of peace, is abused day and night by the Chinese!.. That was over 14 years back – though Chinese government virulence against the Dalai Lama continues unabated, forcing his peace and politic al negotiators to quit in frustration after Beijing refused to take talks forward.. The immolation took place in Delhi, capital of a free nation, proud of its “democracy” despite all the corruption, sleaze, violence (of the State and non-State) and dreadfulness of poverty and vulnerability of the marginalized, But at least we are free to voice our protest whether peacefully like Team Anna (who are getting very repetitive) or not so peacefully like armed groups in Central, North-western (read Jammu and Kashmir) or North-eastern Indian (though the latter has substantially reduced in recent years).. The reason that Thubden Ngodup figures here is that for the past two years, a horrific set of events has unraveled in his homeland, occupied by Chinese military and political forces since 1950.. Failed armed uprisings in the 1950s and 1960s led to a lull; then came the protests by monks, first in the 1980s, then in the 1990s and again in 2007, where people took to the streets, attacking Chinese businesses, nationals and others in an extraordinary set of events where the iron rule of Beijing was challenged as rarely before.. On the Indian side, a Long March by Tibetan protesters was halted near the international border: but the fact that it was allowed to go that far was itself a modest message from the Indian Government to the Chinese that in a free country, free people – even if they were refugees – had the right to protest.. After each uprising, the repression got worse in Tibet – and when the outside world thinks it could be getting better, living under  ...   rule in his or her homeland.. In his classic, Nobel Prize winning work, “The Gulag Archipelago”, a devastating indictment of the network of concentration camps for political prisoners in Siberia and other parts of the erstwhile Soviet Union, Alexander Solzinyetsin, refers to the courage of those who refused to surrender, within themselves, to what they considered illegal: it lies in saying, “Here I am, this is my belief, I not just defy you, I do not recognize you and your so-called authority, and whatever you do to me, my belief cannot change for I am prepared to die for it.. ” It could also be viewed as an extreme form of desperation.. Tibet is not free – but neither is China.. Let us not forget that not less than 41 monks, nuns and civilians have burned themselves to death and in so doing have shamed China and blackened the face of the regime in Beijing, no matter how craftily its leaders and official spokespersons phrase their words.. These have been the most extreme form of such protests anywhere in the world.. Most ‘national’ and international leaders are afraid to meet publicly with the Dalai Lama, for fear of enraging the Chinese dragon.. He and his people have given back much to this country what went out from here thousands of years ago – the qualities at the heart of Buddhism as well as dignity, compassion, health and healing – qualities we seem to have forgotten.. Since Mao’s portrait still looms large at Tiananmen Square, home of Beijing’s brief fling with democracy and its bloody crushing, it might be worth for the Chinese leaders and their followers to reflect on this little bit of his philosophy where he recognizes the immutable force of contradictions:.. “All contrary things are interconnected; not only do they coexist in a single entity in given conditions, but in other given conditions they also transform themselves into each other.. This is the full meaning of the unity of opposites.. ” That was in the 1937 essay ‘On Contradiction’.. In the North-east, it would be good, sometimes at least, to pause and reflect not just about our complex problems but of the courage and suffering of our neighbours and hope that the fragile ‘Burmese Spring’ reaches Tibet.. Mao’s noting on contradictions has a resonance for our region and its neighbourhood: the more we resist being like “the other”, the more we become like him or her or them especially in the treatment of each other: we do unto others what we accuse them of doing to us, and in the process become more like them, the very idea of which we oppose!.. But by burning themselves, the Tibetans have simply broken the cycle of blame and contradiction and proved that the Chairman, his Party, his Enforcers and Army, his Thoughts can be defeated, not through the barrel of a gun, but through the depth of the human spirit.. By the Brahmaputra / By Sanjoy Hazarika.. Like this:.. Like.. Loading.. Tags:.. By the Brahmaputra.. ,.. Sanjoy Hazarika.. Category.. :.. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to receive more just like it.. Subscribe via RSS Feed.. Leave a Reply.. Click here to cancel reply.. Name.. ( required ).. Email.. ( required; will not be published ).. Website.. If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a.. Gravatar.. Notify me of follow-up comments by email.. Notify me of new posts by email.. %d.. bloggers like this:..

    Original link path: /1718/tibet-and-the-power-of-the-human-spirit-not-the-gun
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  • Title: Bhupen Hazarika evening by C-NES-IIC at IIC on Sept 9 : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: Bhupen Hazarika evening by C-NES-IIC at IIC on Sept 9.. | September 2, 2013 |.. he Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research in collaboration with the India International Centrein New Delhi is organizing a major celebration of the creative genius of the late Dr.. Bhupen Hazarika and his younger brother, the late Jayanta Hazarika on 9th Sept 2013 at the IIC at 6:30 pm.. This falls  ...   will be dominated by their music and songs, C-NES Managing Trustee Sanjoy Hazarika, who developed the programme, will be in conversation with Kalpana Lajmi, the film maker who worked closely with Bhupen da.. Jayanta Hazarika s son, Mayukh and his wife Laili and musicians from Delhi will hold the evening together while Sunita Bhuyan, the well known violinist from Mumbai, will present some compositions of the versatile brothers..

    Original link path: /2228/bhupen-hazarika-evening-by-c-nes-iic-at-iic-on-sept-9?shared=email&msg=fail
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  • Title: Conversation on North-East held in New Delhi : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: Conversation on North-East held in New Delhi.. | August 30, 2013 |.. ‘The Thumb Print Conversation’ organised by the web magazine The Thumb Print in New Delhi on Sunday elicited a wide response from a cross section of society, including journalists and academics.. The punch to the evening was provided by the stimulating conversation that stirred up many ideas and threads to the intriguing topic ‘Where is Northeast India, in India?’.. The Thumb Print brought together some seasoned journalists as well as young minds to deliberate on the topic.. The evening was moderated by Sanjoy Hazarika, journalist, author and director of Centre for North East Studies, Jamia Milia Islamia, who began with the idea of the ‘other’.. Hazarika went on to say that this idea of the ‘other’ exists within the North-East as well, the result of distrust among the various ethnic groups.. Jyoti Malhotra, writer and journalist, toyed with the idea whether it was possible to have many more political identities in the North-East for the people to find their aspirations.. Later in the discussion, it was felt that this may not smoothen the frictions since the North-East houses more than 220 ethnic groups.. Sanjoy Hazarika’s light-hearted take on considering New Delhi itself as the North-East, found some positive echoes.. Elucidating on this, on a lighter note, he said when Punjabi grocers in a particular area in the North campus managed to pick the Meitei language or the many youths from the region managed to find employment as guards from the last ten years, and  ...   the capital and the police’s indifference to the mysterious death of young Reingamphy, she said it is a long way ahead but one positive outcome was the coming together of almost 300 people of the North-East to protest against this insensitivity.. Joydeep Gupta of The Third Pole felt people of the region should also take into consideration the judicious use of the vast natural resources for sustainable growth; that they should negotiate with the Centre for optimising the returns.. He also brought in an interesting thought of the ‘Nation State’ idea losing its hold with the complex issues faced in the present world and not aiding in any way to take us forward.. The founder member and president of South Asia Women in Media, Pamela Philipose felt it was essential to acknowledge the idea of multi-identity and then to begin a process of negotiation.. In this, she said, the media should involve itself in knowledge creation which could further serve as a channel for facilitating connects between the people.. Media analyst Sevanti Ninan urged The Thumb Print to see if it can share its stories with similar other portals, so that it has a wider reach and it does not remain a niche website.. Teresa Rehman, managing editor of The Thumb Print magazine said that what started as a necessity to find space for the voluminous expression of the region, which was not possible in the mainstream media, had completed a year now, “hoping to be a scaffold to leave an imprint.. ”.. http://www.. assamtribune.. com/scripts/detailsnew.. asp?id=aug2613/city05..

    Original link path: /2226/conversation-on-north-east-held-in-new-delhi?shared=email&msg=fail
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  • Title: In new and old states, where will the poor live? : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: In new and old states, where will the poor live?.. | August 14, 2013 |.. In the fresh crisis that is engulfing Assam and other parts of.. North-east and Eastern India following the Telengana announcement,.. much angry rhetoric is being spewed.. There is also a lot of defensive.. posturing by groups opposed to the creation of new states, whether in.. Assam, West Bengal or elsewhere.. The Karbi Anglong outburst caught.. everyone in the State by surprise, leading to tragic deaths and.. violence.. There are bandhs, counter-bandhs and threats of strikes.. that will be unending.. To many of us, it appears that we are either.. caught in a time warp or that we are heading back in time when these.. very issues, of demands for statehood or great space, captured both.. political and media headlines, disrupted life and impacted the fabric.. of society.. I am not going to talk about the rightness or otherwise of the demands.. being made, for example, to carve up the existing state of Assam into.. several portions.. These are not new demands and they have always been.. simmering below the surface; all they require is a handy excuse to.. explode onto the public arena.. The Centre’s announcement of a.. Telengana state did that as is the general knowledge across the.. country that elections to the Lok Sabha are not far away – they could.. be held as early as November or so or as scheduled in May 2014.. The Centre has failed the people of this region and other parts of the.. country where demands for separate states have been made: it should.. have held a series of dialogues with them, taking their issues into.. consideration, and trying to go the extra mile.. Would it have hurt if.. the Telengana business had been put off by another six months while.. trying to accommodate similar issues in other states? This failure is.. costing both the Centre and the States dear, as it will the Congress.. Party.. But, in relation to Assam, there is one point which requires to be.. stressed: one does not know of any other case but that of Assam where.. a group demanding the virtual vivisection of the state continues in.. government and enjoys the privileges of office while supporting.. agitation in favour of division! The Chief Minister himself has not.. commented on this contradiction – but isn’t it obvious that there is.. such a major contradiction: that you continue in government despite.. doing everything or at least saying everything, including a little.. demonstration by two MPs outside the Lok Sabha in Delhi, that.. undercuts the very basis of a coalition government.. That foundation is.. the quality of working in consonance with the other party or parties,.. of consensual politics and policies.. If those politicians wanting a.. separate state can convince their colleagues in the Congress Party.. that this is a good idea for the State and the country, then of course.. they should continue in the government.. Otherwise, they lose the moral authority (most Indians would question.. the value of such a thing anyway) to hold positions in the Council of.. Ministers while undercutting the foundation of that very government of.. which they are part.. Which part of this is difficult to comprehend?.. I.. e.. either you are with the government or you are against it.. So the.. honorable thing to do would be to leave.. But that’s not something.. which those wanting a division appear to  ...   India’s.. rate of 30 percent.. The prevalence of underweight children under five.. years of age is 36.. 4 percent of the population of children of that age.. group; the all-India level is 42.. 5%.. So that is better than the all.. India average but it should not be a source of comfort.. Ours is a.. small state, barely 2.. 6 percent of the total population of this.. mammoth, crowded nation.. If in a small state, made smaller by.. separations which led to smaller states being carved out of it with.. the creation of Nagaland in 1963 and Meghalaya in 1970 – our HDI rank.. is 16 out of 23 (2007-08 figures) and our Gender Empowerment Measure.. (GEM), which assesses the access of women to basic rights and.. services, is 28 out of 35.. A basic fact linking incomes to agitations or rather the lack of.. incomes to periods of protests is that ordinary people can’t work.. during such times; a daily labourer without work means no money at the.. end of the day and where would he/she buy from if the shops are.. closed.. How long can a family – even if one took the highly.. controversial and disputed Tendulkar method of calculating the poverty.. line – buy food stocks in advance to sustain it through long days of.. closure and lack of work? What are the psychological effects of these.. prolonged agitations on those who bear the brunt of it – the poor and.. the vulnerable? How can they get their sick to hospitals if transport.. doesn’t move, how do they sell their labour or their produce if.. businesses are shut and markets are closed? What does a 1,000-hour.. bandh (translated into days, it’s about 42 days) mean for a small.. family on the edge of poverty and those below that level? How do.. they, simply put, survive?.. I am sure that those who call bandhs think of this.. It must be a major.. concern for them for their families, friends and others known to them.. may be affected by this very dynamic.. The political issue is a.. separate one: I am not pronouncing here on the correctness or.. otherwise of the new calls over old demands.. What I am concerned.. about is the ensuring and anchoring of the essential human rights of.. the poor and the ordinary, the vulnerable and the weak, in whose name.. – the name of the janata – all agitations and confrontations develop.. How can these be assured, by those calling for the battles and by.. those in power?.. Clearly, those demanding their rights through protests are convinced.. of their cause.. So are those opposed to them.. Indeed, peaceful.. demonstrations are an inspired democratic right.. But what about those.. don’t figure in the story, who are caught in between, the ‘silent’.. ones? Spare a thought for them and consider how their condition can be.. improved.. For they will continue to inhabit both the old states and.. the new, the smaller states and the large, and it is their lives which.. need to be uplifted.. We cannot forget that large parts of the North-east, despite all the.. tom-tomming of growth and achievements by its different states, are at.. the economic and social levels of LDCs (Least Developed Countries).. like Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos.. There is a long way to go.. That is.. why the constant of political dialogue must replace confrontation and.. conflict.. By Sanjoy Hazarika / By the Brahmaputra..

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  • Title: ‘D’ Category and Lost Years : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: D Category and Lost Years.. | July 25, 2013 |.. The day that the ‘foreigners’ issue caused turmoil in the Assam Assembly and made headlines, once again – as it has for over 30 years, without much being resolved one way or the other – a few revealing statistics also were reported.. I reflect on them here because they raise troubling issues.. These are questions and concerns not about existing facts but missing data.. We are always emotionally charged, and rightly so, and deeply exercised about the ‘illegal migration’ issue, even though facts and figures show that the real numbers are less than has been proclaimed from the rooftops.. That there has been substantial illegal migration over several decades is not in dispute.. In question is the declaration – unsubstantiated for the main, but for emotional declarations, sweeping rhetoric and passionate columns by parties, organizations and individuals– that the influx is continuing at an extensive and alarming pace.. While migration may indeed be taking place, the issue is about the numbers as much as anything else and the reality that the issue is as far from a solution as it was some years back.. One does not wish to go into the details of the rhetoric.. What is important is also to look at the facts, in this case, as the State Government has placed in a press conference while the State Assembly session was going on.. The ’D’ or Doubtful category of voters was the issue that State Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain, a close aide to the Chief Minister and a spokesman for the government, addressed.. According to news reports, this is what Mr.. Hussain had to state on 15 July 2013: that 91,159 out of a total of 2,31,657 cases of ‘Doubtful’ Voters i.. possibly foreign nationals had been ‘disposed’ of through due process.. Of the 91,159, only 7,152 were identified as ‘illegal foreigners’ while 41,190 were found to be Indian citizens.. I find this very puzzling.. The figures don’t add up or maybe the reporters did not get the full picture.. If 91,159 cases had been resolved, and of this only 7,152 were foreigners and 41,190 were Indians, then what were the others? There are 42,997 more persons who have not been categorized, at least not in the reports which I have seen.. So where does it place them – for surely they cannot be denizens of another planet? Are they still ‘D’ people and hence in suspended animation, without the rights of a citizen? But if the issue has been resolved in their case, why doesn’t the government categorically say what their status is?.. In the Assembly, Mr.. Hussain said that 1,18,472 persons had been served D notices between January 2003 and January 2013.. But he did not say or at least was not quoted as saying or clarifying over what period did the 2,31,657 cases come from? Surely, they would go back further in time.. So, as usual in the issue of ‘illegal migration’ and  ...   citizens and no government has carried out this responsibility better than us.. The Election Commission classifies ‘D’ voters and we know majority of them turn out to be genuine Indian citizens.. Their classification has been wrongly done and I have told this to chief election commissioner (SY Quraishi) at a meeting here.. But the EC is an autonomous body and is not bound to listen to us.. He was referring to the process which had begun over a decade back and which, after an intensive house to house survey, turned up as many as 370,000 persons as people of Doubtful Identity if they could not produce documents to back up their claim of Indian citizenship.. After being barred from voting, the High Court sent off a large number to detention camps.. Another revision, showed that many of those who were categorized were missing and the figure was revised to 181,619.. The issue became extremely sensitive after two rickshaw pullers, both Bengali speaking Hindus and brothers, were declared to be Bangladeshis though they had been voting regularly and pushed into Bangladesh by the Border Security Force.. Such cases raise issues that are not even addressed in all the rhetoric that flows about in this political space.. These are uncomfortable questions but they need to be faced.. For instance, what happens in and to the lives of those who have been characterized as ‘foreigners’ and ‘illegal migrants’ but have been set free of that stigma by courts and tribunals? How do they recoup, refigure and reshape their lives and that of their families? What is the role of Government and other processes to help in that process?.. There are two sub- issues which need to be considered by the government and political parties, by other communities in Assam with regard to this larger question:.. The first is whether such groups and individuals, people who have suffered physical and mental harm and harassment, loss of income and livelihoods, of jobs and dignity, are entitled to some form of compensation for the years lost and the time and energy dissipated.. The second is whether, as in other parts of the North-east, many of these could be characterized as victims of discrimination and need the help of trained counselors to come out of conditions of stress.. All citizens have equal rights to health care that can help them recover from trauma.. In the cases under discussion here, they may not be directly suffering from Post Trauma Stress Syndrome (PTSS) induced by victimization at the hands of security forces as well as members of militant/armed groups as seen elsewhere among different communities and several states of the NER.. After all, it is an established clinical finding that those who have suffered extensively in conflict zones in the world need psychiatric care and counseling by caregivers.. But discrimination and a sense of alienation can also be contributory factors to PTSS.. After all, no one can bring the lost years back.. By Sanjoy Hazarika.. com/.. scripts/showpage.. asp?id=.. jul2413,6,435,129,993,837..

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  • Title: ‘Brahmaputra’ film screened in Europe : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: Brahmaputra film screened in Europe.. | July 21, 2013 |.. A documentary film, Where there are no roads , on the unique boat clinics that ply on the Brahmaputra in Assam, has been screened to international audiences of scholars, media, writers, area specialists, students and professionals in Vienna and London.. The latest screening was held at the Indian government s main cultural venue, the Nehru Centre, in London Wednesday to an attentive audience which interacted extensively with film maker Sanjoy Hazarika, who introduced the film and responded to questions afterwards, especially on how Assam, which has India s worst Maternal Mortality Ratio, is improving dramatically these past years.. The film portrays the difficulties of taking healthcare through specialized boats on the Brahmaputra, an initiative of the Centre for Northeast Studies and Policy Research, and how a simple idea and initiative today reaches nearly a  ...   Mission of the state government, which funds the campaign.. It shows how in partnership with the principal stakeholder, commitment and courage, sustained health care can become a reality for lakhs of ordinary people, said Hazarika.. In Vienna, the film was one of the main events at the inaugural programme July 4 of an international three-day conference of over 75 scholars from across Europe, the United States and India who are working on issues relating to ethnography, anthropology, politics and sociology in the region.. Their subjects ranged from lifestyle changes among hill groups in the North-East Region to the crisis of conflict in the Bodo tribal areas, the challenges posed by repressive laws that give special powers to the armed forces as well as displacement and flooding and its impact on ordinary people in the flood plains of the mighty Brahmaputra river.. business-standard.. com/article/news-ians/brahmaputra-film-screened-in-europe-113071100101_1.. html..

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  • Title: Asha by boat: the last mile over water : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: Asha by boat: the last mile over water.. “If I don’t get a hundred it would be a bad day.. ” said Muniran Bibi.. She sounded like an ambitious cricket player.. “The boat clinic is our only chance of getting health care here on the island.. ” she insisted.. “If not many people come, a big chance would be wasted for them.. ” Her eyes were bright with anticipation.. I had just arrived at the school building on an island in the Brahmaputra River in Kamrup District, Assam, India.. The young team from the Kamrup Boat Clinic, a doctor, a pharmacist, lab technician, two nurses and a registration worker had raced ahead carrying their supplies on a bicycle through the fields.. I was maybe three minutes after them.. When I got there they had already talked to Muniran, the local Asha worker, and set up in their corners in the school’s class room.. People started lining up at the rickety table under the porch that was used for registration.. Karim Ali, twelve years old, was one of the first ones.. He got deworming pills and vitamin B supplement.. Most of the patients were women, many with their children, and many others pregnant.. They came for  ...   of these boat clinics with funding from the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).. The boat clinic was the brain child of Sanjoy Hazarika, C-NES’s managing trustee and a writer, journalist and documentary maker.. The first boat clinic started in 2005 with funding from the World Bank Development Marketplace.. When NRHM deployed in Assam, they realized that without the boat clinics they would never reach the 3 million people in Assam who live on islands in the mighty river.. So they decided to fund C-NES to reach them.. Today, the boat clinics reach more than a million people who would otherwise never get care.. With more funding for boats, they could do more….. The boat clinics deliver the last mile in a Government of India funding program, a mile over water in PPP mode.. Like Operation Asha, another Development Marketplace “last mile” winner, the boat clinics excel through focus, dedication and relentless efficiency.. I love what they do!.. When we left, Muniran looked happy.. She was well over a hundred already and not out.. The team would stay the whole day to take the boat back only just before dark.. Another island would await them the next day, like every week day…….. SOURCE:.. http://blogs.. worldbank.. org/endpovertyinsouthasia/endpovertyinsouthasia/asha-boat-last-mile-over-water..

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  • Title: On Assam’s River Islands, Family Planning Clashes against Religious Tradition : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: On Assam s River Islands, Family Planning Clashes against Religious Tradition.. MAZERCHAR CHALAKURA, Assam — On the banks of the Brahmaputra River, off the coast of Dhubri town in the northeastern state of Assam, lie a few hundred villages that seem stuck in time, difficult to reach from the mainland and undeveloped for decades.. These “char,” the name given to the more than 2,000 riverbank villages and river islands in Assam, are home to hundreds of thousands of Bengali-speaking Muslims who use the fertile lands to cultivate paddy.. They live in huts fashioned from dried jute, get around without roads and have few schools.. Jan Khatun lives in Mazerchar Chalakura, a village accessible to mainland Assam only by boat, with her husband, a rickshaw puller in Dhubri.. At 42, she has nine children, and her youngest daughter, who completed only the first grade, was married at 12 to a laborer from a neighboring village.. Forcing girls to get married at that age is illegal in India, but Mrs.. Khatun said that local people had started telling her that her daughter was growing up and that it was time she was married.. “I just wanted to fulfill my responsibility,” she said.. Jan Khatun with her children Badruddin, Mumita and Sonika in Assam.. Courtesy of Nida Najar Jan Khatun with her children Badruddin, Mumita and Sonika in Assam.. Mazerchar is in the district of Dhubri, whose residents are mostly Muslims of Bengali origin.. Many of the chars in Assam are islands in the Brahmaputra River and can disappear over time due to floods, just as regularly as new char islands form from silt deposits.. Mazerchar is one of the several chars that are actually connected to the mainland.. The district’s population has been growing rapidly: the growth rate of Dhubri, released last month by the Census of India, was 24.. 4 percent from 2001 to 2011, above the statewide average of 17.. 07 percent and the highest in Assam.. Health experts say a lack of education and family planning, as well as the common practice of child marriage, has the char population growing at a rate at which the eroding soil cannot support.. And as different ethnic groups compete for ever-scarce land, a significant number of the Assamese are erroneously linking the growing numbers of Muslims to illegal immigration from Bangladesh, which has been at the center of a volatile debate and has led to intense violence and forced displacement.. “People say they are coming from Bangladesh,” said Ilias Ali, director of the Global Hospital in Guwahati and a partner in the National Rural Health Mission’s quest to bring family planning to the chars.. “But they are not Bangladeshis; they are from undivided Bengal.. If we invest money to education and health facilities, their numbers will go down.. Yet Dr.. Ali acknowledges that the Muslim communities in the char areas are resistant to family planning efforts, particularly when he has tried to encourage the men to undergo no-scalpel vasectomies, a procedure that avoids the potential complications of a tubal ligation for women but remains extremely unpopular.. In 2010, along with the National Rural Health Mission, he organized a camp for tubal ligations and vasectomies in Hatsingimarie, in Dhubri district.. Over 200 women and around 20 men underwent one of the procedures, according to his records.. But only days later, he received word that the Dhubri faction of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (Organization  ...   Assam.. “They proclaim themselves to be Assamese.. But their language, their traits, their cultural ethos, is not similar to the people in the rest of Assam.. Whenever they move to Guwahati, they are identified as Bangladeshis.. “.. The jute and paddy field at Mazerchar Chalakura in Assam.. Courtesy of Nida Najar The jute and paddy field at Mazerchar Chalakura in Assam.. The debate over the nationality of Bengali-speaking Muslims in Assam, a large minority population in the state, came to the forefront last year when ethnic Bodos and Bengali-speaking Muslims clashed in Kokrajhar, north of Dhubri, over a land dispute.. Many blame the governing Congress Party and the All India United Democratic Front, an opposition group for failing to address the population growth problem in the chars.. AIUDF is a political party formed in 2006 by Badruddin Ajmal, a millionaire perfume magnate turned politician, who represents Dhubri in the Indian parliament and whose vote base is primarily the Muslims of Bengali origin.. Though residents of the char communities do tend to vote in blocs, largely for the Congress Party or the AIUDF, which is part of the federal coalition government led by the Congress Party, that has translated to little development for the region.. In the meantime, char dwellers are as concerned about the scarcity of land as others in Assam.. Though education and health indicators in chars are low, the younger couples seemed more inclined toward smaller families as shrinking land means that few could afford to support large families.. Many had lost family land because of floods and had turned to manual labor as an alternative.. Liaquat Hussain is one of the wealthiest men in Mazerchar.. His grandfather migrated from east Bengal in 1911, and so pleased a local zamindar, or feudal landlord, that he was eventually awarded the land he tilled, which now amounts to 11 acres divided between eight brothers.. Mr.. Hussain owns a tractor, a fishery, and donated the land for the clinic.. His sons went to college and live in Dhubri, but as he sat under a tree bent with swollen jackfruit in front of his acres of paddy and jute, he conceded that the land that was the key to socioeconomic mobility for his grandfather and his father has run out.. “Now, the only option for Muslims of this place is sale of labor,” he said.. Rashida Begum, one of Mrs.. Khatun’s neighbors, bemoans that fate.. She complained that her husband has no land to call his own and spends his time fixing up houses on the island for cash.. Sometimes, Mrs.. Begum, her husband and their four children travel to Guwahati and Bihar and labor in brick factories for months to make ends meet the rest of the year.. Mrs.. Begum, 30, has given up on chiding her children to go to school.. After Mrs.. Begum married, her mother-in-law, who had only one son, commanded her new daughter-in-law, then just a girl of 15, to give her 10 grandsons.. But Mrs.. Begum had other plans.. Standing outside her neighbor’s kitchen where a mound of rice dried in the scorching midday sun, she drew her 7-year-old boy, her fourth and youngest child, close to her.. “This one will be my last,” she said.. Nida Najar is a freelance journalist based in New Delhi.. She reported with the help of a grant from the International Reporting Project.. Source:.. http://india.. blogs.. nytimes.. com/2013/06/19/on-assams-river-islands-family-planning-clashes-against-religious-tradition/?smid=fb-share _r=1..

    Original link path: /2133/on-assams-river-islands-family-planning-clashes-against-religious-tradition
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  • Title: Uttarakhand floods a “man-made disaster” : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: Uttarakhand floods a “man-made disaster”.. Over 60,000 people are stranded and about 1,500 missing after a cloudburst and floods swept away buildings and triggered landslides in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand.. Thousands of soldiers and hundreds of paramilitary have been dispatched to rescue survivors.. But road networks and river banks have collapsed, leaving many stranded without food or shelter.. A large number of pilgrims are reported to be trapped around the holy town of Kedarnath.. Chief minister Vijay Bahuguna has described the floods as a “Himalayan tsunami”.. Bahuguna told.. the.. bbc.. the death and destruction in the floods was “unprecedented”, and that causalities could run into the thousands.. Flood-related deaths have also been reported in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh states and neighbouring Nepal.. Dr Rajendra K Pachauri.. director of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI..  ...   damage.. The place the blame on successive governments who have prioritised large scale infrastructure construction and neglected disaster prevention.. Sunita Narain of the Centre for Science and Environment said the Uttarakhand tragedy is a “man-made disaster,” according to.. The Hindu.. She called for the states along the Himalayan ranges to reconsider their development models.. While there could not be a blanket ban on development activities in these fragile areas given the needs of local people, “we need to look at ways of development without destroying natural resources,” she said.. NDTV has broadcast an interesting debate on impact of rampant development and poor planning in Uttarakhand and India’s other Himalayan states.. In August last year Uttarakhand state also experienced massive flash floods and landslides.. There was widespread criticism of the lack of disaster preparedness by the state government..

    Original link path: /2130/uttarakhand-floods-a-man-made-disaster
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  • Title: First NE Green Journalism award given : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: First NE Green Journalism award given.. | June 8, 2013 |.. Promising journalist Ratnadeep Choudhury who is working for Tehelka bagged the first ever Northeast Green Journalism Award, 2013 instituted by.. assamtimes.. org.. , a community e-paper on Wednesday on the occasion of World Environment day.. His story which exposed the illegal stone mining in and around Kaziranga National Park in Assam was selected for the award.. It was published in Tehelka Magazine in April 2012.. “This story created huge impact, as the National Green Tribunal also took  ...   Kaziranga.. While doing the investigation we were attacked, camera was broken, the stone mafia lobby tried everything to stop us, but truth was finally set free,” said Ratnadeep Choudhury after winning the award at Guwahati Press Club.. This award has been instituted to encourage the journalists of the region to take up environmental journalism seriously.. On the occasion several dignitaries including senior journalists Sanjoy Hazarika, Dilip Chandan, Nava Thakuria and IIT Guwahati environment scientist Dr Chandan Mahanata stressed on the need of environmental reporting in the region.. http://assamtimes.. org/node/8453..

    Original link path: /2095/first-ne-green-journalism-award-given
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  • Title: Sanjoy Hazarika nominated to NEHU Executive Council : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: Sanjoy Hazarika nominated to NEHU Executive Council.. | June 1, 2013 |.. The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt.. of India, Department of Higher Education has conveyed the nomination of Sanjoy Hazarika, in his capacity as Director, Centre for North East Studies Policy Research, Jamia Millia Islamia, to the Executive Council, of NEHU (North Eastern Hill University) by the President of India in terms of the provision laid down under Statute l2(1) (viii) of NEHU, Act.. 1973.. Hazarika is also founder and Managing Trustee of C-NES..

    Original link path: /2086/sanjoy-hazarika-nominated-to-nehu-executive-council
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