EDITORIAL | Roller coaster ride for NE in 2020; looking forward to a better year



Northeast India experienced quite a roller coaster ride in 2020.

This year kicked off with aggressive protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or the CAA across the north-eastern states.

But the agitation ultimately succumbed with the onslaught of COVID-19.

Looking back, one could say that half the year was fighting against COVID-19 while the other half passed by with adapting to the new normal.

But COVID-19 and CAA were not the only issues that shook the region.

Each state faced its own sets of problems–be it social, economic or political.

The Baghjan blowout, Dehing Patkai and Bodo Peace Accord in Assam, the Ichamati clash and IED blasts in Meghalaya, the Bru resettlement issue in Tripura, the Indo-Naga Peace Talks in Nagaland, the Manipur ambush, the abduction of Arunachal residents by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were some issues that became a focal point of discussion not just at the states’ but also at the national level.

The interstate boundary dispute between Assam and the neighbouring states of Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland was another issue which rocked the Northeast this year, particularly the Assam-Mizoram border skirmish.

Though the interstate boundary dispute is not an issue unique to 2020 as similar incidents were reported in the past, the damages and impact that the Assam-Mizoram clash had on both states, however, is worth mentioning.

And if we look at politics in Northeast India, no extra-ordinary turn of political event shook the region except for a few dramatic developments in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura.

Some of these political developments include the ability of the BJP to wrap up this year with a clean sweep in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and Tiwa Autonomous Council polls, the political instability in Manipur following the resignation of several MLAs from the Assembly including ministers, the defection of JD(U) MLAs to the BJP in Arunachal Pradesh and the internal conflict within the BJP in Tripura.

This year, Northeast also mourned the passing away of three-time Assam chief minister and veteran Congress leader, Tarun Gogoi on November 23, 2020.

His demise not only created a void in Assam or the country’s political scene, but it also marked the end of a political era.

As the new year approaches, let us not lose hope but try to be better and not repeat the mistakes of the past.

Let us first start by becoming better human beings through love, compassion and understanding.

At the end of the day, we should strive to unite as one, irrespective of age, sex, gender, caste, creed or the colour of one’s skin.


Also Read: EDITORIAL | Should Home Minister Amit Shah focus only on Assam and Manipur?