RONO HILLS, 18 OCT
National security is a very wide canvas and it cannot be devolved only to the North East India, Major General (retd) S C Mohanty, Security Advisor to Government of Arunachal Pradesh said on Monday.
Addressing an online national webinar on the theme ‘Issues and challenges of national security in India’s North-East’, he enlightened the audience about the various internal and external threats faced by North East India.
He also cited how neighbouring countries like China, Myanmar and Bangladesh influence the region.
He cited historical and evolutionary realities since the time of independence and the contemporary internal, regional and global environment. He also spoke about the peculiarities of North East India ranging from divergent historical experience, terrain, socio-economic development, ethnicity, etc.
He also focused on the prevailing situation regarding internal threats and also made certain recommendations. He focused on the various peace accords that have been signed between the insurgent factions operating in the northeastern region and the government of India.
He also elaborated how the foreign fundamentalist outfits pose a challenge to the security of northeast India in particular and India at large.
“National security is not the sole responsibility of the armed forces, it should be a combined effort of every citizen of the nation,” said Saket Khuswaha, Vice-Chancellor of RGU.
Recognizing this fact will resolve most of the issues that we face in the context of security, he said while adding that the media has a crucial role to play in this regard.
Prof P K Panigrahi, HoD, Department of National Security Studies discussed the various challenges faced by the states of North East and emphasized the external threat from the hostile neighbours and internal insurgent groups in North East.
Prof P A Ghosh, organising secretary and faculty of the Department of National Security Studies (NSS), RGU, spoke about the changing concept of national security studies beyond the traditional concept of security.
Speaking on the aspects of security, RGU Registrar Dr N T Rikam said the concern of local people, their ethos, culture, tradition and emotion must be taken into consideration to avoid misunderstanding erupts amongst civilians and the army.
RGU Pro VC Amitava Mitra spoke about external and internal challenges, the trans-border terrorist activities, separatist challenges and how this is affecting the overall socio-economic development of this region.
In the technical session, Prashant Agarwal, former HoD, Dept of Defense& Strategic Studies, University of Allahabad, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh emphasized security and development issues in North East India, with special reference to Arunachal Pradesh.
He also spoke on how multiplying manifold of the undocumented migrants in the region add to the problem and the migrations are influenced by both pull and push factors.
He was of the view that trust-building measures should be taken up with all the bordering states of Arunachal Pradesh.
“NGOs can play a crucial role to bridge this issue,” he added.
He also highlighted how the magic of economic development should not be seen as the solution to all problems.
The second speaker, Prof Kamal Kinger, Department of Defence & Strategic Studies, Punjab University highlighted the problem of lack of physical and cultural link faced by the North-Eastern states which according to him stimulated the feeling of alienation.
He also focused on materializing policies like Act East Policy and platforms like BHIMSTEC.
Putting greater importance on the prospects and immediate measures, he called for enhancement of communication, connectivity infrastructure, cultural interaction, improving administrative efficacy and comprehensive dealing with the internal security issues faced in the northeastern region.
The webinar was organised jointly by the Department of National Security Studies and the Institute of Distance Education of RGU.