A Discussion on the Situation in Assam at Jamia

The present situation in Assam, the largest state of the North-East, has been extremely disturbing with extensive violence, including killings and arson, between different groups as well as the flight of the displaced to relief camps. The repercussions have been seen and felt in different parts of the country. However, the complexity of the situation in the Bodo Territorial Administered Districts as well as in other parts of the state is barely understood by many in New Delhi or elsewhere in India; ignorance, insensitivity, insecurity and anxiety are underlined by the recent exodus propelled by a fear and hate campaign.

Discussions in the visual media often have been reduced to a blame game and scoring points.  In the current context, there is an urgent need to understand the reasons behind the ongoing conflict and its deeper roots in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural humanscape.  A range of issues are behind the problems. These include struggles over land and resources, manufactured consent and ad-hocism as well as oversimplification of complex issues for short-term gain and the sensitive issue of migration.

The Centre for North East Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, is organizing a half-day discussion on September 3, 2012, involving activists, policy makers, journalists and scholars who have visited the affected areas and who will share their experiences and thoughts. This will be followed by discussions drawing on different perspectives to understand the situation and as to ascertain see how accommodations can be reached. The question remains: how is the existing trust deficit to be addressed?

The discussion will be held on 3 September, from 02:00 to 05:30 pm, at Mir Anis Hall, Administrative Block, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

Mr. Najeeb Jung, IAS, Vice Chancellor, JMI, will address the programme and Prof. Sanjoy Hazarika, Director, Centre for North East Studies, JMI, will chair the discussion.

Resource persons include Prof. Udayon Misra, National Fellow, ICSSR, Guwahati, Dr. Monisha Behal, Chairperson, North East Network, Dr. Syeda Hameed, Member, Planning Commission, Govt. of India, Prof. Anil Boro, Gauhati University, Mr. Helal Choudhury, Advocate, Supreme Court, Mr. Kalyan Barooah, Delhi correspondent of The Assam Tribune, Dr. Roshmi Goswami, formerly of UN Women, and Dr. Rajesh Dev of the Dept. of Political Science, Delhi University.

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