North East and Discrimination…….
A few days back there was an article, “Stop the discrimination” published in Assam Tribune editorial section (May 05 2012). The particular line in the article, “A recent study has found the vast majority of the respondents to be abysmally ignorant or ill-informed about the region” I believe is the major reason behind the discrimination. When I was a student in one of the reputed Colleges of South India, a friend of mine had asked, how do you guys stay in North East? Is it safe enough! She had also added, here it is still better but I have seen chinky girls in Bangalore with revealing cloths, highlighted hair. They are just scary! This reflects the ignorance about the region even by highly educated mass. And regarding revealing cloths and highlighted hair, I would say that at present scenario especially in metropolitan cities there is no scarcity of such kind of girls. Unfortunately, only small eyed girls come to limelight only because they look different! In contrary to these there are instances where people come to North-east either for the purpose of job or business or tour who develop some kind of attachment for the region due to extreme hospitable nature and simplicity of the people over here. Thus, it is clear that we solely cannot blame others for this discrimination and this can be eliminated only by bridging the gap between the North East region and other parts of India.
First step for this is the development of the region. After the death of Richard Loitam and Dana Sangma North East was discussed in parliament. Mere discussion and suggestion of helpline numbers are not the solution. The main concern is the attitude of the Indian bureaucracy towards the region. Even in grass root level if we see the funds released for the development of the region are never used appropriately. In most cases it is almost exhausted till it reaches the main stream of development. Compared to other parts of India North East is loaded with natural resources. Most importantly, tourism which can be termed as one of the major assets of North East can play a major role in bridging the gap between the region and other parts of India. Starting from the beautiful Shillong peak, heavenly sight of loitering one horned rhinos in Kaziranga National park of Assam till breath taking beauty of the Tawang lake of Arunachal Pradesh can serve as the most pleasant holiday experiences. But unfortunately, even tourism industry faces negligence. And here comes the real plague of North East. That is militancy. There are more than 20 groups of active militants here. Every year there are some talks of ceasefire and agreements. But this has become like a yearly festival here without any kind of fruitful consequences. Inhabitants of North East regions are god gifted talents be it in football or boxing or music but scope is the term which is missing.
Second step is by making North East more and more overt. Especially, those who are outside the region can contribute to this a lot by mingling more with non-NE people and educating them more about the region. In this way people will get more acquainted with the culture and lifestyle of North East. I believe it will subsequently and hopefully make people more and more aware that North Easteners are also normal human beings and completely Indians like Indians of other parts of India without an alien culture as assumed by most of the people. The fact that viral advertising is in vogue can be an unbelievable boon for us in this respect if it is used in fruitful and and proper way.
North East at a glance…………….
Northeast India refers to the easternmost region of India consisting of the Seven Sister States (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura). It is blessed with breath taking natural beauty and also natural resources mainly crude oil, tea, silk, mineral resources like coal, limestone, granite and iron and vast forest resources. It is predominantly hilly region except Assam. Most of the population of North East is tribal ranging from 19.3% in Assam to 94.5% in Mizoram. The region has over 160 Scheduled Tribes and over 400 other sub-tribal communities and groups. It is predominantly rural with over 84 per cent of the population living in the countryside. Thus, most of the inhabitants over here are very simple and lead simple life.
10 MUST VISIT PLACES IN NORTH EAST:
Tawang is situated in northwestern part of Arunachal Pradesh. It is a Buddhist Pilgrimage site and birth place of sixth Dalai Lama. Tawang Monastery, the larget Buddhist Monastry in India was founded by the Mera Lama Lodre Gyasto in accordance to the wishes of the 5th Dalai Lama, Nagwang Lobsang Gyatso. Tawang is blessed with hundred pristine lakes and numerous waterfalls. The real riches of the place are the soggy, rocky mountains, snowcapped summits and old Monasteries. Tipi Orchid sanctuary in Tawang houses thousands of varieties of orchids. Along with the Buddhist Monastries, Shonga-tser lake and Banga jang lake are the main tourist spots of the place.
Guwahati, formerly known as Gauhati is the largest city of Assam, largest metropolitan area in north-eastern India and one of the fastest developing city in India. It is said to be the “Gateway” of the North East Region. Dispur, the capital of Assam is located within the city.
Guwahati is one of the most important destinations in the whole Northeast. Situated at the bank of the mighty Brahmaputra it serves as one of the most beautiful cities surrounded by blue hills and beautiful river. A beautiful romantic evening can be experienced in enthralling river cruise in the cruise vessels like, Jolporee, Charaidew, Alfresco etc. Shopaholics can explore the places like Shilpagram and Nedfi Haat for memorable traditional crafts and handloom products of the region. And for foodies traditional Assamese thali in Paradise, Traditional cuisines in Namsing, Kharika, Majulir Akhas etc can serve as real taste of Ambrosia. Tourists must also visit Umananda temple, Kamakhya Temple, Assam Zoo cum Botanical Garden, Assam State Museum, Science Museum, Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra, Saraighat Bridge, Planetarium, Sukreswar Temple and Baishistha. Especially, Kamakhya temple, located at Nilachal Hill is one of the main attractions of Guwahati which serves both as place of worship and special treat to the eyes and soul of the person with extraordinary scenic beauty of its surrounding.
3) KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK…
It is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam. Kaziranga serves as a dwelling to two-thirds of the world’s one-horned Rhinoceroses. It boasts the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the World. It is also home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, swamp deer and different species of birds. Other felids include the Jungle Cat, Fishing Cat, and Leopard Cats. Small mammals include the rare Hispid Hare, Indian Gray Mongoose, Small Indian Mongooses, Large Indian Civet, Small Indian Civets, Bengal Fox, Golden Jackal, Sloth Bear, Chinese Pangolin, Indian Pangolins, Hog Badger, Chinese Ferret Badgers, and Particolored flying squirrels. Elephant Safari can be an overwhelming experience here. Besides elephant safari guided tours by Jeep are also available. The park remains closed for visitors from mid-April to mid-October due to monsoon rains.
It is the capital of Meghalaya, one of the smallest states in India and home to the Khasis. It is a small hilly yet very beautiful place with pleasant and relaxing weather throughout the year. Ideal place for a new year party or a Christmas party. Elephant Falls, descends through two successive falls, Lady Hydari Park, Wards lake, Golf link, Shillong peak with a beautiful sight of the entire city, Sweet falls, Crinoline falls, Bishop and Beadon falls, different museums, spread eagle falls are some of the must visit tourists spots of Shillong.
The previous capital of Assam, Sibsagar is “The Ocean of Shiva” is situated in the Sivasagar district in the north east of Guwahati in upper Assam. It is famous for the tallest Shiva temple, Shivadol. 200 year old Sibsagar tank is the most remarkable landscape of the town. Rang Ghar, Kareng Ghar, Talatal Ghar, Gargaon Palace, Jaysagar Tank and Temples, Ajan Pir Dargah Sharif, Charaiadeo, Namdang Stone Bridge, Rudrasagar Tank, Gaurisagar Tank, Panidihing birds sanctuary and Temples are the main tourist attractions of Sibsagar. Apart from its history, culture, and tanks, it is also famous for its Ahom Palaces and Monuments. Sivasagar today is also an important center for oil and tea trading.
Bomdila is the headquarters of West Kameng district situated in Arunachal Pradesh. It is a lovely little hill town and perfect for an outdoor person. The list of things to do here runs from taking leisurely walks, to trekking in the surrounding hills, watching marvelous sunsets and maybe go apple picking in the orchards around. The Bomdila trek from Bomdila to Dirang is a thrilling fun filled experience and any trek lover would not hesitate to undertake this trek in this part of India. Apart from all these experiences it also offers brilliant sight of the Himalayas landscapes and snow clad mountains. It is best known for Buddhist monasteries, apple orchards, wild orchids, forests and cascading waterfalls. The major attraction of Bomdila is Ethnographic Museum, which is the perfect place to see the real culture, art and traditions of Arunachal Pradesh. It is also popular for its craft centre, from where you can buy exclusive and lovely carpets in different designs and colors.
It is also called as Tipi is a small town located along the southern reaches of the Himalayas in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh Serves as a real attraction for mountain and adventure loving people with various activities like trekking, rafting and angling. Its viewpoint like turbulent water falls, perennially fresh forests, and lavish expanse offers chance for photo adventure. Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary, Tipi Orchidarium which hosts more than 2600 cultivated orchids from 80 different kinds, and Kaziranga National Park are sightseeing near Bhalukpong. The principal tourist activities in Bhalukpong are Fish angling and river rafting.
It is a subdivisional town in the East Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya. It is known to get the maximum amount of rainfall in the world and is credited as being the second wettest place on Earth. However, nearby Mawsynram currently holds that record. It is the traditional capital of a hima (Khasi tribal chieftainship constituting a petty state) known as Sohra or Churra.
Cherrapunjee with its pristine views and pleasant climate is a good place to take a break and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Along with numerous viewpoints it is famous for limestone caves and orange honey. India’s fourth highest fall, Mawsmai Falls is situated in this city. Khasi monoliths is the must visit site for the nature lovers and environment explorers. Mawlong peak, known for the David Scott memorial, Mawlong caves, Majestic falls, Noh-Kalikai falls, Dain Thelen falls Thangkarang Park are some other destinations of this place.
It is the capital city of Tripura and the second largest city in North East. It is loaded with many palaces, temples, lakes, gardens and hills. Major tourists attractions here includes College Tilla, Ujjayanta Palace, Kunjaban Palace, Jagannath Temple, Venuban Vihar, Buddha Mandir, Ravindra Kanan, State Museum, Tribal Museum, Sukanta Academy, Laxminarayan Temple, Uma Maheswar Temple, Benuban Bihar, Gedu Mian Mosque, Malanch Niwas, Rabindra Kanan, Purbasha, Handicrafts Designing Centre, Fourteen Goddess Temple, Portuguese Church and Puratan Agartala. Gol Bazaar and Kaman Chowmuhani are the commercial point of the city.
Dimapur is identified as the “Gateway to Nagaland”. It is the largest industrialized city of the state. With various markets especially in Ruzaphema consisting of beautiful traditional handicrafts and handloom, Dimapur can serve as the most important attraction for shopaholic tourists. Apart from this there are various tourist attractions in Dimapur, such as ancient villages, waterfalls and ruins of the Kachari Kingdom.
Apart from this it is also famous for Chumukedima, Triple Falls, Governor’s Camp and Intangki Wildlife Sanctuary. Ruins of temples, embankment and tanks with Monolith provide some imminent into megalithic culture.
PS: Took immense help of the internet in gathering detailed information about the following places but still if anything important is yet to be added your suggestions are most welcome.