Feb 20, 2006

Nagalim: Nagaland Enjoys Peace Dividend

The extension of the Naga ceasefire for another six months has come as a big relief to the people of Nagaland, who are looking for permanent settlement of the decades old Indo-Naga political problem
The extension of the Naga ceasefire for another six months has come as a big relief to the people of Nagaland, who are looking for permanent settlement of the decades old Indo-Naga political problem.

The restive state of Nagaland after the ceasefire in 1997 saw flourishing markets, booming business, growing purchasing power of the people and most importantly the fearless movement indicative of the huge leap forward made by the state since the truce.

For the people who have been at the receiving end of insurgency for decades such peaceful atmosphere was worth more than anything else.

Peace itself is a biggest motivator for the general people to invest. If you see around Dimapur the commercial capital of the region, the real estate prices have gone up. More showrooms have come up, more people are traveling for business purposes and people are exploring new potential. There have been small industrial units that people are trying to bring up. So you have stable peace in the region, we would have industrial growth as well, said Pradeep Yadav, a transporter.

The last eight years post ceasefire saw markets growing and well-known brands venturing into markets in state capital Kohima and business hub Dimapur. Communication facility in the state has become better with private players like Airtel and Aircell entering the market posing competition to the state owned BSNL.

With prospects of growth very much on the horizon the denizens also want a lasting peace. V Abu Mehta, a senior journalist, believes: Peace is necessary for any kind of development to take place. Progress cannot take place without peace and you see over the past few decades in the last few years in the past generations of the Naga youth they have not got the opportunity, they have not been given the scope to excel and to reach out with the same facilities, same infrastructure as their counterparts in the rest of the country. So peace is needed and without peace no development can take place and no progress can take place.

The UPA government at the Centre and the Planning Commission are also paying greater attention to the development of the State. Annual plan outlays for the State for next year have been enhanced by more than two hundred crores. The emphasis is on building up infrastructure and training the youth in professional skills. Whether it is the government or the people of the state everybody wants a normal and peaceful Nagaland.

Certainly peace is very important. Without peace there is no progress, without peace there is no development too. So peace is a necessary thing, which we have to have for our development, said Ato Yepthomi, member of Business Owner Association, Dimapur.

Education is another sector that is also in for change. With the opening up of new colleges and IT institutions the educational scenario too is changing rapidly. With Indias Look East policy bringing the country closer to the ASEAN nations, attempts are being made by the state government to train the youth in languages and other skills to take advantages of the emerging opportunities.

Peace in Nagaland. The development that we are getting from the government of India would be of no use if there is no peace; people will be in fear condition. So due to the extension of this ceasefire this time it is a relief for the people of Nagaland, said Dr Lanutola, Principal, Dimapur Government College.

The central government and the NSCN (IM) leadership too seem to be optimistic towards the peace process. So far thirteen rounds of the talks have been held. There may not have been any concrete political result to this vexed issue, but one tangible and visible result is peace in the state.

Source: Asian News International