Elections to the legislative assemblies of Meghalaya and galand are over, with the former registering 84 per cent turn-out while the latter saw 75 per cent thronging polling booths in great zeal and zest. galand was a special case. Elections had started in that State on a precarious note: the Core Committee of galand Hohos and Civil Organizations was advocating a solution to the Greater galand impasse – or what they call the ga political issue – before the polls. In fact, a message was being sent out that people would do well not to cast their votes unless the problem was resolved. But the fact that as many as 75 per cent of the State’s voters preferred democracy prudence to democracy paralysis tells us a different story, and the story is refreshing as well as reassuring: that they have faith in Indian democracy and are yearning to flourish under its umbrella. It is a big and well-deserved slap on those who still advocate ‘sovereignty’ outside the ambit of the Indian Constitution and fashion themselves as people’s ‘revolutiories’ only to indulge in loot, murder and mayhem. That democracy should so happen in a State known for the oldest armed insurrection against the Indian tion-state, is one of the most positive stories to have occurred in this part of the country – often known for senseless violence dressed up as insurgency. More such stories are awaited. For, the northeastern region, as it stands today in changed circumstances, craves for democracy to take far deeper roots.
But the bigger question looms large: What is there really in the so-called framework agreement between the Centre and the NSCN(IM)? Are the borders of Assam, Aruchal Pradesh and Manipur safe vis-à-vis the Greater galand utopia? What is the magic formula, if any? The need of the hour is transparency. And we do have every right to know.