Former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor and senior Congress MP made a call for giving more autonomy to the people of the Northeast region of the country.
While speaking at the launch of Avalok Langer’s book on the Northeast, ‘In Pursuit of Conflict’, at Oxford Bookstore in New Delhi on Friday, former Union Minister Tharoor also voiced support for amending the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act as, according to him, it does more harm than good.
Tharoor, however, urged not to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to different areas of the Northeast region which have different problems.
A report published on The Indian Express on Saturday quoted Tharoor as saying, “I have a clear point of view for as much autonomy as possible for the local people (of the northeastern states).”
As per the report, Tharoor, Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvanthapuram, called for much attention to the needs and sensitivities of each area in the region. Rather than an umbrella look, the Congress leader reportedly said it would be better to have at least half-a-dozen different perspectives of the area as the problems are not the same, even within the States.
Tharoor, who worked at UN for over 30 years in various positions and was a Minister in the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Cabinet, said that there is a general miasma of ignorance, but beyond that ignorance, the specific area needs to be dealt with specifically.
The report also quoted Tharoor further saying, “Increasingly, we’re gonna have to have a decentralised democracy. More areas that are distant from Delhi — to the north, northeast or south — are going to feel that it’s not possible for them to have every decision having being taken in Delhi.”
He clarified that he was against self-determination as the northeastern States cannot function independently, broadly due to their small geo-economics.
Speaking against AFSPA, the former Union Minister also stated that the provisions in AFSPA are ‘offensive’ to the sensibilities of any democrat. The report further quoted Tharoor saying, “I think a significant section of the political establishment, certainly speaking for my party, would be in favour of amending (the) AFSPA.”
He asserted that the provision for arrest without warrant is far too blanket. “But, the revocation of the Act may be a step that would be politically difficult,” he added.