'Privatisation has increased rural neglect'

The northeast has been badly affected by ethnic strife. DILIP GOGOI of Cotton College, Guwahati, on its vulnerability

Are ethnic conflicts more frequent in the northeast compared to other parts of India?
In the northeast, communities are consolidated on ethnic lines. In other parts of India caste identities are strong. In the northeast, there are lesser opportunities for indigenous communities and competition for resources stokes conflicts.

Why haven't matters improved yet?
There has been little development. Actually development has meant privatisation, and has increased the neglect of rural areas where indigenous groups live. Education and health sectors have been totally neglected. Besides, opportunities are not being uniformly distributed and the cost of living has also increased sharply.

Are people opting for privatisation due to the government's failure?
Actually, lack of development and infrastructure in northeast India