After “60 per cent” of Assam’s border problems with Meghalaya were resolved amicably, the same dispute between Arunachal Pradesh and Assam is likely to be settled by this year, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Saturday.
The governments of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam are working for an amicable and permanent resolution of the border issue, Shah said while addressing the golden jubilee celebration of the Ramakrishna Mission School at Narottam Nagar in Tirap district.
Arunachal, which was carved out of Assam, was initially a Union territory. It became a full-fledged state in 1987. The two states share an 804.1 km long border. The boundary issue which originated during the re-organisation of the North-eastern states is now pending in the Supreme Court.
“Almost 60 per cent border dispute between Assam and Meghalaya was resolved amicably and I am confident that the dispute between Arunachal and Assam will be settled before 2023,” said Shah who is on a two-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh from Saturday.
Assam and Meghalaya in March decided to end their five-decade-old border dispute in six of the 12 contested locations that often raised tensions between the two states,
Asserting that efforts are underway to make Northeast insurgency-free, he claimed that 9,000 militants of the region have surrendered during the last eight years of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
“The Centre is committed to bringing peace and development to the region. Youths of the Northeast no longer carry guns and petrol bombs. They are now carrying laptops and are launching start-ups. This is the path of development that the Centre has envisaged for the region," he said.
"Manipur, which was earlier known for bandhs and blockades for more than 200 days a year, is now witnessing a sea of change without any bandh during the last five years of BJP rule in the state," he said.
Shah said that the insurgency in the Bodoland region of Assam was resolved through the signing of the Bodo Peace Accord.
"Surrender of militant groups in Tripura and resolving of the Bru refugee issue was undertaken by the Modi government. The Union Home Ministry has taken initiatives to bring peace to Assam's Karbi Anglong (district)," he said.
The Union home minister said that a three-pronged agenda has been prepared for the development of the Northeast.
“Our first aim is to not only save the dialects, languages, traditional dance, music and food of the Northeast, but also enrich them and make them the pride of the nation,” he said.
The second aim is to end all disputes, providing a platform to the youth of the region through which they can compete with the youth of the world and it is our responsibility to create such a dispute-free, peaceful, extremist-free, weapon-free North East.
“The third goal is to take all the eight states of the region to the top position in the list of the most developed states of the country,” he said.
On the National Education Policy (NEP), he said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced it on the occasion of 75 years of Independence based on human values and education, along with a scientific approach and artificial intelligence.
The NEP 2020 has incorporated observations of Swami Vivekananda, who founded the Ramakrishna Mission (RKM) 125 years ago, he said.
Quoting Swami Vivekananda's philosophy on education, he said it is the medium for making people intelligent, to bring out the inner strength of the people and give it a direction.
Terming the 21st century as the "century of knowledge", Shah said that efforts are on to make the youth of the country competent enough to stand at par with those across the world.
Lauding the RKM, he said, “Treating patients in its hospitals and imparting quality education, it has exhibited exemplary commitment for which the nation salutes it."
Shah said that no disciple would have given such a huge ‘Guru Dakshina’ to his Guru which Swami Vivekananda gave to Ramakrishna Paramhansa by establishing the RKM. He also extolled the RKM's contribution to the education sector and the socio-cultural lives of the people of Arunachal Pradesh.
There is probably no other place in the country other than Arunachal Pradesh where people greet each other with ‘Jai Hind' instead of the usual 'Namaste', the union home minister said.
"The credit goes to the Rama Krishna Mission for instilling patriotism among the people of the state,” he said.
To construct a temple is a noble job but to establish a school and impart knowledge to the people is more valuable, Shah said.
“With good road, air and train connectivity besides infrastructure development, Modi has connected Northeast with the rest of India,” he added.
Modi has visited the states of the North-eastern region more than 50 times in eight years which no other prime minister had done, the union home minister claimed.
“The whole country loves the Northeast and all its states and Northeast is also proudly saying today that we are part of the great nation of India. It is a big step forward,” he added.
Shah also unveiled a statue of Swami Vivekananda on the RKM school premises besides inaugurating a new hostel building and administrative block.
Later in the evening, the home minister reached Wakro in Lohit district and laid the foundation stone for a 51-feet high statue of sage Parshuram at Parshuram Kund, a famous pilgrimage site, under the Centre’s PRASHAD scheme.
Around 70,000 devotees take a holy dip in Kund’s water each year on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti.