No state is an island unto itself. Kerala had the worst flood in the century and is getting back to normal. Nagaland experienced a deluge as well recently. Unprecedented rainfall in the state caused the death of over 10 people. More than 13% of the population was hit severely. Roads, including an important highway are in ruins. There have been massive power outages. Flood stricken Kerala has received foreign aid and even then the Centre has stood firmly behind it with necessary assistance financial and otherwise. The public response to the crisis was most encouraging. Response to appeals for help from philanthropic organisations was heartwarming. Social media were effective in coming to the aid of people in distress. Kerala was in the eye of the whole country. But as is the normal case, the annual floods in Assam that wash away homes and rice fields leaving behind a trial of disaster year after year does not received the kind of attention that Kerala did. This time Nagaland experienced a deluge but the appeals for help to the Central Government billed at Rs 100 crores has gone unheard. The public response too is lukewarm perhaps because Nagaland is not as sharp a reference point as Kerala is. Nagaland has been kept waiting for days for necessary assistance although the Nagaland Government is an ally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Interestingly the only celebrity – Sushant Singh Rajput came to Nagaland and donated Rs one crore from his own kitty.
The national media too did not give coverage to the floods in Nagaland just as it continues to ignore the floods in Assam. India’s north eastern states each with their specific problems continue to languish in backwardness and poor connectivity. No matter what governments at the Centre say about the north-eastern region being an integral part of the nation the fact remains that this is a region that receives scant attention. It’s a combination of apathy combined with prolonged alienation. North eastern students are discriminated against in metropolitan India. It fractures the unity of India. Democracy consists in fair representation. The indifference shown to the Northeast proves that Indian democracy is not yet inclusive. It casts a shadow over the coming Naga accord with the Centre. The accord depends on the understanding that Nagaland is very much a part of mainland India.