The Interactive Discussion meeting on “The North-East Exodus- implications and the way forward” was held at Bangalore International Centre in collaboration with Assam in Bangalore Coordination Forum on Wednesday, 29th August at 5:00 pm.
On the panel were Ashwin Mahesh, ABide member and Social Technologist; RK Misra, activist and leader; K Sreedhar Rao, Former Chief Secretary of Assam and Sikkim and Chairman of Knowledge Commission and Administrative Reforms Commission; and Vikas Kumar, Professor at Azim Premji University. In the audience there were representatives of NASSCOM, BCC, CII, President, Association of Bar, Restaurant, Pub and Hotels, President, Security Association of Bangalore, several heads of companies in the Security agency, Housekeeping and Restaurant industries.
The programme highlighted the fact that Bangalore has all along been a melting pot of different cultures and has always welcomed people from different States. The recent exodus by the people from the North-East, who were staying in Bangalore has shown that there is a gap in the process of assimilation of this segment with the mainstream population. This needs to be bridged as that would be to the mutual benefit of both Karnataka and the North-Eastern States.
Some of the Action steps which were recommended by the panel and the members from the audience were-
A well-thought out programme on promoting the rich culture of North East should be arranged at work, cultural or public places, etc and also through print and screen media.
The Government of Karnataka should identify an empowered permanent Nodal Officer for North East, to handle all law and order and security-related issues pertaining to North-East so that these do not escalate and get taken care of at an early stage.
There should be Peace/ Co-ordination committees in different areas of Bangalore with the inclusion of local community leaders.
There is a need to have interactive discussions with representatives of the service sector to build confidence among North East people.
It is necessary to keep in touch with the mainstream media and motivate them for publishing positive news of North East. Simultaneously rumour-mongering through social media and electronic medium should be effectively tackled.
It is important to counsel the workers once they return and provide them security and shelter as required.
The Media from Assam, in addition to other media representatives were present to record the event to telecast in Assam. It was a well- attended event.