Podcast: Binalakshmi Nepram on the Realities of India’s Oft-Forgotten Northeast
Here’s a hard truth about policy conversations on India: we rarely hear about India’s northeast. In fact, in doing more than 50 episodes of this podcast, not even one has been dedicated to the northeastern region of the country.
The Northeast is a region of immense geostrategic importance. It is home to nearly 50 million Indian citizens. It is also home to South Asia’s longest running armed conflict, where over 50,000 people have died. And, yet, it is often written off as a footnote, an outlier or part of the periphery.
To enlighten us--and to educate us--about this often overlooked corner of India, social activist and indigenous leader Binalakshmi Nepram joins Milan Vaishnav (Director of the South Asia programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) on the show this week. Bina is the Founder of the Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network and also serves as Convenor of the Northeast India Women Initiative for Peace.
Bina and Milan discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the Northeast, how the region fits into India’s popular imagination, the intense discrimination the region’s citizens endure, and the decades-long conflict that has upended the lives of tens of millions of ordinary Indians. Plus, Bina tells Milan about what inspired her to establish two of the Northeast’s leading human rights groups.