America eyeing north-eastern India?
America in the north east of India? Well, with the Chinese knocking on our doors, can the United States be far behind? In fact America has far more ambitious plans. China may be interested in just Arunachal (and in fact the latest news is that China is encroaching slowly but surely) but the US is interested not just in Arunachal, but in the whole of the north east!
Er..no, not exactly in the way you think!
It’s purely an economic interest…(well, I hope!)
However, this news has not been reported by the mainstream media in India – except for The Telegraph. The news that there will be North-east India Investment Conference in New York on 26th of September between Americans representatives and the Chief Ministers of Assam, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and senior ministers from Manipur, Assam, Nagaland, Sikkim, Meghalaya and Assam.
And another piece of news, this reported widely, is that of a proposed link road between India and Thaliand. Incredible and ambitious…it will mean development of infrastructure for the north-east and great benefits for Thailand as well.
There is also mention of the North-East India Investment Opportunities Week’ to be organised in Bangkok…
Now while the latter news about the north east and Thailand was picked up and reported widely, the proposed conference between the north eastern states and the United States was not. Perhaps it is less important, but I don’t think so. It is very significant that American companies will be entering the north-east.
What I cannot help thinking is that there seems to be a lack of will on the part of the Central government to invest heavily in the north-east. Or maybe India has no money! At least not for the development of the north east…after all so many other children of India are clamoring for the share of the development funds. Naturally the children…er, states with strong voices are more likely to win.
What does this remind me of? Tamil Nadu and Ram Sethu…? Oh oh, I said the wrong thing. Development of the north-east and Ram Sethu are not connected, both can happen..what is the connection anyway…different ministries, different departments, diffierent issues…and anyway, what do I know about what is happening behind the scenes? If I think the north-east is more important, what am I talking about! American companies will do the needful won’t they?
(Map from The Economist)
For more articles on the north-east, go here.