Guwahati: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Sunday emphasised the role of political leadership in building trust among all sections of people for greater integration as a nation.
He also underlined the importance of cultural exchange between different parts of the country, especially among children and youth, for a better understanding of different aspects of each other’s lives.
“For greater integration, the most important role is of the political leadership. They must see the different aspects of integration and take the right steps for achieving it,” Sangma said.
He was speaking at the inaugural day of a two-day conclave on the theme of Celebrating Contribution of India’s North East Region in Nation Building’, being held under the aegis of the Eastern Command headquarters of the Army, with support of the NE states and North Eastern Zone Cultural Council (NEZCC).
Sangma pointed out that building trust was essential to bring all stakeholders together, especially in a region like the northeast.
“For most of the last 75 years, issues of the northeast were not understood and policies were framed by people sitting in Delhi. It leads to an erosion of trust.
“There are inter-tribe, inter-community issues here, and policy intervention has been in the wrong direction at times. It leads to one section feeling deprived,” the Meghalaya chief minister said.
Work has to be done on how to minimise these lapses, and though it might take time, it can be achieved with the right approach, he said.
The Meghalaya chief minister mentioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s instruction to Central ministers to frequently visit the northeastern region as a step in the right direction.
When they understand the issues first-hand, it helps evolve solutions, he added.
Sangma also stressed the importance of cultural exchange as an important tool for integration.
“The cultural exchange should happen from a young age… There is a need to experience each other’s lives at different levels,” he added.
Sangma also put a thrust on historical data collection, content creation and then placing it before the new generations at the right level of their education so that can acquire an understanding of the collective past.
“For proper integration, overall connectivity — transport, cultural, economic, historical, etc. — needs to be built,” the CM added.
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