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Northeast cultural centres will sensitise people: Experts

As crimes against people from the northeast continue to rise in the national Capital and other cities, experts on Friday stressed that having northeast cultural centres in cities will go a long way in sensitising people and removing ignorance about the area.

‘As part of the Bezbaruah committee recommendations, we had proposed having multi-faceted cultural centres for the northeast. These will help provide a centre of connection with the northeast and its rich culture,’ said MP Bezbaruah, while taking part in a discussion during the northeast festival here.

The government had constituted the Bezbaruah committee after a 19-year-old boy from Arunachal Pradesh, Nido Tania, was beaten to death in the heart of the capital. He added: ‘These will provide a common platform for the people of the northeast to showcase their handicrafts, culture and also help the people from other parts of the country to learn about them.’ Echoing similar feelings, Robin Hibu, joint commissioner of police and nodal officer for the northeast community in Delhi added: ‘When there can be an Islamic Cultural Centre in the capital, why not have a northeast cultural centre? It is already a part of the recommendations and we have to keep on raising the issue now with the government.’

The recommendations of the committee were submitted to the government on 11 July. An official from the home ministry said that the recommendations would be implemented soon.

‘The brainstorming session is already taking place with several representatives from the state and soon action will be taken,’ Ajay Kanojia, deputy director of the northeast division in the home ministry, said. Bezbaruah also stressed the need of having a database of the northeast people.

‘Having a database will help keep a tab on the people from the region. Though not compulsory it can be a voluntary registration but will go a long way. This should be started immediately in the ministry of development of northeast region (DoNER),’ added Bezbaruah.

Experts said the need of having an anti-racial discrimination law and integrating the culture of the northeast through syllabus. ‘In Delhi University, we already have had meetings to integrate northeast syllabi and this will help in the long run. But above it, it becomes important to have a separate anti-racial law, as in the present laws there are several gaps and lacuna,’ Topi Basar, professor at DU law faculty, said.
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