Students to sound out government on Northeast chapter
Student organisations from the Northeast are planning to engage with the government and elected representatives to push their demand for a chapter on the Northeast in the National Council of Educational Research and Training curriculum after a successful Twitter storm on Friday.
Over 40 student organisations, including varsity student unions, from the region had launched a social media campaign so that the government takes prompt and adequate steps to create awareness about the region.
Jorhat-based Debonil Baruah, a research associate and a key member of the Twitter campaign, told The Telegraph they would submit a memorandam to Union educational minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, eight chief ministers of the Northeast and to all MPs from the region.
“It is important to engage with the government and elected representatives to take our demand forward. Our social media campaign on Twitter with the hashtags – #A chapter on NE and #Northeastmatters was well received but we also need to engage with the government to familiarise the country with the northeast and that can be done only through the government,” Baruah said.
“Discussion has started among the student organisations on the content of the memorandum and why inclusion on chapters from the Northeast are required in the national curriculum. Everything remaining equal, we will be submitting the memorandum by next week,” he said.
The two-hour Twitter storm on Friday was launched at 6 pm with the hashtags —A Chapter for NE and Northeast Matters — drawing over 1.6 lakh tweets from students, politicians, and academics, among others.
A Twitter user said, “The most powerful weapon is education... Few chapters about northeast India are an investment towards a better India.”
The campaign was triggered following a young YouTuber’s racial remark against MLA Ninong Ering from Arunachal Pradesh.
YouTuber Paras Singh is in judicial custody after his arrest from Ludhiana on May 25 following the filing of an FIR by Ering for “a racist and anti-India” video wherein Singh had said that Ering did “not” look like an Indian and that Arunachal Pradesh was “part” of China.
Ering took to the Twitter on Saturday to reveal that he has written to Union education minister Pokhriyal and Union Home minister Amit Shah on the “inclusion of Northeast India in CBSE and other state boards education system.
“This one step can lead to elimination of frequent cases of racial discrimination against us,” he tweeted, tagging the NCERT and the CBSE in his tweet.
Formed in 1961, NCERT is an autonomous organisation assisting and advising the Centre and state governments on policies and programmes for qualitative improvement in school education, including promoting and coordinating research in areas related to school education besides preparing and publishing model textbooks, Ering, a former Congress MP, says the world needs to know about the Northeast’s history, geography, culture.
“Yesterday thousands of people took part in a Twitter storm and they demanded inclusion of northeast in NCERT curriculum.... These demands are on the line of key recommendations of the Bezbaruah Committee Report and also a private member Bill introduced by me in 2017 for compulsory teaching of the northeast syllabus,” he said, hoping the ministers will take “note of the demand” and “educate the world about us”.
The MHA had constituted a committee headed by M.P. Bezbaruah, member, North Eastern Council, in February 2014 to look into the look into the concerns of persons from the Northeast living in different parts of the country and suggest legal remedies.