NEW DELHI: In order to give recognition to all the different communities in the north-east region of Indian, Tura Lok Sabha MP Purno A Sangma has propounded the idea of a “grand federation” of North-Eastern Tribes (GFNET). Going a step further, he has also suggested a northeastern commission, on the lines of the European Commission.

Insisting that there is no concept of “Statehood” in the north-east area, he said that this standpoint is not a figment of imagination but rather, based on his experience of over four-decade in the region.

Answering a question on the demand for a separate state of Garoland, he made an audacious yet a profound statement. "We are forcing people to live together.”, he said, adding, "We have to realise the reality and by experience we have to think of something else."

Meghalaya has seen a spurting rise in militancy and their demand of bifurcating the state into Garoland and Khasi-Jaintia state. On being asked if a separate state would solve the problem of militancy entirely, he said "We don't know. No solution is a complete solution in any issue...but am saying there are sections of people among Khasis and Jaintias who are articulating we should have a separate Khasi-Jaintia state. "Similar sentiments have been articulated by a section of the Garos... We cannot ignore those sentiments but it has to be mutual."

Similar instances of a demand for a separate land has also been heard throughout the north-east belt-be it in Assam, Nagaland or Manipur.

The demand is only natural owing to the vast diversity of the region, complicated and confronted by multi-faceted problems which can be comprehended from the fact there are over 200 ethnic communities and an equal number of dialects in the region.

Based on the region’s diversity, Sangma suggested his design of having a “Grand Federation of the North-Eastern Communities” in order to give them autonomy to each tribe as is proposed in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. “That is the only way you can give due recognition to all the tribes in the Northeast. It is broad thinking, and I have just started selling this idea,” he said.

Moreover, the veteran parliamentarian believes that “ the current North Eastern Council (NEC) should be converted into a Northeastern Commission on the lines of the European Commission and on the lines of the European Parliament”.

The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union and is accountable for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, and upholding the Union’s treaties besides looking after the day-to-day running of the European Union. The commission operates as a cabinet government.

If, hypothetically, the NEC were ever transformed into a commission, it would work like the EC which would mean that it would exercise much more power than the council does currently. At present, the council is run by bureaucrats.

Strongly mooting this idea of NEC on the lines of EU, he averred “We have to realise the reality, and by experience, we have to think of something else. “ Purno added “This is a thought process and I have a big plan, which I am discussing with the leaders of the Northeast.”