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Transcript: Binalakshmi Nepram on Responding to Rising Armed Conflict in South Asia

Here is the transcript of Binalakshmi Nepram’s — founder of Manipur Women Gun Survivor Network — TEDx Talk: Responding to Rising Armed Conflict in South Asia at TEDxSecunderabad

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Responding to Rising Armed Conflict in South Asia by Binalakshmi Nepram at TEDxSecunderabad

Binalakshmi Nepram — Founder of Manipur Women Gun Survivor Network

I wanted to be a Physicist. From Manipur I came to Delhi to do my Physics. I missed by 0.2%, ended up with Mathematics Honors and realized that it’s not going to be my cup of tea. So I switched to Indian History.

After doing five years of Indian History and then getting a Master’s degree, I realized there is not a single chapter of 45 million Indians living in Northeast region in the text books of our country. This is even after 60 years of Independent India. That is a reason the part of India that I come from continues to be in a state of war and of conflict for more than 60 years.

Now, our journey of why did — 50,000 people died in India’s Northeast, mind you 50,000 people died. South Asia’s first conflict is not in Afghanistan or in Pakistan where our friends are from in this room. It started from the epicenter off the northeast region, the first shots of insurgency were fired there and why was it fired because the kind of incomplete nation building, because the British succeeded in dividing all of us together with unnatural boundaries, also had its repercussions is India’s northeast region.

So what is happening right now is South Asia, the kind of thing as I said — first a little bit of South Asia, South Asia where again Hyderabad, Delhi, all these places, for us from Northeast South Asia is a bit far away. We’re still trying to grapple because things in that part of India are quite different from as it would be in Delhi or any other part of the country.

First is — so there is — we always think there is bomb blast in Pakistan, bombings in Afghanistan. It’s far away. This year in Manipur we had more than 32 bomb blasts; last year more than 60 plus bomb blasts. Yet the news from this part of India never reaches.

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