In a recent article published in NDTV, it is reported that in order to woo back local support, United National Liberation Front (UNLF) has been using microfinance schemes like women’s cooperatives. This is an interesting event where a banned separatist group is doing a scheme which was supposedly implemented by an elected government!
This has been going on for the last four years and has regained much of their eroded mass base by a unique grassroots experiment, called Phunga Marup, a microfinance scheme aimed at small entrepreneurs which threatens to render conventional counter insurgency operations futile. This is a much more insidious and effective route the militants have taken into civil society.
Government loans for small-scale entrepreneurs are still very difficult to get, so they identify areas like weaving, fishery, and piggery.
“We applied with the Government earlier but never got any help so we gave up trying. Who will sponsor us,” questions a Phunga Marup beneficiary.
The failure of the government at every level has allowed militias to gain control.
“They are building up the ground support by somehow investing small entrepreneurs. It’s like a government poverty alleviation programme,” claims Prof Amar Yumnam, Director, Centre for Manipur Studies, Manipur University.
News : NTDV
It is sad to see a job being done by a separatist and militant organisation which was supposed to be done by state government. In a way, corruption, inefficiency in the state government machinery are responsible for support base of separatists organisation.
Indian government, instead of using draconian laws like AFSPA to fight separatists in North East India, should try to provide good governance, development to the people of North East India.