Indira Goswami, also known by her pen name Mamoni Raisom Goswami was an Assamese editor, activist, poet, professor, scholar, and writer who passed away in 2011. The All Assam Students Association, Delhi in order to honour her, organises an annual national level debate. This year marked the second installation of the same debate. The event was held on Sunday, 18th November 2018, in Conference Centre, North Campus, DU. The debate form as the name holds was conventional. Students from all across DU and other colleges participated in teams both from same college and combined cross team. There were 12 teams that took part in the event.
The motion of the day was “This house believes that it is a disadvantage to tag North Eastern states as one homogeneous unit rather than different states in the social, political, or economic issues.”
The event was adjudged by Dr. Bhagat Oinam, a professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Dr. Rakhee Kalita Moran, a professor in the Department of English at Cotton University, and lastly Dr. Monirul Hussain, Chair Professor, Centre for North East Studies and Policy Recharge at Jamia Milia Islamia.
Dr. Oinam spoke to the participants on the arguments that were raised at the debate. He said “The point is quite relevant to our time, but there you cannot put a black and white statement about this news. It is not a mathematical argument, there are both strengths and weaknesses. One thing that came out was that if you homogenise North East India as a block, what you are missing out is to quit understanding the peculiarity and the particularity of the region. Whether its Manipur, or Assam, their concerns are being ignored when you are using the word North East as a block. Yet also at the same time it is a fact that the region is very diverse. The other side of the story is that if you try to diversify them, then It doesn’t attract the attention of the people. There is a need to pragmatically, politically unify the people to make their concerns, and demands heard in the larger population of the country. This is because the political canvas of the country is so vast within which North East representation is so small. If you particularise all of the communities concerns individually, then that may never be heard. That is also one concern.”
The competition was followed by a lunch, and prize distribution ceremony. The winners were a combined cross team of Devarnav Sharma from Hindu college and Arshia Amin from Jamia Milia Islamia. The winners got an individual trophy as well as a cash prize of INR 20,000.
Feature Image credits: Rishabh Gogoi for DU Beat