Friday, May 20, 2011

Funny Statistics, Ugly Reality

On May 1, the DAN government presented a table (converted into Chart 1 here) in a local newspaper to show that during the Congress Rule from 1993 to 1997, casualties as a result of UG activities escalated.  Number of deaths increased almost 4 times over this period that 81 deaths in 1993 rose to 309 in 1997. DAN government put this statistics up to show that the Congress government had failed to maintain law and order in the State during its rule while it is much more peaceful now under DAN government
 
The next day, it was the Congress’ turn to put up another table in the same local daily to show that things haven’t improved during DAN too. From 2003 till 2008, number of casualties due to UG activities rose from a total of 86 to 201 (See chart 2).
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) statistics (Chart 3) validates the claim of the congress in Chart 2. Figures from 2003-06 given by Congress tally with the MHA figures. But since 2007, it’s difficult to say because the MHA from then on gives only a combined figure of arrested/killed/surrendered militants.

 South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) website seems to be a little pro-DAN government and anti-Congress. The number of fatalities during the congress is way higher than even what the DAN claims. And during DAN government, the number of fatalities given is lower than what the MHA/Congress had projected. What is reality may be altogether different (SATP labels the NSCN/Federal cadres as terrorists), but that is what statistics seems to say. That is why, statistics can be very tricky. 

But in all the cases, number of deaths due to UG activities has risen and fallen. From early 1990s, it rose and rose, then declined in late 1990s. Then again in early 2000s, it steadily rose till 2008. 2009 and 2010 has been relatively peaceful. The DAN government claims it’s because of restoration of law and order by the government; the Congress party claims it’s due to FNR (Forum for Naga Reconciliation) and not DAN. If the statistical patterns continue, it’s time that bloody years are ahead once again. Let’s hope not. Statistics can be tricky and funny, but the reality depicted here is quite an ugly one.

2 comments:

  1. I won't be surprised if violence is actually much much higher before 1997 i.e during Congress rule because Ceasefire between GOI and NSCN was not in place. Even today NSCN IM and K fight on and off, but that was there even in the past. At least now there is no fighting between GOI and NSCN (IM/K). And less violence due to ceasefire can't possibly be attributed to DAN's restoration of law and order.

    If 2009-10 have been relatively peaceful, I would give much of the credit to FNR. But I also believe DAN is seriously pursuing an honourable solution unlike Congress. I think Congress should not have published BEDROCK.

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  2. Is it more peaceful during DAN because of ceasefire/FNR or is it because DAN is now one with NSCN-IM? a recent example is the defeat of Jamir. There's no bloodshed but it's becoming a Pax Romana situation. I (and other ordinary citizens) cannot write freely what I believe in the newspaper because that would endanger my life. But what you get to read in news items and books are those who are in favor of those in control.

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