A Win for Diplomacy.
Following hectic parleys and track II diplomacy moves, Anugraha Satellite Township has reached an accord (or peace treaty) with the residents of its westerly neighbour, Karikkan Nagar on the Sewage Treatment Plant. This is a great victory for both the residential areas to have found a way to cooperate and collaborate and create a framework on which our relationships will continue to be strengthened.
The Historic Accord was facilitated by and signed in the presence of the Sub Collector cum Sub Divisional Magistrate of Cuddalore District, Shri. Johny Tom Varghese, IAS by representatives from both the areas.
The Deal offers for cooperation between both the communities to run the Sewage Treatment Plant at its present site.
In case an additional STP is required, both the communities will together find a site and collaborate to build it.
At no point shall output from the STP leave the boundaries of our Township and our STP.
No water shall be allowed to be let out into the river that runs between our communities.
Two members from the Karikkan Nagar will be part of the Monitoring Committee of five to ensure operational continuity of the STP.
The two community representatives will meet twice a year to discuss any outstanding issues and resolve them among themselves.
The Accord primarily lays down the foundation for a twice-yearly meeting between the two communities. This forum would serve to explore ways to work with each other and resolve any issues that may crop up from time to time. And all problems or issues would be resolved bilaterally. As an example, the STP will be built at its present site and Karikkan Nagar community has agreed to cooperate with us to ensure its success.
In future, Anugraha Satellite Township will assist and help the lower socio-economic Karikkan Nagar community in improving itself through a number of ways and schemes to be explored.
What is Track II Diplomacy?
Our Accord was successfully reached, thanks to robust track II diplomacy moves from our township, led by the secretaries, designed to enhance interpersonal relationships and neutralise victimhood oriented narrative that casts the inter-community relationship into an acrimonious and us-vs-them paradigm.
From Davidson & Montville, 1981, p. 155.: Track two diplomacy is unofficial, non-structured interaction. It is always open minded, often altruistic, and … strategically optimistic, based on best case analysis. Its underlying assumption is that actual or potential conflict can be resolved or eased by appealing to common human capabilities to respond to good will and reasonableness.
Montville (Davidson & Montville, 1981) maintains that there are two basic processes in track two diplomacy. The first consists of facilitated workshops that bring members of conflicting groups together to develop personal relationships, understand the conflict from the perspective of others, and develop joint strategies for solving the conflict. The second process involves working to shift public opinion: “Here the task is a psychological one which consists of reducing the sense of victimhood of the parties and rehumanizing the image of the adversary”.